Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Last November 2007's Big Craft (one of them)...


Hanging door announcements for when a baby is born are common here in Italy, and, being that we are thinking we are done having any babies to announce, I wanted to make this one really special. Here it is... foam sheets and some cutouts made by tracing and doing stencil cuts, glue, stickers, magnets on the back, and a special message on the back to our last son... (message not included)Usually the bought ones are not nearly so colorful, first of all, and secondly, just pretty generic... So, this is one of my personal gifts to Dario.

Monday, April 28, 2008

My 1st Paper Cutting, "Home Is Where The Heart Is"...


I am SO excited!!! I have completed my first paper-cutting, and it is available only here for all to see! I call it, "Home Is Where The Heart Is." It may not be as professional looking as others, but it is my first, after all. I dedicate this one to my hubby... Our initials are on one of the trees, so it is a personal "cutted" love note to him. :-)

A Scherenschnitte Queen (to me)...


I just wanted to share one fo my favorite papercutting artists with you. Check her out at papercutting.blogspot.com This is ONE of my most favorite of her cuttings. It is based on the Pride And Prejudice book. I commented on it and said...

"Now you have done it... You have melted my heart and perfumed it in tea aroma-ed memories and maiden lady daydreams... Love that story, AND love this cutting. Will not say it is my most favorite because you always seem to come out with another that I like so well, but, *sigh*."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Humane Mouse Trap...



I just had to share pictures of a funny little contraption first built by Anthony's grandfather, Soccorso, years ago. It is a mouse trap. The hole on the middle top leads to a piece of cheese attached to the string. when the mouse eats the cheese the trap closes over it. My father-in-law and mother-in-law just recently had two mice that did not want to leave, and they used this. Actualy, my father-in-law made a second one resembling the one his own father had made. Neat. (The taped up one is the old one...) :-)

Whopper Of A Day...




I just had to share a good day with you. Last Monday, the 21st, Anthony humored me, and we took a drive in search of a new Christian bookstore I recently heard about. The closest one that I knew of before was in the city of Naples and a hassle to get to and park in front of. So, I did not know what to expect this time. Well, we found it!!! Not only does it have a nice and relaxing parking lot and is closer to where we live, it also had two people working there whom were kind, courteous, and helpful. We will definitely go back. We ended up buying three things: a dvd of parables in Italian for the kids (which they liked a lot), a dvd called The Gospel (Eh, it is okay until you get the end and are overwhelmed once more by God's faithfulness, goodness, patience and mercy to us), and a cd of Italian teens singing some of their own original songs. Liked our purchases, but liked where we ate after even more...

Now, don't laugh at me. Our main source of fast food here in Cassano I. is pizza (not complaining, but nice to have a change every once in a while). The cities have far more to offer, and when I saw a sign for Burger King, I just gave Anthony a pleading, hungry look, and we went. I have been craving a nice, juicey Whopper with cheese since our last trip to the US two years ago. May I just say, my mouth watered gushes as I waited patiently for Anthony to bring the food to the booth. I was not disappointed. This burger tasted YUMMY AS CAN BE. A rush of memories and reminiscing just took over in that first bite. Daddy and mom, this one is for you!!! :-)

Paper Cutting Frenzy...


So, my newest hobby is paper-cutting, also sometimes known as scherenschnitte. May I just tell you what amazing things can be done out of paper??!! One of my most favorite and often visited blog sites is called papercutting.blogspot.com (try with and without www. if one does not work). Take a visit and see some handiwork that inspires me and has me thinking on some of my own designs. I said in a previous post that sometimes I think in poetry. Well, who knew you could also 1/2 think in paper-cutting. I look around and see so many possibilities for it. Here is the second paper cut I have done following a pattern I got from www.geocities.com/heartland/valley/8063/scherenschnitte.htm The first paper-cutting I did was from the same design. It turned out well, except that I botched the woman's face and she looked like she had the profile of a monkey. So, I have that one to keep for always. I will share more later... :-)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dario And Other Favorites of Mid-Late April...










April has been another busy month, but we have managed to get some fun shots for you to see and share in... Enjoy!!!

Out With The Old, In With The New...



It is with deep satisfaction and only a momentary sad sigh that I announce the expiration of our beloved washing machine. I look at the history I had with this faithful household product and many memories come flashing before my eyes. (Recent history, with its bowling ball sounding centrifuge and only half watering out, made its passing longed for. Believe me.) But it was faithful ... I mean, poor thing lasted pretty long for working so hard to wash clothes for 10 people. And it was a fairly small machine. It held out for quite some time (too long, I think!!!). Finally, this month marked the beginning of a new stage in washing laundry. Technologically friendly, childproof, easy to use, beautiful in a modern fashion, double in size capacity, and just plain new, new, new... WE BOUGHT A BRAND SPANKIN' NEW WASHING MACHINE!!! It is fondly appreciated, while the other... looks on scornfully in abandonment. (Sorry, but you need to be scrapped, ya piece of junk!!) Well, goodness, was that from me? Such hostility!!! Okay, so maybe I HAVE had that all pent up inside for just too long... Is it such a bad thing to be happy to see the old go out and the new come in? Well, in this case, I say, "Congratulate me, life just got a few steps easier." Now I can wash, not just one repeated- over- and- over load of laundry, but all of them all in one day, more or less. Let us all take a deep *sigh* of relief...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

And God Set The Rainbow In The Sky...


(vs 13)"I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. (vs 14)It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen IN THE CLOUD; (vs 15) and I will remember my covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. (vs 16) The rainbow shall be IN THE CLOUD, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every creature of all flesh that is on the earth." Genesis 9: 13-16

The rainbow has lost its meaning over the ages. Some have claimed its bright colors as a symbol for their own ungodly behavior which they claim as their "rights", and others have used it as a banner for peace. Still others think of it only as a beautiful, scientific phenomenon. Even so, it often goes unnoticed in our hurrying and scurrying about. But to me, it is a reminder of the "hope" I have in knowing that God is alive and working for our good. Even if we do not acknowledge Him, our unbelief does not nullify who He is and what He does in every moment of every day.
The rainbow fills me with wonder and joy when I catch a glimpse of it across the sky. It reminds me that God "keeps His promises" and that He grants us hope in the "clouds" of life. It is my own personal love message from God, encouraging me to "keep on keeping on". And since he is "the same yesterday, today and forever" (Heb.13:8), we can rest assured that His promises really do extend out to us always and forever.
So next time the day is overcast and threatening to overwhelm you in its grey, "blah" dreariness, look for the rainbow and be blessed as you keep in mind that God gave it to you to show you, once again, that He is there, ready to love you and to be part of your every day.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Easter Art...




I forgot to show off the kid's artwork from Easter. I had them draw pictures of what Easter is about, and this is what they came up with: Miranda's is very colorful and unclear, but I liked her enthusiasm and creativity, Giosaia's is Jesus off the cross and ALIVE, and Antonio's is Jesus Risen from the Dead and standing outside of the tomb. Luca was unsatisfied with his and ripped it up and threw it away. :-( He would not even let me see it. Oh well, next time.

Our New Pet ("Chia" Pet That Is)...



We sure have had fun watching this little guy sprout out his "hair". Isn't he cute?

The Rocketeer Returns...



This is what you get when you are a rushed rocket maker. I am sure you can tell why I am not working at NASA. Giosaia wanted me to make a helmet and rocket for him, but before I could finish he begged to play with it. well, that lasted long... :-)

Super Heroes and Funny Faces (A Bit Of Our Every Day)...








Here we have: my super heroes- Luca and Giosaia, Antonio and the first book he read completely through in English, Anthony and Dario, all of the kids together, brothers together, Anthony working, and Miranda laughing...

Our New Front Gate...





So, Anthony finished working on our front gate. All the work paid off. Here are some pictures of him in action and the finished product as well. He did it all by hand. I think he did a great job!!! (Also included in the pix is a neighbor and friend, Renato, who saw Anthony working and decided to lend a hand.)

Miranda In Her Easter Dress...



Easter was a bit quiet and laid back this year as the weather was downright icky and... I was not able to have the kids looking wonderful for pictures this time. :-( I did make sure that Miranda wore one of her beautiful dresses, though. Just HAD to. And what a little doll she was, too.

Strength In Weakness...



The first photograph is of me and my friend, Romina, at her cousin's wedding in August of 2007. The second picture is of our healthy miracle babies, Martina (3 months) and Dario (5 months) this past weekend.
We had a visit from some friends of ours from Rome this weekend. She and I were pregnant at the same time (she with her daughter, Martina, and I with Dario), and both of our labors and deliveries were not easy. Her daughter, Martina, was born at the end of December, and her birth experience was plain traumatic. We had a good cry together as we recounted our individual stories. At the end of each, though, we were were crying not so much from the pain, discomfort, and trial that we faced at the time, but rather because of God's goodness and faithfulness to us. We have both come away from the experiences STRONGER, knowing that our strength has ONLY come from God above and we were able to see His hand in ALL circumstances. What a sweet visit...

Psalm 18:30-36
*vs 30-As for God, His way is perfect; The Word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.
vs 31-For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God?
vs 32-It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect.
vs 33-He makes my feet like the feet of deer, and sets me on my high places.
vs 34-He teaches my hand to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
vs 35-You have also given me the shield of your salvation; You right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great.
vs 36-You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip.

Faith Like Potatoes...

We recently watched a Christian movie called "Faith Like Potatoes", aka "Fede Come Patate", that I highly recommend. It is based on a true story. This quote comes from the cover of the dvd case (we have it translated into Italian, so that explains the Italian translation of the quote), "Il seme di un grande miracolo non é la difficolta, ma l'impossiblità". This pretty much means, "the seed of a great miracle is not difficulty, but rather impossibility"... We laughed and cried, and for the exception of one tragic moment in the story, we even let our kids watch it. Our Lord IS a worker of miracles even today. He desires to live and move in our lives. I want Him to, how about you?