Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Enough aLReaDy! Word and Create!!!!

Okay...so try as I might it has been quite difficult to get this post up. I haven't missed a Monday in months....grrrrr......

I have been having one of those days for several days. 2 migraines, company, lots of cooking, overdoing, you name I have done it. My energy has been zapped!

And just when I thought today
would be a day of nothing but creativity,
blogging and the like...
I must make an emergency trip to a town an hour away...in the snow. {wonderful!}

But you know me...Little Miss Sunshine. I refuse to NOT post something today. I promised you a Word a Week for 52 Weeks and I promised you a 12 Days of Christmas Challenge....so let's get to it!

Our Word for the Week is...

–noun, plural -ties.

generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless: to devote one's life to charity.

something given to a person or persons in need; alms: She asked for work, not charity.

a charitable act or work.

a charitable fund, foundation, or institution: He left his estate to a charity.

leniency in judging others; forbearance: She was inclined to view our selfish behavior with charity.

I chose this word for several reasons. First off because a very dear friend of mine said that Charity needed to be my Word of the Week and second of all because who couldn't use a little Charity this time of year? It is the perfect Word to have on our minds.

This week I choose to have Charity in my heart 
towards all I meet, 
 donate a case or 2 of food to the Ministry Center
  and work on a few days when my family and I can go to the Nursing Homes 
 and sing Christmas Carols.
These are all things which bring joy to me during the Christmas Season.

So, I have mentioned the Words of Me Project 12 Days of Christmas Challenge. However, I haven't told you anything about it. Since all my grand plans for that have gone out the window today here is the condensed version of the Challenge:)

Beginning tomorrow,
December 1st, 
I will post journaling prompts with a Christmas theme. Some are serious....
some light-hearted....all sure to get you in the Holiday Spirit.
You can put everything in a notebook, a scrapbook, ATC's,
file folders...whatever you choose. 
I have an example from a few years back I created as well as what I plan on using this year. 
Please...even if you have NO time 
{and really isn't that all of us?}
please join me for this. It won't take much of your time, it's only for 12 days,
and you NEED some creative time just for you!! {i sure do!!}

I will post our first day Wednesday morning....on my FB Fan Page as well as here. Hope you drop by!!!!!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Just thinking about so many things today. Life is good. I am working on creating a plan for my health as I feel like a stuffed turkey this morning!!

Today I am cleaning up, gathering my supplies for a crop coming up in just 2 weeks and playing games with friends and family tonight.

Be sure and drop by Monday for the first day of our 12 Days of Christmas Challenge!!!!

Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul.
W. Somerset Maugham

What are you doing with the rest of your weekend?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Pie, New Blog and Challenge!!

As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving I just wanted to take time and wish you, my faithful Blog reader a WONDERFUL day!!

We are having a quiet day at home with family and I can't wait:)

On the menu??? Turkey, spiral ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, rolls, a fresh veggie platter, stuffing and PIE. Lots of delicious, creamy PUMPKIN PIE!

That's me...looking all cute, ready to serve my family:) I really would love an apron like that...

After thinking and obsessing for a few months I have created another blog...this one dedicated to removing those holiday pounds, moving more and journaling. I know...TWO blogs may be a bit to take care of...
but writing is the way I do things. It's the way I manage my life. Stuff just seems to "stick" when I write it down. 

Please click here to check out "Skinny Me" today!!!

Be sure and join us here on Monday for the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge!! Create a sweet little book in 12 days!! 

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving my dear friends!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Ackman Family Blueprint

So, last Friday I told you about our family Blueprint we created. Here it is...

Ackman Family Blueprint {40 Days of Doing Good and Changing Our Lives}

1. The foundation of our family is Jesus Christ
2. We will pray daily, as a family, on our knees
3. We will DO the hard things
4. We will always tell the truth...even to ourselves
5. Each week we will do ONE nice thing for each family member {no matter what}
6. Accept that we can't have everything we want. We have all we need right now
7. We will give of our time and talents to others as well as tithe 10% to our Church
8. We will be kind towards one another...watching our language and tone of voice
9. We will treat our bodies with love and respect...watch what we eat, exercise, etc.
10. We will truly enjoy the Season, taking time to play games, watch movies and just spend quality time together

Our 40 Days begins today and ends on December 31st.

We are looking forward to this Challenge and hope we will grow...together...in ways that will affect us the rest of our lives. I will keep you posted!!!!

This week just happens to be my very favorite week of the entire year! Thanksgiving week...I am soooo excited!!:) Lots of good, fun things going on...but lots of work, too. Mostly cleaning, cooking and preparing for company. Tonight we are having 4 friends over for a homemade spaghetti dinner. Looking forward to sharing with Denise, Megan and the Missionaries.

Tomorrow is the Ackman Family Thanksgiving. On the menu? 2 homemade soups, rolls, a veggie tray and dessert. Wednesday is our annual Game Day. The kids and I will spend the afternoon playing Monopoly and eating popcorn. Thursday Mom and Roger will be here along with the Missionaries from our church {we feed them at least once a week!}...Friday is Black Friday shopping with a friend and Saturday will probably be ART Day!!! So many good things to look forward to!!!

With all of this going on I thought the best word for our 52 Words 52 Weeks Challenge would be....


a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family.

any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins: to marry into a socially prominent family.

Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.-- Brad Henry  

And truly...what I think about when I think of family is not only my own family but those people that I choose to call family. My church family, my blog family...you get the idea.
This week I am focusing my family. Spending time with them, serving them and loving them. I am so grateful for my family during this Thanksgiving week!!

Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life... a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year - and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God.  ~Ray Stannard Baker 

 Tell me, what would YOUR Family Blueprint say?

Friday, November 19, 2010

What a Beautiful Life

I am continually amazed at the twists and turns our life keeps taking. I know Heavenly Father has a plan for us. I know it.

And though our lives aren't easy right now...we are here. We are well. And we BELIEVE.
We believe in the power of positive thinking. We know we are not alone. Our foundation is built upon our Savior Jesus Christ.

"God gives us always strength enough, and sense enough, for everything He wants us to do."  -John Ruskin

Each and everyday I give thanks for all I have. I give thanks for our home, flannel sheets, food, our health and our business. 

And even though there are times I am scared...not sure what is going to happen next...I hold on to truth. I hold on knowing that we will make it through.

"We shall draw from the heart of suffering itself the means of inspiration and survival."  -Sir Winston Churchill

I know that when I'm creating in my space I am in another world. All my cares, concerns and sorrows seem to vanish...if only for that time.

What a gift.

"Creativity healed me. I don’t know that I could think of any word that I get more inspired by than the word healing."
SARK from "Succulent Creativity Can Heal Your Life"

My family and I are making a blueprint for our lives in the next year. We know there are harder times ahead and we want to be prepared. And the way we see it...if those harder times don't come...that's AWESOME!! But it will give us such peace of mind knowing that we are ready for anything...

"Go forth to meet the shadowy Future without fear and with a manly heart."  -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Next week I will share our family's Blueprint with you as well as some ART and a Christmas Challenge starting the Monday after Thanksgiving!! I am soooo grateful to each one of you:)

Happy Weekend!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Family Renewal

All of us have had the experience of a sudden joy that came when nothing in the world had forewarned us of its coming - a joy so thrilling that if it was born of misery we remembered even the misery with tenderness.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

We, as a family are in RENEW mode. We had something unexpected happen last night. One of those things that takes you by surprise...that makes you jubilant. That makes you say...did that really happen?

It has caused us to think about our lives. Where are we going as a family? What we have decided to do is RENEW.

But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?- Albert Camus

Monday, November 15, 2010

Is it time to Reburish your life?

Happy Monday! Yes, this post is late for me...but I have a VERY good reason. You see I woke up super, duper early so I could CLEAN. Awwww, all that hard work and effort has paid off. I feel so peaceful and happy!!!!

How did you do with COMMITMENT last week? Well, as I've thought about it I realized I did okay. However, the one thing I truly wanted to stay committed to was clean eating and that fell by the wayside as the week progressed.


Thought I'd share what I DID stay committed to this week....

*I took time to create and play and relax in my space.
*I walked outside a total of 4 days.
*I served several friends this week.
*I kept my attitude positive.

These activities are all ones I promised myself I would do last week....and I did! 

I would love to know how YOU did with your committments. Be sure and share in the comments if you'd like;)

This week's Word in our 52 Words 52 Weeks Challenge is....


–verb (used with object)
to begin or take up again, as an acquaintance, a conversation, etc.; resume.
to make effective for an additional period: to renew a lease.
to restore or replenish: to renew a stock of goods.
to make, say, or do again.
to revive; reestablish.
to recover (youth, strength, etc.).
to restore to a former state; make new or as if new again.

My favorite parts of the defiinition of RENEW is "to restore or replenish" and "make new". This week I will be renewing friendships, restoring our home to order, take up weight training and stretching and begin to make our our Holiday List. I am sooooo looking forward to this busy week!

Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that is where I renew my springs that never dry up.
Pearl S. Buck

What needs "renewing" in your life?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Changing Perspective

I am always amazed at how your day can start one way and you think you know how it's gonna go but then something happens...maybe you ran into someone you hadn't seen in awhile...maybe your husband gave you a sweet compliment or maybe you watched something that changed your perspective.

I am grateful for times like that.

I had one of those moments today. It's rainy here. Gloomy and cold. I got up early, headed to Seminary then back here. The house was quiet. My kids in school and Dave at work. I kept thinking about something I had to do today but didn't want to do. I was grumbling to myself. That led to me thinking about my life and all the "to-do's" I had yet to do. I was a bit down. Not for any particular reason...just feeling blah. 

I made my breakfast and decided to watch one of my DVR'd episodes of Oprah. What a gift to me today!!! Marie Osmond was on talking about her son's suicide....

Dave and I were just in Vegas last month and went to their show. I have always adored the Osmonds. After watching Oprah this morning I not only love Marie even more but I respect her and am grateful for her willingness to share her tragedy and what she learned from it with us. She is an example on how to live your life with humility and grace.

No matter what life sends my way....good or bad....I know it is up to me how I respond to it. It is also extremely important that I am here for my children. That I listen to them, support them and do my best to guide them in the right direction.

Marie said something on the show that made an impact on me...she said don't keep telling your kids how proud of them you are. Instead ask them if they are proud of themselves. It's imperative that we know how our kids feel about themselves. I hadn't thought of that a whole lot before.

If you get a chance to watch this episode...please do. It is soooo good and full of valuable, life lessons.

I am looking forward to the weekend. Em has her second basketball game tonight at 5. Then tomorrow my Mom, Em and I are off to a Holiday Craft Show!! So fun:)

Have a wonderful weekend, friends:)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Day in My Life {Creative}

What a simply delightful day I had yesterday. I decided to take most of it for ME! So while my kids were in school this is what I did.... Thought I'd share it in photos with you...along with what I created!!:)

Here is cutie patootie Little. Before I headed out the door to  run a few errands and grab my Sonic drink I just had to snap this.

 This is my beloved truck...a three quarter ton Dodge Ram.
 A month or so ago my friend Leanne shared photos on her blog of the streets she took daily. Thanks for the inspiration, girl! LOVE these gorgeous trees. This is the street out of our subdivision...use it daily.
 See that ginormous water tower? Our home is right there!
 Everyday I drop my son off here...Maryville High School. Home of the Spoofhounds!
 Every weekday I teach Seminary to 5 youth ages 14-18 at my Church. Here it is!!! (It's right beside the High School}
 Gotta love those Sonic drinks...I'm almost there...Diet Coke with Lime please:)
 Here is the street I take everyday to get to my house. This is one of the prettiest neighborhoods in town!
 I'm HOME and ready to create!!!
 Here's what you see when you're on my patio...to the right is nothing but cornfields {with that obnoxious water tower}
 To the left...lots of houses and beautiful fall colors!!!
 Headed downstairs to my art space. Awwww, it feels so good to be here:)
I took the day and experimented with my new heat embosser {love it!}, different painting techniques and finished up my canvas I'd been working on for awhile. Here is my canvas!!!

 It's not very big...like an 8x11 or so. The paints are acrylic. Lots of color going on.  The photo below is terrible...sorry...The swirl is a rub-on from Fancy Pants and that typewriter is from American Crafts. See that it says "Words of Me"?
 Better photo here and close-up....notice the "I heart Blogs" sticker?
 I drew the sun on the canvas then painted it. Decided it needed mosaic looking rays. I used patterned paper cut into tiny, random pieces then mod podged them on. Took awhile but it is the look I was after. The bird is a stamp from Urban Lily. Birds are my favorite!!
 So I finished up that, took the photos then decided to just randomly paint backgrounds. This is one of my favorite things to do and usually gets me in a creative mind-set if I'm struggling.
 While that dried I took a break and flipped through a new book I bought Saturday. This book is AMAZING!! {not gonna share today...saving that for another post} It inspired me so very much that I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do with the background I had just worked on...so I went back to my space and got to work. Here it is shaping into something....Instead of keeping the orange background above I covered most of it with scraps of patterned paper then covered those with light yellow acrylic paint. {I added my photos before I glued the paper scraps down}
 I love how it's looking...After the yellow paint dried I wrote, in pencil words and phrases that popped in my mind regarding this "fat" photo of me from my childhood. After that I painted over the words lightly with a light blue color...my paintbrush had a fair amount of water on it.
 Instead of keeping the real sky in the photo I painted over it with the blue then stamped on top of it....this photo is of me, in one of my first 5K's...not doing so well.
 A close-up...love that masking tape in the corner that says "I Matter".
 Look closely...that's a used piece of paper I had punched a butterfly from. I always use these for something...I never throw them away! Then I stamped "Believe" in the center. That journaling frame is a rub-on.
 Another close-up...my old school photo from 1976...
 Another close up....I used a chipboard clock to show that I had made a change in my life after all this time.
 The entire collage {bad photo}
Not only did I create these projects but I finished up an 8x8 album I had been working on for quite some time of photos from 2009. The day was a productive and restorative one!

With our Word of the Week being COMMITMENT I knew how important it was for me to commit to my art. I want you to commit to your art, too. Whatever it is. Maybe it's blogging, scrapping, knitting or sewing...take a few hours and just do it!!!

What will you commit to today?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Finding Peace and Joy in the day....

Today is all mine. I am taking a nice, refreshing walk this morning after Seminary Class then coming back home, putting on my fave jeans and yellow "Colorado" t-shirt, grabbing a Route 44 Diet Lime Coke from Sonic THEN I am....

retreating to my Art space...

finding peace and joy in my....




and words.

Have a creative day, girls.


Monday, November 8, 2010

I am overwhelmed with Gratitude....

THIS is gonna be a good day. It's one of those days, one of those weeks you can just feel it!! 

Our WORD for the week is


the act of committing.
the state of being committed.
the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself.
a pledge or promise; obligation: We have made a commitment to pay our bills on time.
engagement; involvement: They have a sincere commitment to religion.

I was looking for a WORD that would help me progress in the right direction. During my walk this morning COMMIT just popped in my head. It is perfect and I hope you will "commit" yourself to playing along with our 52 Words 52 Weeks Challenge. If you don't know what that is click here to find out! 

One of the areas of my life that needs committment right now is my health. I was doing soooo well...remember I lost weight back in the spring and was walking daily, all that. HOWEVER, as of late I have been indulging in toooooo many treats. And not working out the way I need and love to. 

Soooooo this is the week I make a COMMITMENT and get to it! I will share what I'm doing exactly tomorrow.

What will you COMMIT to this week? 
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