Saturday, June 16, 2012

Thirty-one Things

I am participating in an on-line class at Big Picture Scrapbooking with Ali Edwards titled 31 Things.

It is actually a little harder than I thought but I am loving it!  The focus is on the writing.  Each day Ali gives us a word prompt, encouraging us to "give her more" or dig deeper.  I am loving it!  I do feel like the story behind the pictures is very important but often have trouble coming up with the right words.  I do like how this class is teaching me there really are no "right" words - just words.  I need to just get the story out.  These word prompts are great for that!  

Here is my cover & day 1 - word prompt jewelry

Jewelry and Elizabeth are not often spoken in the same sentence.  I wear hats more than I wear jewelry.  I have always been a clean & simple kind of girl – from my artistic style preferences to the say I dress.  I don’t like a lot of frill and bling.

My jewelry box (yes I do actually have one) is full and messy.  I own a lot of jewelry; I just don’t wear it – odd.  I vaguely remember playing with my Mama’s jewelry when I was young and wearing a few pieces when I was in high school.  In college I like international and bohemian pieces – collected it but again did not often wear it.

Maybe sensitive skin plays a role in this?  I have my ears double pierced but can’t wear earrings.  Two years ago even my wedding ring started to leave a rash on my fingers.  This is the biggest disappointment in the area of jewelry.  One thing I do clearly remember is the day my husband gave me my ring!  I loved looking at it catch the sunlight as I was driving.  Even though I don’t like bling I loved that one!  I still do.  I’m sad I can’t wear it anymore.

My daughter loves jewelry.  My box is a mess because she pulls her little chair up to my dresser and plays with it.  I do love the joy she gets out of going through the pieces – maybe that is why I keep it all?  At least someone is wearing it.  My favorite pieces are my wedding ring, my blue sapphire necklace from my husband and my orange clay “Arise” necklace.  This is a recent one, a gift from a blogging friend who hand stamped it.  I love it because it was made with the CTMH stamps that I sell and it reminds me of a favorite song.  “Arise my soul, Arise.  Shake off your guilty fears.  The bleeding sacrifice on my behalf appears.  Before the throne my surety stands.  Before the throne my surety stands.  My name is written on His hands.”   

Day 2 - morning    and   Day 3 - read

I’ve never really liked the “getting up” part of morning, but once I am awake I’m usually fine.  Since having kids I have had to get up early and make the most of my mornings.  Two years ago I joined the Maximize Your Morning challenge on Inspired to Action.  Kat is quite an inspiration to me.  Since then I make it my goal to get up at least an hour before the kids wake up.
The alarm goes off at 6:00 am.  I get out of bed, make a cup of tea and do my devotions.  Right now I am studying the book of James. If the weather is warm enough I read outside on the deck or in the back yard.  In the cooler weather I curl up on the sofa and read.  I spend some time in prayer and then plan out my day. 
I have really begun to love my mornings now.  Getting up and out of bed is still so hard for me.  However, when I do actually get out of bed there is so much about the morning that I enjoy!  I love the house first thing in the morning, quiet before the day begins.  Being able to greet my little ones when they wake up is such an enjoyable experience as well. 
I also try to check my e-mail and facebook before they wake up.  I don’t like to be on long but I often get sucked in and before I know it the morning is half over!  That is something I really want to change!  When the house is alive we all sit down together to have breakfast before Tim leaves for work.  I often clean up breakfast and dress the kids before we spend time playing together.  I have been trying to spend the mornings playing with the kids.  The favorites are UNO, Legos, reading books, spending time outside or watching a movie.  Sometimes we play video games together – this is the boys’ activity of choice for sure!
I want to be more purposeful with my entire mornings not just the time before the kids wake up.  Caleb will start school in the fall and I know this morning routine will quickly change.  I will miss our relaxed mornings together.  For this reason I want to make the most of every opportunity I have with my children.  The days seem so long but the years are so short – flying by in the blink of an eye. 
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” ~ Emilie Buchwald This is so true in my life.  My earliest memories are of my parents reading to me and for as long as I can remember I have loved reading.  Most of my free time growing up was spent lost in a book.  When I got in trouble for not listening to my parents, most of the time it was because I was reading. 
I really have shown no favoritism when it comes to books or even reading material for that matter.  I love all kinds of genres.  Children’s books are perhaps the most enjoyable for me but maybe that is because I spend most of my days reading Sir Maggie the Mighty, Green Eggs and Ham and Flat Stanley.  The kids have always enjoyed being read to and I love that even at ages five, four and two I can sit with them and read the Chronicles of Narnia.  Occasionally I take the luxury of reading an “adult” book and my favorites recently have been One Thousand Gifts and Kabul Beauty School. 

These days most of my personal reading is done on the computer.  I read blogs, news websites, facebook, and pinterest – although I am not sure if that is considered “reading”.  I can spend tons of time on-line going from one blog to another.  Some of my favorites are Inspired to Action, Pioneer Woman, {Capture the Moment}, A Holy Experience, A Layout A Day and Ali Edwards.  I also love finding new blogs and connecting with blogging women over e-mail.  My recent friend connection has been A Girl Creative and I very much admire Diana for so many reasons! 

Sometimes I do think an electronic reader would be great to have.  However, I love the feel of turning pages in a real book, the smell of a bookstore and the thrill I get every time I walk into a library and come out with my arms full of treasures.  As a stay at home mom with three young children I don’t leave the house very often but I travel many places throughout the day in the pages of a book!  That is a gift my parents gave me so long ago, I am forever grateful for the love of reading that was passed down to me.  Indeed one of the greatest gifts, one I hope to pass on to my own children, is a passion for reading.     

Elizabeth Mindemann
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