Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thankful Thursday #32

I am so thankful for so many things everyday.

I am thankful for the examples of healthy relationships my kids have around them.  They weren't exposed to a healthy relationship in their home, but God has placed so many great examples around them.

My parents and grandparents are still together.  My sister and her high school sweetheart are still together with 5 kids and my brother and his wife with 3 kids.  I am definitely in the minority in my family being divorced.

My younger son, Stratton, is 19 and has the sweetest girlfriend.  He is really close to her dad.  Her parents are such a sweet couple so he has a great example in them.

His girlfriend's name is Courtney and they are the cutest couple.  They graduated from high school together last May and started dating after Football Homecoming their senior year.  They were on dates with other people and the more the group hung out together the more they realized they had in common.  They were official for a year in December.

They do the sweetest, most considerate things for each other.  They are always together.  One of the sweetest things I see them do together are their devotionals. They are at the same college and she is still living at home with her parents and they get together to do homework and their devotional.

You can tell they just have fun whatever they are doing. He is at her house a lot, but I know it's because he is close to her sister, mom, and dad.  Not having his dad around, he enjoys doing things with her dad.  They grill out and do other guy things.  Having two girls, I am sure he enjoys having Stratton around.  BUT, he does like to tease him!

This past summer, Stratton, Courtney, and her dad and sister went water rafting.  It was a place her dad picked out and I kept teasing with Stratton not to sit by her dad on the trip!  Sure enough, there was a place deep enough to get out and swim.  Her dad knew where it was, but, of course, Stratton didn't.  The plan was for her dad to kind of "push Stratton over" but he said he was so planted knowing he was up to something it wasn't as easy.

Her dad loves teasing with him, but I am so glad they get along and have a fun time together.

Yesterday being Valentine's Day was a big day for them. Stratton wanted to take her to a nice restaurant in Atlanta.  He looked for a place with a dress code because he wanted them to dress up.  He even went last week and bought a new suit.

They had agreed not to exchange gifts, but Courtney got him something anyway and texted me to see if I could put it outside his bedroom door after he went to sleep so he would see it first thing yesterday.

I felt like Cupid and Santa Claus leaving it out for him.  I forget the kids are much taller than me so I carefully put it a little more outside the door so he wouldn't walk by it.

WELL, he has a Jack and Jill style bathroom and I think it's the first time since we have been in this house for two years he has come out the other bathroom door and gone downstairs that way!

He didn't see it before school, but waiting, she was able to see him open it.  They both said it must not have been meant for him to see it, maybe delaying him on the road.  Their strong faith is so important to both of them and why they get along so well.

He had this planned for some time.  Here is a picture of the sweet couple.

Stratton binge watches the show The Mentalist.  I think he looks a lot like Patrick Jane!

Courtney looked absolutely beautiful.  When I say he planned this for awhile, I mean it.  He gave her the dress for Christmas.

They just always have fun going out on a date or cooking dinner together or looking at the stars from my mom's front porch or doing their devotional.  I feel intrusive getting a picture of that, but it's my favorite thing to see and one day I will get one!

My sweet girl, Sydney, brought these to me for Valentine's Day!  I wasn't expecting it at all!

Speaking of rare, beautiful things, I got these yesterday.  There's no way for a picture to do them justice.  They are AAA+ Natural Black Ethiopian Opal.  I also have some fun beachy charms coming in today for more beaded bracelets getting ready for warm weather!  I am in a creative mood!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

"G" As In...Grin and Bear It

I will admit to being a total airhead at times.  I have to admit it because those around me know it's true.  I am blonde, so I definitely have "blonde" days.

I remember hearing one time that babies of low birth weight might have an intellectual disadvantage.  I was in high school and it was in science class, I think.  The information said babies under 5 1/2 pounds.  Later that day, I asked my dad how much I weighed when I was born. I told him what I had learned in school that day and he said I weighed 5 pounds 4 ounces.  I asked, so do I fit in that category?

(I might want to mention I wasn't good at math either.)

He just looked at me, laughed, and said, "I think you just answered your own question!"

I made great grades in high school and college, but I can really be an airhead at times.

I don't know why, but I have such a hard time when giving out numbers and letters over the phone.  We just changed our insurance company this month, and while waiting on our card I had to give my information over the phone to the pharmacy and a couple of my doctors.

Normal people can do this without a problem.  I don't know why, but this is so hard for me!  I don't use the normal words or names most people do.  If I am reading out something like 14FB23D it would go something like this:

1...4...F as in Flowers....B as in Blueberry...2...3...D as in Dolphin.....

Seriously, what is wrong with me?  I hate having to give out numbers and letters for this reason.  The more anxious I get about it, the more crazy words I come up with.

Please tell me someone else does this!

Anyway, I know tomorrow is Valentine's Day, but hearts are always in season and fashion.  I made this with a cute 925 Sterling Silver Rose Gold Vermeil Style smiley face.

If this is a problem for you, you can do like me and just grin and bear it. I know the people on the other end are like, "What in the world is wrong with this person?!"  They repeat it back to me and fill in the normal words like Fred, Bill, and Dog.

It makes more sense, but my way is more fun!

Either way, this pair of earrings are for smiling through embarrassing moments and the hearts are for those who love us anyway!

Heart and Smiley Face 925 Sterling Silver Rose Gold Filled Earrings

Sunday, February 11, 2018

APB on Spring Weather

Getting ready and shopping for Spring Break?

Are you as ready for warmer weather and tropical style jewelry as I am? Some jewelry can make you feel like you are on a beach vacation no matter where you are.

I think we need an APB out on Spring to hurry up and get here.  APB can stand for All Point Bulletin, but it can also stand for Acai Purple Berry.

I have just gotten in new Acai (pronounced ah-sah-ee ) beads and I am obsessed with them!  They are so natural, pretty, and colorful.  Knowing these beads come from acai berries in the Amazon Rainforest is just amazing. They are the pit of the Acai berry fruit.  Acai juice is made from the thin layer of pulp. The seeds (or pits) are hand drilled and the whole process getting them from the rainforest to the end product is done by hand.  No two beads are alike.  The black line is a natural part of the seed.

We are (slowly!) moving towards a season of wearing more natural and earthy pieces.  They just have a different feel than worn any other time of year.

I love history, stories, and legends behind things we know and enjoy.  I chose the song, "It Is Well With My Soul" for my custom charms with my original artwork because I love the saying and the church song brings so many great memories for me when my grandmother sang in our church choir.  I posted about the history of the song and the inspiration behind the writing of the song in my post It Is Well With My Soul.

Acai berries are found in Brazil in the Amazon Rainforest.  The legend behind them is quite sad.  It seems strange to think the rainforest can have a drought, but according to the legend this was the case at one time.  There was a tribe that lived in the mouth of the Amazon River.  It was where Belem is located today.  The tribe was very large and powerful.

They experienced a very rare drought.  The river that was used for travel and fishing dried out and fish died.  The forest dried up and caught fire.  The tribe was not prepared for such a rare drought.  A great hunter was the leader of the tribe named Chief Itaki.  He became very worried about his people and how they would eat.  There were so many of them.  He came to a terrible decision and gathered his people to tell them that any future children born would have to be sacrificed because there were too many people to feed.  Many were already slowly starving to death.

Not long after his decision and announcement, his only daughter, Iaca, found out she was pregnant.  Being his only daughter, he adored her and he gave her the best of things and she was a true princess of the Amazon.  The time finally came when she gave birth to a daughter.  Iaca couldn't protect her daughter and she was sacrificed.

Iaca cried for three days and nights.  She wouldn't leave her hut and desperately prayed to Tupa, the jungle god, that there would be another way to save their people without sacrificing another baby.  One night, as she prayed, she heard a baby cry.  As she opened the door of her hut, she thought she saw her baby sitting in the spotlight of a full moon at the base of a big palm tree.  She ran to go hug her daughter and when she got her arms around her, she disappeared.  She found herself hugging the base of the tree.

This was just too much for Iaca and she died from a broken heart holding onto the trunk of the palm tree.  Her father found her body the next morning and was devastated.  She died, but she was smiling and her eyes were open looking up.  He followed her eyes upward and saw the branches covered in dark purple and black berries up in the tree.  He ordered them taken down and the pulp was mashed up and a porridge was made from them.  They found more trees and the source was enough to sustain his people.

Chief Itaki ended the sacrifice of babies and in honor of his daughter he named the berries, acai, her name spelled backwards.

The beads I have used for these bracelets come from the basin of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil.  They are just so natural and it is good that while most of the fruit is used as juice around the world, the pit of this wonderful fruit doesn't go to waste and it provides jobs for the harvesting and hand drilling of each bead.

I take a lot of time and pride in where I get my materials for my jewelry and the history and knowing where they originally come from makes them even more precious.

I grew up in the south (Georgia) and haven't traveled to many places so learning about other countries and cultures is just so interesting to me.  I have such a love and respect for family and tradition so I really enjoy learning about traditions and ways of life passed down generations in other cultures.

The native people of the Amazon Rainforest know how to use resources while also taking care of the land.  They know when to move on and give the land time to replenish itself. They have respect for their land and it is sad and terrible the way others have treated the land.  Their knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation and we have not only disrupted precious land and resources, but the people who are from there and their way of life.

These are what I have made and listed so far, but I have many more beads and ideas for them!  You can click on the title to go straight to the listing in my Etsy shop.

Guava Pink Acai Bead Stretchy Bracelet

*Just a note about the care of these beads (especially with warmer weather and getting in water coming up).  They are a lot like wooden beads so if they get wet, dry them with care.  The best way to dry them is to place them on a paper towel or cloth and keep them there for a few hours.  A little bees wax can give them a sheen, but only a very little bit.  Like wood, oils can soak into the beads and make them darker.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Thankful Thursday #31

i am so thankful for so many things everyday.

Any occasion that gets people together to have fun and good food is something to be thankful for.  I have always enjoyed Super Bowl Sunday.  Even when I didn't watch football at all it was fun to get together with family and friends and have a party.

The Super Bowl is always around my birthday and usually falls on the weekend before and has even fell on my birthday.  I have had birthday parties on Super Bowl Sunday so that's probably another reason I like it.

It's for everyone.  If you don't like football, it's worth watching to see the half time show.  If you aren't into that, the commercials are fun to watch.  It's the only time you go to the restroom during the main event so you don't miss the commercials.

Ok, maybe not for the guys, but most girls would miss the game instead of the commercials.

They are always great.  I remember one year when my brother's wife was finishing up her college classes she had to analyze the commercials and do a presentation about them.

BAM! There you go!  Super Bowl Sunday is educational! If you had to call in sick or go into work late because of watching the game last weekend then at least you won't feel so guilty.

There were good commercials last weekend.  My favorite was the Dorito Blaze commercial.  The Manning, Dirty Dancing one was pretty good too!

The Blaze was the best, in my opinion.  The Mountain Dew Ice that followed was really good, but I really liked the Blaze.

In honor of my vote for best Super Bowl commercial I have earrings made from  Mexican Fire Opal.

Mexican Fire Opal Sterling Silver Earrings

And, because you can't have a little fire without ice........

Aquamarine Sterling Silver Earrings

This pair is newly listed today and is part of the 10% off sale that ends after today.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

It's My Birthday!

Technology sure has changed the way we celebrate birthdays.

I am 47 today and it is so different than it used to be.  We had wall phones. You know, the phones that actually only worked when plugged into the wall and you could only go as far away from it as the curly cord would let you.  You would know when you went too far because the coiled cord would pull you back.  We would get most of our birthday wishes that way.  Which meant you had to be home to get a call and you could only talk to one person at a time.

We had a birthday party planned by invitations.  Invitations that you had to go to the store to get (there were just a few choices) and had to individually fill out and then mail.  We also had to go buy any kind of decorations.  I posted a couple of weeks ago that I have always enjoyed having my birthday the week before Valentine's Day because that was usually my theme.  It was easy to find decorations and things for my birthday.  I always had candy hearts and cinnamon heart candy as part of the food as well as decorations.

Things sure are easier now!  You get voicemail if you are on the other line.  Friends and family can send you a text and social media has totally transformed the way we communicate!  Evites and online shopping, as well as booking events, have made things much easier.

My older son left really early this morning.  He sent me a text after he left and when I opened it, there were balloons that floated up the screen with him telling me Happy Birthday!

You get a lot more wishes because of social media.  People who wouldn't have called you or probably even sent a card, can write on your wall or text you to let you know they are thinking about you.  This is when social media is a really good thing.  It makes reaching out to others on occasions so much easier.  Even in bad times we can let someone know we care without feeling like we have imposed or having to "bother" them personally.

I opened my laptop this morning and even Google wished me a Happy Birthday!  Wikipedia is at our fingertips and you can put your month and day in and see people in history who share your birthday.  I found this interesting.  There were a lot of artistic people who were born today.  I say artistic in the way of arts such as authors, painters, composers, actors, and musicians. If you believe in astrology, I think it makes sense for the sign of Aquarius.

I have a lot of happy memories of birthdays when I was growing up.  My mom always made such a big deal about birthdays and from parties with lots of family and friends to slumber parties to my sweet 16 party in high school, they were always fun.  She still makes them big by getting together me, my sister, brother, and our families.  We go out to dinner or she does something at her and my dad's house.  It's fun because our kids get WAY more excited about our birthdays than we do! We make a really big deal over their birthdays so they must think we get as excited about ours as they do theirs.

Even when I think, "This is not a big deal anymore," they get me excited being around all their happy faces.

This picture is from not long after I was born with some of the strong women I love to talk about from my dad's side

In the front is my aunt Gina, my aunt Harla holding me, my grandmother Betty and in the back my great grandmother Willie Lou (she hated her name!), my mom Angela, my aunt Loulie (short for Ettie Lou) and my cousin Leslie. I am missing a couple of other girl cousins from my uncle John.

This was my first birthday.

My grandmother, Helen (my mom's mom), is keeping me on the counter!

 My grandfather, Tom Ed, is behind me in this one along with my grandmother and mom and dad and a couple of other family members.  Both of my dad's parents have passed away.  I was so close to them and they literally stood behind me and in every other way.  I never needed them that they weren't there.  I sure do miss them.

Here's one of the Valentine's Day themed birthdays.

My and my sister, Amanda.

My little brother, Ty, with me and the gifts I got that year.  I got a Cabbage Patch doll and my Nana and Papa gave me a bird I named Xanadu.  I love Olivia Newton-John and I think that was my favorite movie at the time.

Another birthday full of hearts!  I loved the flowers on the table.  My uncle, Jimmy, gave them to me.  This is me, my sister, and our cousin, Laura.

This was taken right before my birthday.  My brother's birthday is a couple of weeks before mine so this is when I was 7 and he had just been born.  My great grandmother on my mom's side is holding him. She was such a sweet, Christian woman.  I loved going to spend the night with her.  She was funny, she loved her soap operas!  She was my Papa's mom and he looks so much like her.  He gets the same sweet expression on his face she always had on hers.

This was taken at my Christening at church.  I posted it because it has my other great grandmother, Meme, in the picture on the right of my mom who is holding me.

One year I didn't have Valentine's decorations.  I think it was Holly Hobby, maybe?  I loved           Little House on the Prarie!  I think I dressed up as Laura Ingalls Wilder one year for Halloween.  It makes sense, when I looked on Wikipedia at births on February 7th I saw her name.  I knew of some famous people I share my birthday with, but didn't know she was one of them!  (Others are Garth Brooks, Chris Rock, and Ashton Kutcher.)

I am going to get out and enjoy the rest of "My Day!"  I do love going down memory lane and looking at old pictures. I realize just how blessed I am by family and friends and that is all anyone can really ask for!

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Show Some Love

Need a Valentine's Day gift?

Love is in the air and I am showing my love by having a sale in my shop.

Every item is 10% off.  It is today through February 8th. If you still need a Valentine's Day gift, I have some items perfect for someone special.  There are items that will fit a February birthday as well.  Go to my Etsy shop and find just what you are looking for!
Click here for shop.

All items are included so if you are looking for a birthday gift or just something to treat yourself there are many items including my beaded bracelets for guys.

The sale is today through Thursday, February 8th.  If you are a late shopper, message me at my shop if you need faster shipping arrangements.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Thankful Thursday #30

I am so thankful for so many things everyday.

Don't have a significant other for Valentine's Day?
Valentine's is a day of love and I think that can consider friends and family in the way of your kids, parents, siblings, and anyone you love.
Friendships of the same sex, or even opposite, are very important.

True friends can lift your spirits and self esteem like nobody else sometimes!

I have a "Friendship" charm that would be perfect to give to a friend or family member you love.  The Bible verse is Ephesians 4:29-32 and I think it is perfect for friendship.

Today I am thankful for my kids' friends.

They are all blessed with people outside of family who they love and can count on.  Some are friends from high school, friends they work closely with, and new friends.

My younger son, Stratton, has the sweetest girlfriend and she and her sister have become close friends of my daughter, Sydney, and older son, Shane.  Having all three of my kids live at home and commute to the same college helps them "share" friends.  I absolutely love my son's girlfriend and her whole family.  Her mom and I couldn't have more in common and we just have a great time together.  Her dad has the funniest sense of humor and is a lot of fun!

My older son, Shane, has some great friends he works with and trains at his gym.  He has three in particular and I know they sincerely care about him.  One is the owner and he and his wife have four kids and tease that Shane is the fifth. Their kids even call him their brother.  Both of them look after him and always have his best interest at heart.  The other two guys have proved many times they are true friends.  He also has another great friend he enjoys hanging out with who comes from a great family and I consider his mom a friend of mine.  He has a lot of friends from high school, especially through football, and the friendships I made with those parents will always be so special to me.

When Shane's friend and his wife were posting 1st day of school pictures of their four kids, they took this one of Shane's first day of college.  Pretty funny!

My daughter, Sydney, has great friends from high school and church.  She has been friends with one of the girls since she was a baby!  From the first time they met they just loved each other.  Another friend of hers calls me "Mama April" and while they have only known each other a shorter time, Sydney is going to be in her wedding. They just get along great and it's easy to see she is a sincere friend.  It's hard to find true, loyal friends.  I think it is even harder for girls.

I am especially grateful for all of these friends of my kids because their parents are my friends.  I think that happens a lot that you find adult friends through your kids.  I have friends from high school and college, but being a stay at home mom for years the biggest part of my social life was through my kids' sport and school activities.

Stratton, my youngest, has a group of guy friends from middle and high school.  They are a great group of guys and come from great families.  One of his best friends calls me his second mom.  The boys in this group played football.  Although Stratton didn't play in high school, he was a loyal fan and supported his friends.  He went to all of the games and even went when some of them had their signing day for college.  When I had to do Stratton's senior yearbook ad, I was trying to come up with a Bible verse that was different from my older two and fit him just right.  I used Proverbs 27:17.

                         As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another

I thought this was perfect for him.  Not long after I chose it I was proven right.  The mom of one of his closes friends told me something that still brings tears to my eyes.  At senior night before one of the football games the players were recognized.  This friend's dad was the head coach and my older son, Shane, played football under him.  As the friend was standing on the field after being recognized as a senior, his mom said he pointed to where Stratton was in the stands and he told her he had been there all along.  All through high school he was in that one spot cheering them on.  You just never know what some things mean to someone.

I am thankful for my kids' friends and even more thankful and proud that my kids know how to be a true, loyal friend to others.  You don't always get that back in return, but that has never held them back from being the kind of friend they want to have.  They don't have a relationship with their dad or his side so they value others who choose to be a part of their lives and sincerely want the best for them.  I think because of their situation they have a better appreciation for those outside of family who care about them.

I think we all have that friend that you feel you are supposed to know and be friends.

I have always lived in the same (use to be!) small town so I have a lot of friends from childhood.  There is so much history and they know me so well.  Especially the friends from high school.  I also have great friends from my sorority in college.  Thankfully, we can keep up with each other through social media.

My kids were at a small, Christian school when Stratton was in the first grade.  I was room mom with another mom that year.  She always seemed familiar to me, but I just thought maybe she reminded me of someone.  We worked together for almost half the year and I said something about my family going on an upcoming trip to Daytona Beach, Florida.

Every year growing up, my family went to Daytona.  When I was in high school we stayed at the same hotel and every year the same group of kids were there.  Some were from out of state and some were from the same county as we lived in.  It was funny because we lived near each other, but only saw each other in the summer in Daytona!  We all stayed at the hotel except for this one girl who had a condo next door to the hotel.  She was a gorgeous blonde and was from not far from my hometown.

As soon as I said we were going to Daytona and the room mom said, "My dad has a condo there," I knew who she was.  She had dark hair instead of blonde, but I realized why she was so familiar!  She was the blonde and part of the big group I hung out with in the summer.

After high school, we started staying somewhere else and I lost contact with a few of the people I only saw in the summer.

She was kind of quiet when we were younger and to be honest, the boys were happier to see her come over than the girls because she was so pretty!

My kids moved from that school, but we keep up through social media and it has been a while since we hung out but we run into each other sometimes at the mall or other places.  When we do see each other, we just hug and are always so glad to catch up even for a minute.  We just love each other and know we were meant to be friends.  I think we all have someone like that.

Here are a couple of listings from my shop that just might make you think of that special friend you care about!

Opal Friendship Necklace

Stainless Steel Friendship Charm Necklace

Sapphire Bible Verse Charm Necklace

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Thankful Thursday #29

I am so thankful for so many things everyday.

I can't believe this is Thankful Thursday #29.  It is easy to list things I am thankful for, but having 29 weeks of postings is something great.

I had a post ready for today.  I struggled with the wording a little bit and didn't feel like I clearly made a point, but it was ready.  I think I struggled for a reason.

I opened up my Facebook this morning and a really good friend of mine had shared a video and as I watched it I realized I had my Thankful Thursday #29 post.

I am, by nature, an impatient person.  I have never had much patience at all.  The older I get (and more mistakes I make) I realize just how important patience and timing is.  I try to share that with my kids, but, well, they are MY kids and all have some impatience in them.  I also think it is their ages. (19, 21, and almost 24.)

I did my Thankful Thursday #23 post about coincidences and the fact that I don't really believe in them as "strange occurrences" as much as divine intervention and "signs."

This morning was one of those times I shut out impatience and let a message take over and re-wrote my post.

I love football.  I haven't always, but my 21 year old son, Shane, played in high school and even though I still don't understand it completely I really enjoy watching.  He has friends who play for different colleges and it is fun watching them, even when they play each other!  My son was blessed with opportunities to play college football but took a different path.  He did the prayer before games and wanted to be a youth pastor.  Our church didn't have a youth pastor when he was getting college offers and being very close to our church pastor, my son took on the title as youth leader and led the youth group at our church for two years instead of playing college football.

My dad battled Hodgkins Lymphoma twice while Shane was in high school.  The second time, my dad got a stem cell transplant.  Thank the Lord he has been in remission since, but family is very important to Shane and he missed being around family just playing football in high school.  He knew if he played college he would really not be around and we all learned just how precious time with family is to us.

He isn't the youth leader at church anymore, but he is coaching a couple of high school football players from two local schools in off season and is going to be helping a former coach at a high school when they start back up.  His heart is in strength and conditioning and helping young athletes prevent injuries and if they have them recovering correctly. He has a God given gift of understanding the body especially in sports and he is head trainer at his gym.  On top of college, he will get his Associates this summer and then go on to a Kinesiology program, he has certification in different training including Cross Fit and Opex training.

I love Tim Tebow.  I think it is great young guys have him for a role model.  He sent a message to so many. It made putting God in football for young guys a more "trendy" thing rather than embarrassed by their faith.

I have tons of action shots of Shane playing football. I am very proud of those, but the ones I am most proud of are the ones he is praying over the team before the game.

My Thankful Thursday #23 post was about his football number and just one of the many things that happen to us with that number.

I saw this video on Facebook and just because it is Tim Tebow is enough to share it, but it has an amazing message I had never heard from him before.

I will save the post I had ready for another time and listen to that little voice that told me to post this video.  Maybe it will have a significance to someone reading this or just reach someone somehow.  Whatever the purpose may be, even if it is just a reminder to myself, no matter how impatient I may be I ALWAYS listen to that voice.

You can find the video on You Tube by searching Tim Tebow For God So Loved the World.

If this has some significance to you, please share.  Your story might be the reason for this post and have a meaning or influence someone else.