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.
Saturday, March 31, 2012
BPC Move More, Eat Well workshop that started at the beginning of this year. I had hoped this workshop would provide motivation and camaraderie on my journey of healthy living changes.
The online classroom is updated at the beginning of each month, and Cathy Zielske presents a new theme with a video message and handout. January's emphasis was on recording our individual healthy living stories and choosing one thing to focus on for the month. February's material was all about time, looking for time stealers and solutions to help us in our goals to move more and eat well. The message for March was that change is hard but we can do it. Throughout the materials, Cathy continually stresses having a positive attitude and realistic outlook as we make changes, have setbacks, and refocus throughout this process. Overall this information is interesting to read on the first of each month and serves to reinforce many of the things I've learned and read over the past couple of years.
There is an ongoing project in the classroom also - creating an album to document the journey. There are a ton of downloads to help with this process, all of which come in psd, png & pdf formats. I have not been motivated to create an album for this class as I am documenting my journey here on my blog.
So, basically, the remainder of the month is all about the message boards. I have to admit that I normally enjoy the message boards in my online classes, and I read many of the boards and subscribed to the posts for a few weeks at the beginning of the year. However, what I discovered is that there are so many participants in this class at different levels of fitness and with so many different ideas about what is healthy that I felt keeping up with the boards was a waste of time. Honestly, there's probably some good stuff there, but I do not want to wade through the posts about how one participant's doctor told her it was healthy for her to only consume 800 calories a day (Seriously!) and about how another student is so discouraged because she can't lose that last 2 ounces to reach her goal weight while another still has over 100 pounds to to her goal weight and about how someone else's biggest achievement was getting out of the bed that day while the next post is from someone who just completed a Boot Camp class and then went for a 5 mile run before 9 am! And then there are the varied and contradictory recommendations for diets and supplements and workout DVDs and music and exercise gadgets.
This is a year-long workshop, so I'll continue to peruse the materials at the beginning of each month and glean what information and motivation I can from there, but otherwise I won't be spending much time in the classroom. Obviously this just wasn't what I needed right now in my journey to a healthier lifestyle, but I would be remiss not to mention that there are over 1200 students in that class and many of them are finding it truly informative and motivational.
How are y'all doing on your healthy living goals? Are any of you in the Move More, Eat Well workshop - please let me know what you think about it so far.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The Hound of the Baskervilles is one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novels about Sherlock Holmes.This book was chosen as this year's book for our city-wide reading promotion, a program designed to encourage everyone here to read and discuss a book each year. I really couldn't remember if I had read this book before, however I seemed to have a feeling for what was going to happen next as I read. I like the way Doyle uses lots of foreshadowing, yet leaves out just enough information to keep you wondering what's going to happen next! Great read for the mystery-lovers and puzzle-solvers among us.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Saturday, March 24, 2012
I enjoyed adding layers and using some scraps on these layouts and am hoping to look back over more of the Dimensional Details materials in the coming weeks. (BTW - this workshop will be running again at BPC beginning in July.) Have you reviewed any of the materials from previous classes lately? Does it inspire you to create new layouts with the same designs or do you work better with new class materials as inspiration?
Thursday, March 22, 2012
There really wasn't any particular reason that I picked this date to publish my first blog post, it was just a random day when I decided to give it a try. So, in celebration of my blogiversary today I am sharing two very random stories (with photos) that have been on my to-blog list.
Message in a Bottle - On our anniversary cruise this past December, Robbie decided it would be fun to throw out a message in a bottle just to see if anyone would find it and send us a note. I worried a little bit that throwing the corked bottle in the water might be considered polluting or might somehow be endangering some species of fish I'd never heard of, however the adventure and possibility of receiving a response from some obscure corner of the world won out.
our recent outing to Canton Trade Days, I noticed tons of old photos for sale. These vintage photos were arranged in boxes by category, but contained no names, no dates, no locations, no stories, no recorded memories.
I'm so glad that I have a fun hobby that allows me to preserve the stories and memories that go along with my photos. In fact, I'll be sharing a few new layouts and stories in the next day or two!
Thanks for joining me today as I celebrate my 2nd Blogiversary. If you have a random story idea on your to-blog list, please tell me what it is and then get on over to your own blog and publish it - I'll be around to see what you're up to! :>)
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
“Sabbath” was on my reading list and was gifted to me by my daughter Becca for Christmas. It was one of many books I received for Christmas, but the first one I read. It is an easy read – the chapters are each short essays, complete on their own, but also building on the rest. Most of the chapters are only 3-5 pages long so this book is easy to read in short spurts and set back down, but what you read is a complete thought in itself. I finished (okay devoured) the entire book in less than a week. And I enjoyed it so much, that I wanted to share!
Although written primarily from a Judeo-Christian theology, “Sabbath” incorporates examples from many other religions and philosophies (Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu) and even from science and nature, showing that the biological need for rest and renewal is common throughout the world and the message is intended to reach a broad audience, regardless of personal beliefs. Each chapter ends with a suggested “Sabbath practice” that you can try or not, as your needs and desires dictate. I recommend this book for anyone who needs a reminder to slow down.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Storage Binders are simply photo albums that I use to store my printed photos in chronological order. These are photos that I know I want to scrap or use in a mini-album or project of some sort. When I have time to scrap or am inspired by a great sketch or want to scraplift a layout I see on a friend's blog or participate in a challenge, I simply flip through these Storage Binders to find photos to go along with the inspiration.
I started out with 10 Storage Binders - some of these were full, others were almost empty, and one was overflowing. I had 8 Storage Binders holding the photos I haven't scrapped from 2007 - 2012; I went through each of these binders, removing empty pages, triaging some photos into my newly re-organized Category Drawers, and combining binders together so they were all full. I ended up with 6 full binders for those 5+ years.
The overflowing binder held my childhood and family photos, but when I originally put the photos in I overfilled it. I went through and re-organized the photos, so I now have one binder with my childhood/growing-up photos and one binder with my family photos.
All of Robbie's childhood and family photos have been stored in a very high alcove (in cute boxes, of course) for the past five years. This weekend, we pulled down seven of those boxes and set to work sorting/purging/organizing. It was quite a job, but also a ton of fun seeing some of the old photos & memorabilia.
Here's a look at my shelf of Storage Binders - 11 photo albums filled with photos & memorabilia that I want to scrap.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
I wasn't really thinking about creating any connections layouts when I started working on these drawers; my main goal was to get them organized and set up sub-categories for the sections where I had just been putting photos behind the main tab. However, I was totally inspired by the connections I noticed and just had to stop and create two fun layouts.
As I was thumbing through the photos of me, I noticed several photos of me standing beside a horse. I laughed out loud when I realized I have almost the same expression on my face in each one, even though they were taken in three different years AND three different countries!
For this next layout, I had already started collecting some square punched photos of Robbie with his eyes closed, and as I was thumbing through the photos of him in the Category Drawers, I just had to pull out a few more to create this fun layout that really doesn't need any journaling to go along with the title. (These photos were taken over a span of 8 years.)
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
I used Kim Kesti's recipe (the same ones I used on some of my Valentine's cards) and scraps from my Non-Traditional Valentine's Day layout to create these first three cards.
Betsy Veldman's recipe was the inspiration for this anniversary card for my parents.
And Teri Anderson's recipe was the inspiration for this last card.
Monday, March 12, 2012
1. What You Drive - I used a photo of my Expedition in last month's photos, so I decided to try for a different perspective today.
2. Breakfast - I didn't check the prompts until almost mid-morning, so I'm sharing a photo of my lunch instead (leftover baked chicken & rice).
3. Something Green - So many choices for this one, but I decided it was Yoda's turn in the spotlight.
4. New - I'm not sure that I'm thrilled with it just yet, but today I got a brand new haircut (the 11 inches that are gone will soon be on their way to Locks of Love).
5. Hands - I really like how this shot turned out - how many hands do you see?
6. Faith - There were several choices for this abstract concept, but I finally settled on this display where all the truths of my faith can be found.
7. A School - The only kind of school I attend these days is online, so here's one of my favorite classrooms right now.
8. A Favorite Appliance - It's not the most glamorous appliance, but I am so thankful to have a good dishwasher. I just load it up, push a few buttons, and a little later I have nice clean dishes without the punishment of dishpan hands. (And if there's a large pot or pan that won't fit in the dishwasher, I leave it to soak in the sink. The next morning I find it all nice and clean sitting on the counter - Robbie rarely ever lets me wash them!)
9. Tuesday at 10:00 am - I changed this to Monday at 10 am since I want to get all my photos in on the 12th of the month. Look at the beautiful sunshine coming in through the windows this morning!
10. Pajamas - A little peek at my pajama shelf.
11. Family - We showcase favorite family photos in our front hallway.
12. Art - This beautiful painting was created especially for me by one of my former eighth grade students. It hangs on the door to my craft room.