Here is another wonderful give-away that I would encourage you to participate in. This is NOT a costume but "regular" everday clothes. And not just one, but 12 Pieces when you consider that some of the pieces are REVERSIBLE!!! These skirts are ADORABLE, too!! Oh, I really do hope I win this one. And, if not... WAHHHHHH!!! (like i do not know that my chances are slim to none. come on, people, i am not stupid! but i must try anyhow... :-)
GROSGRAIN MINI STORE OPENING NOVEMBER 6!!!! AND BIG PREVIEW GIVEAWAY!!!!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Dancing Waitress At Midnight
Rahab (on left), Gideon (on right)
Holding It Together
Coin Searcher... (This one, in particular, touches my heart in this season I am in...)
I posted about this newfound artist, Joy Deann Carson, a little while back, but I did not show any of her art at the time. I just HAD to show you SOME of my favorites of hers. Hope I did not overdue it, Joy!!!
And, here is a quote that her father wrote to her in a journal he created for her when she was just a kid. It has since been a tremendous source of inspiration to her. May it also inspire you, as I feel it applies to all of us...
"Your foundation is secure in the promises of God. God is strong enough to hold onto you... He will not let go. If you really believe that then you will be free- truly free... Free to create like your creator- free to envision what is not so that it can become... free to let your life be a canvas for the Artist of Life- that your heart will allow the Spirit access to all the colors of your life.
When you believe that God CAN and God WILL, your hands and eyes will work in perfect harmony, like two lovers dancing as one.
You will paint from the passion rather than the pressure."
Sit back, ENJOY, and Soak it up!! Sigh... And you can see more of her work at her two sites...
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Stanley is our "Foreign Exchange Student" who is from America. He was sent by our cousin, Caleb, so that he can experience what it is really like to live in Italy. Being that Stanley is recovering from his trip here, we wanted to announce his arrival at least, and let you know that you may be seeing more of him in the near future. And so, it seems that his first adventure is... being blogged about. :-)
Caleb, we are so excited to have Stanley with us. Thank you for thinking of us... We love you and miss you!!!
I received this RAK (random act of kindness) postcard from my blogging friend, Nancy T., and really like it so much.
Here is some of the history regarding the man, Jean Sibelius, as taken from her blog found at http://neatcs.wordpress.com/2008/10/15/men-on-sunday-pca/ Enjoy!!!
"Jean Sibelius was definitely a clever one. He is probably most recognized for “Finlandia” from which came the melody for what I think is the National Finnish Hymn, one of my favorite melodies of all time. ( My Scandinavian friends can correct me on this). But it is said that his music is credited with playing a role in establishing the Finnish national identity.
Sibelius was born in 1865 in Finland and lived through more than half of the 20th Century. He died in 1957. One of the composers who took a direction slightly different from the norm of the 19th Century, he composed beautifully melodic pieces and tone poems. It was a simpler style with less harshly-defined thematic structure than his contemporaries were using. Sometimes criticized because his compositions lacked “complexity”, his scorn for his critics is expressed in this famous quote.
“Pay no attention to what critics say. Nobody ever put up a statue of a critic.”
I think it is unfortunate that Sibelius stopped writing music when he did. For the last 30 years of his life, not only did he stop writing, but would hardly even talk about music. Having worked on an 8th symphony in the late 1920’s, he apparently never finished it and no one ever heard a note or saw a page of manuscript. He is quoted as saying, “If I cannot write a better symphony than my seventh, it shall be my last.”'
I put that quote that is on the postcard in bold print, as I liked it so much. A very good reminder, to the one being criticized and also to the one DOING the criticizing... What do you want to be remembered for?
Thank you so much, Nancy!!! You are a blessing to me!!!
Friday, October 24, 2008
As most of you know, I have a "thing" for my African family... even those I do not know. I have a financially-sponsored brother in Liberia whom I keep in touch with, and get way to excited when I hear news about Africa and those living there. Okay, not excited about EVERYTHING. I checked into one of the blogs I like to keep tabs on, and was greeted with some posts that I just had to share. Please check them out in order, for a reason. May your heart be touched to do more than say, "Wow, that is just too bad..." Pray, for that is the WORK, but also pray that God will show you how maybe you can do MORE. Soon...
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Antonio took this picture of me while Anthony got us registered at the "villagio".
Pictures while Anthony getting us registered into the "villagio"...
Miranda found a jumping buddy in another little girl her age who also had super curly hair.
There goes Luca! No posing for him... He is having too much fun in motion! :-)
There was another little girl there about Miranda's age who had the same curly hair. Cute!
Bananas growing in the tree...
Dario LOVED the sand...
Uncle and Nephew, and brothers-in-law, too...
The pool was NOT a hit! They wanted the BEACH!! And, why not?
One of my most favorite photos of the trip!!
Oops, caught me!
Another of one of my most favorite photos of the trip...
I will only say this... Both Anthony and I returned from our trip to the beach feeling like we had actually had a vacation! THAT is big news. With five kids with us we, each of us, had a blast.The kids participated in Baby Dance in the evening, where they called all the kids down to participate in some choreographed songs just for them. After that there was a time for all to laugh to some skits put on by those working there. I don't get all the jokes, but Anthony laughed a lot, and he even participated one night. There were also activities during the day. We often just went to the beach, but when the kids wanted to there was craft time, bocce ball time, volleyball, and some other things. There was even a mini soccer tournament for them. Anthony was volunteered often to participate in the adult contests. The workers figured out pretty quickly that he was a willing participant. :-) So he did a few different things, volleyball, ping-pong, soccer, tennis. He almost won the ping-pong contest, and he was disappointed that the man who beat him was old. :-) But we were told that one of the participants used to play professional ping-pong, so we tend to think it was him. Anyhow, He DID win the competition for tennis. The last full day we were there, there was an award cerimony where he received a funny little "gold" medallion and the boys received a certificate as well for their participation.
We were constantly approached by the retirees on vacation, complimenting us on our well-behaved youngsters. Who Ate! (And five of them!!!) Now THAT was quite a treat (Thank you, Jesus! For helping us raise them as best we can...), and we made quick friends with a few of the older couples who missed their grandkids, or just wanted to enjoy our kids for a bit. It was just so nice. We did not hang out with the younger couples. Although they had "blue-collar" jobs like Anthony, boy were they a snooty group. (Hoity-toity, MOM and CARLY!!! :-) ) And, besides, they complained the entire week, while we were having so much fun. I don't know what that tells you... that we were weird for having fun or that they were just full of discontentment... Doesn't matter. So, moving on...
I got to go out on the ocean in a kayak and just have some much needed devotional time. It was amazing. I learned quite a few lessons, things that God impressed on my soft heart during those days. Things about "be still", "seek and you shall find", hearing and knowing His voice, etc... Sigh. Beautiful quiet times with Jesus. I got to shell hunt amidst all the rocks, and found a few different little treasures (mom, you would have appreciated that.) I even got to do some papercuts of our trip. Keepsakes, if you will. And, did anyone ever have urchins in your pasta? How was it? A man near our umbrella went out in the water and bagged a bunch of urchin so they could EAT them. Who knew? Cause I didn't. Luca and Miranda were amazed. See, even educational moments there. :-)
My only regret is that the last two days I missed a lot since Dario had a fever due to two teeth coming in... As soon as they came through the fever disappeared. There goes the theory that you don't get a fever from teething. Poor kid. Oh, and on our way home, our transmision almost completely went. We barely made it home. Thank God we arrived safely and it completely went after we arrived. Phew!
The place used to be a convent many years ago. There is still a religious feel to the place as it is very simple, a statue of Mary is there with candles all around, and some other various things, but it was right on the water, had air conditioning, a buffet, and was fun. Great for large families with little interest in over spending on their vacation. The price was perfect for this all-inclusive trip.
Here are some fun pictures of our trip... We went with two other couples and their families. Carmine and Roxana have two girls, MarieSophie and Ester. Augusto and Claudia have two boys, Augusto and Ascanio, and a third boy on the way.
Sigh... we have all wished to be back there at one time or another since we have been back home. That is a good sign, and we would welcome another 4 hour trip just to go back again sometime. :-) THAT also says alot.