Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I started the month keeping up with my pages and using a digital template to create a "lesson block" for each day then creating my layout using one of the Try Something New prompts. I was also writing my lesson in the format "I can ..... IF ......", however as the month went on I realized that I wasn't enjoying the process and was having trouble coming up with the lesson in that format. So, I simply changed what I was doing midstream. Here are two pages from before the change.
And here's the change taking place!
Some days I simply added patterned papers and my handwritten lesson while other days I included a few embellishments or a photo.
And today's lesson is one that I'm very excited about!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Yes, as I continue to focus on being aware of what I'm learning each day for the Learn Something New Every Day class, I realize that I miss blogging. I miss recording what's happening in my life, sharing my latest layouts and book reviews, and journaling my thoughts about various subjects. I miss the encouragement from comments and the accountability that pushes me to stay on track with my healthy lifestyle changes. My good intentions to continue journaling have not come to fruition; just isn't as much fun without the photos and an "audience" to write for.
My Learn Something New Every Day album is coming along nicely, although I changed the format along the way. I'll be sharing some pages (and maybe the completed album) here on Wednesday.
Happy Blog Hopping Everyone!
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
My favorite aspect of blogging is the regular habit of journaling about life as it happens. I plan to continue the practice of journaling using my computer as well as a print journal. I especially enjoy being able to refer back to what I've written when I need journaling for a scrapbook layout.
Saturday, September 11, 2010
The second challenge involved choosing a heritage photo that I don't know much about, then browsing the BPS galleries and scraplifting a layout idea. Earlier this year I completed a layout with a heritage photo of my grandfather (you can see it here in this post). This week I pulled a photo of my Mama when she was a young girl with her Mama (my Grandmother). I scraplifted the layout design from a layout by Wendy Rose in the BPS Dimensional Details gallery.
The next challenge was to select just 3 or 4 photos from a destination and put together a simple layout. Earlier this year I created a layout about our visit to Eisenhower's Birthplace. My favorite part of this layout is Robbie's contribution - when I showed him the original layout he mentioned that it would be neat to add five stars to the layout because Eisenhower was a five-star general. Thus, the stars at the bottom of the layout.
This week I pulled three photos from some new prints I just received this week and created a layout showcasing these photos at Mount Rushmore. I had purchased this Mount Rushmore patterned paper at our local scrapbook store a few days after we returned from out trip, andI cut the titles letters out with my Cricut.
One of my favorite of the challenges was the one to create a vacation layout without photos, using journaling to recreate the experience and describing the emotions evoked. I already knew I wanted to write about our drive through Glacier National Park, so this layout came together fairly quickly.
The last of the challenges that I completed involved creating a photo-collage layout filling in any gaps with patterned paper and adding a few embellishments. I pulled photos from behind the Cooking tab in our Activities We Enjoy category drawer and created this easy layout. The photos range from 2002 to 2010.
I really like that this class inspired me to complete such varied layouts and to capture the extraordinary as well as the ordinary events in our lives.
Friday, September 10, 2010
As promised in last week's Healthy Living Post, here are some excuses that I have used to avoid exercise:
General Excuses for Any Type of Exercise
1. I don't feel like changing into my exercise clothes then having to change back into my everyday clothes. (I have used this excuse even on days that I will be home all day!)
2. I haven't finished everything else on my to-do list yet.
3. It's too late in the day now and exercising will keep me awake.
4. I just don't feel like it!
Excuses for Outdoor Exercise
5. It's too hot.
6. It's too cold.
7. It's raining.
8. It's snowing. (OK, I admit this one can only be used one or two days a year here in the Dallas area!)
9. It's too windy.
10. There's too much pollen in the air.
11. We are on an orange air quality alert.
Excuses for Indoor Exercise
12. I need to vacuum the carpet before I do floor exercises.
13. An exercise tape/DVD might disturb Robbie while he is studying. (Even though it is in a different room and entirely different section of the house!)
14. I don't want to be off in the other room instead of in here hanging out with Robbie.
15. We have company coming later (today, this week, this month) and I don't want to get my exercise equipment out.
My Favorite Excuse
16. I am inspired to scrap a layout and really need to act on the inspiration right away!
Have you used any of these excuses? Do you have other excuses that you use?
I love this quote shared by Lisa Cohen in the Wellness Journey workshop: "Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity." - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
After this past week of regular exercise, I must say "watch out for my dynamic and creative intellectual activity!" :>) No more excuses!
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I also included a non-scrapbooking supply, if there's such a thing! (I personally think anything that will fit on a page is fair game for a layout.) These letter tiles came from a travel hangman game. I organized/decluttered our game shelf earlier this week, and I discovered that the plastic hangman case was broken and could no longer be used. The case went in the trash, but these letters made their way onto my scrapping table!
I am so excited to have documented Robbie's handyman talents in this layout.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Sunday, September 5, 2010
The Try Something New prompt for September 4 was "give your entry wings: include a bird, a butterfly, an angel or something else in flight." Since my lesson included regular Quiet Time with the Lord, I included several angel stickers in my layout.
I really didn't start the month out planning each lesson to be an "I can . . . IF . . ." statement, but after the first few days, I like the way it's turning out.
Have you noticed the variety of colors on these pages? I'm doing something totally different than my usual get-everything-to-match-and-look-just-right scrapping. Each day I open the same template from Shimelle and then pick three papers from the class kit, starting with the paper number for the date and then choosing the next two also. The first color is the background of the template, the second color is for the flourishes, and the third color is the photo border. This is resultings in a variety of color combinations, and I have to admit that I'm just having fun with it!
Saturday, September 4, 2010
CHRISTMAS WEEK THREE
Started a Word file for my Christmas letter this week, just typed a few little bulleted items I want to remember to include in the letter. I remembered I had some Christmas stationary sheets in with my scrapbooking supplies and I pulled those out and put them in my Christmas file to use for this year's letter.
I went shopping this week and purchased the few supplies I need for the Christmas gifts I'm making. I also purchased the gifts that I'm not making. I have all these items stored on the Christmas shelf and planned on my calendar days to work on the items I'm making.
DECLUTTERING WEEK THREE
This week's room to work on was the office/craft room. I moved my office/craft room to a new room back in November of last year and did a pretty good job of organizing everything at the time. Since then, I completed the Library of Memories workshop and re-organized my photo and memorabilia storage - you can read about my new system in this post. A couple of months ago, I also re-organized some of my scrapbooking supplies by color. I am very pleased with the set-up in this room, so I didn't do much in here this week except pick up and put away all the little piles of things that tend to wind up on the floor when I'm working on several projects at a time!
I also worked more this week on my computer network set up: deleted all my files from the old computer, uninstalled programs from the old compter and wiped the hard drive clean, downloaded/installed programs on new computer. I still have a few things to go on this project, my goal is to be done by the end of the day on Monday.
Friday, September 3, 2010
For September 1, I started with my blank page, the printed lesson block and a Try Something New prompt that read "cut a variety of circles by tracing around items in your kitchen."
I want to share a little of my story as I begin this weekly healthy living post. Four years ago I began to gain weight and started feeling tired all the time. Since I was teaching 8th grade, completing the final classes for my master's degree, and presenting my research at a couple of professional conferences, I just assumed I was exhausted as a result of my crazy schedule. As it turns out, my thyroid was the culprit!
By the time we moved back to the Dallas area in the spring of 2007, my thyroid was being regulated with medication and I decided it was time to lose weight and get healthy. I visited a dietitian and started monitoring what I ate, drank only one Coca-Cola a day, and exercised regularly. Over the course of several months, I lost weight and felt great. Robbie and I had decided to start a family, however that did not seem to be God's plan for us. After a year and a half we had not gotten pregnant and went through the process to adopt a child. The process of getting licensed to adopt, being matched with a child, and all the ensuing paperwork and stress took a toll on me. We actually had a disrupted adoption - which basically means that the adoption did not happen. The decision not to adopt was one of the most difficult decisions we have ever made. Throughout that year-long process I felt a lot of stress in my life and I gained all my weight back (for the first time in my life I truly understood the term yo-yo weight loss!). At the end of last year, right after the disrupted adoption, I was emotionally spent.
In January, I enrolled in a two-month long BPS class called Wellness Journey, taught by Lisa Cohen. During those two months I did fairly well with regular exercise and tried to add more fruits and vegetables (and less sweets) to my diet. The daily check-in with other classmates helped keep me somewhat on track, but I was still dealing with a lot of emotional hurt and have not kept up with the exercise and healthy eating over the past six months. I have to say that the class was excellent and Lisa focused on living an overall healthy lifestyle. In fact, this week I've started re-reading the material from the class as motivation and am planning to take the class when it is offered again at the end of the year.
I have felt God's healing in my spiritual and emotional life and the past few months I have been at peace, relaxed, and enjoying life.
And then there was my last physical check-up - when the doctor's office called to say he wanted me to start taking medicine because my cholesterol was high, I decided it was time to get it together. I have no desire to take medicine to control something that I can control myself with diet and exercise. (I understand that sometimes cholesterol is a genetic thing, but for me it's a matter of an unhealthy lifestyle.)
I set September 1 as my start date, and I go back in for a check up the week before Thanksgiving. My goal is to have my cholesterol down to an acceptable level by that time. I am going to be focusing on an overall healthy lifestyle including physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. I'll check in here each Friday to give myself some accountability.
I actually started working on my exercise goal this past Monday. So far this week I have ridden the stationary bike for 30 minutes four days and completed a 30 minute strength training routine using 10-pound weights two days.
Next week I'll update you on my progress and share with you some of the excuses I use to avoid exercise on any given day.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
CHRISTMAS WEEK TWO
This week's to do item was to prepare for the coming holidays was to complete a Christmas budget. I didn't really create a budget, however I did create my gift-giving list. I have decided to make most of the Christmas gifts we will give to family and friends this year. I have a list of my ideas and will be picking up the few supplies I need over the next week or so. I'm excited about what I'll be making but can't share them here with you as many members of my family and friends read this blog! :>)
DECLUTTERING WEEK TWO
I didn't really work on decluttering a specific room for week two, rather I took the week to set up our new computers. So far, I have the new desktop up and running (although I still need to install/download three programs), the new modem/router is set up and working, and the new laptop is working (although there is a glitch in the webcam and we may have to exchange it in a few days and start over with the set up). I still have more to do on this project - will be working on installing the other programs and getting the external hard drive set up tomorrow.
I did take a half hour today and straighten the closet in my office/craft room. I actually decluttered/organized this closet a few months ago as recorded in a previous post, but since then I had set a few items in the closet floor thinking I would put them where they belonged "later." So, today I put those items up - a new wrapping paper bin that replaced the old shredder base in the corner of the closet to hold wrapping paper and shipping tubes, Christmas paper and bags that I picked up at a garage sale went in the attic with the other Christmas wrapping supplies, and empty storage containers (bins, baskets, etc) went on the shelf in the garage where I keep these items so when I need a container while I'm organizing I can check and see what I have before buying something new. So, that closet is back in tiptop shape.
I also made a list of future projects I have stored in the closet. I added these to my craft projects/ideas spiral where I keep a list of projects I want to do. I'm trying to get in the habit of checking the list when I make my plans for the week so that I can work on these projects when I see that my schedule permits.