Monday, February 27, 2006

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words

Kevin e-mailed me some photos from Iraq today. Priceless!! They were taken by his Commander and the Commander's driver. This is my favorite of the bunch.

Kevin's graduating class at CHOBC (Chaplain Officer Basic Course) chose as their motto "Walk Among Them." The Chaplain brings into the battle arena a touch of God's closeness, a reminder of the reality of eternal things in the midst of battle, and a person to turn to for comfort and counsel. This picture captures that so well--Kevin kneeling to minister to a soldier at his post.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

A Close Call!

I was both completely freaked out and hugely relieved when I received this e-mail from Kevin this afternoon:

"Today was a great day of ministry. The day started as the best ministry day yet....ministered to two tank crews, two bradley crews, two humvee patrols, and had good attendance at the full service at the water treatment plant. We were headed to hit another humvee patrol and then the weekly leader meeting, when BOOM, it sounded like an IED hit under my humvee. (Note: IED is improvised explosive device...a bomb.) So we stopped and did the normal routine of securing the area, and found that what had happened was that the blasting cap that was intended to set off the IED had gone off, but for some "unknown" reason the IED did not explode. Come to find out later, it was a HUGE ied in that hole. It would have been catastophic. News about this has spread fast and God is being greatly glorified. Everybody wants me to ride in their humvee now...ha ha. So, what an awesome God we serve. What a day....whew! Ended up as truly the greatest ministry day yet!!"

Now here is the really strange thing. Last night I felt very fearful and nervous, knowing Kevin would be going "out and about" this day. I prayed and prayed, mainly for his safety and my peace of mind. This morning I woke up and looked at the clock to see it was 5:00, and my first thought was that if he had been killed, the earliest they would come to my door was 6 a.m., so even if the worst had happened, I still had an hour of peace. Terrible, I know!! Later I found out that the above IED incident happened at 1:30 in the afternoon in Taji, which was only a half hour before I woke up and had that freaky thought. And if God had not intervened and protected him, an hour later I would probably have gotten that knock on the door.

God is faithful. George Washington had the reputation with the Native Americans of being a ghost, because even dead-on shots never harmed him. I have been praying the same thing for Kevin, that God would protect him and all the men with him. I see my prayers being graciously heard and answered, and I am thankful. Still a little freaked out, but very very thankful.

Vegas, Baby!

Well, I meant to post more Vegas pictures as soon as I got home from CHA, but life has happened quickly around here! I still want to bore you with a few more pictures here and there, because it was such a fun trip and I saw so much great stuff and so many wonderful people. So for now, here is a shot of me and Elvis! You didn't know he was so TALL, did you? :D He owns a little wedding chapel where the talented and famous Nic Howard renewed her vows with her hubby just before the beginning of CHA. Just a little slice of the Vegas experience! ;)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Thoughts on Entering MMM

I originally posted this at 2Peas in response to a question, but I thought I would add it here as a reminder to myself when I start to stress out as the deadline approaches! It all boils down to WHY we do what we do.

I didn't end up entering HOF this year though I was working on it, because I had a last-minute chance to go to CHA and I jumped at it!! I wanted to enter, but I don't regret taking the time and energy to be at CHA and meet the amazing and awesome people that I met there. No question it was the right decision.

So, that leads up to...I am definitely entering MMM, no matter what comes up between now and then. What an amazing honor it would be to win, but even just the exercise of entering is always a growing experience and pushes me to strive for even better work and also to pour myself out on those pages.

I have two layouts that I absolutely LOVE that I have already set aside. Yes, new products have already been released since I created those pages, but these layouts *speak my heart* and I am saving them for MMM (even though they fit a couple of recent calls, ouch!) Now, if between now and the deadline, I make other pages that I love even more, I will switch them out, but it won't be because of fresher product or newer would only be because it speaks my heart as much or more than the current ones...if I come up with a new twist or an awesome technique, all the better. But I don't think I will base my ultimate decision on which pages to use on those transitory things...they may tip the balance in the event of a tie, but the ultimate decision will be based on the layouts that I love and that tell my story most clearly.

I'm no expert on these contests...I have entered them for a long time and gotten a number of HM's through the years (not with MMM but with HOF and PKPT). But this is the first time I feel really strongly about at least a couple of layouts that I will probably be using, for personal and heart reasons rather than innovation or design. So, I'm following my heart rather than trying to figure out what the judges want to see this time.

And I think when I read what past winners have done, that is the key. Be true to yourself and don't worry that much about being trendy. I'm sure it helps to have products that are currently available rather than products from 2-3 years ago that can't even be found any more. But I'm going to let the scales tip in favor of my own personal message and story, every time.

Just my ramblings!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

CHA Designer Dinner!

I meant to get this up right when I got home, but life got in the way it seems! Anyway, here are some fun photos from the CHA Designer Dinner (aka Winter Bash!). :D It was a total BLAST and so well-organized. I was amazed at how smoothly it all ran and was really happy to be a small part of it at the end by getting to help schlep all the bags over to the Hilton and help pass them out. I love making people happy, and handing them one of these bags made a lot of people VERY happy. :D

A huge thanks to Jennifer, Jessie, and Chris, and all the others that put so much into making this dinner so awesome. And also a huge thanks to the sponsors that generously donated so much awesome stuff!!

Isn't Jenn a cutie?

It took some muscle to stuff all those bags in Kim M's vehicle! :D

We were stuffed to the GILLS with hardly room to sit on the way from Jenn's house to the Hilton! Thankfully no police noticed us, just an old man in a pickup truck that gave us some weird looks at a stop light! LOL

Do you think they hated us after we made them help us haul all these bags to the very back of the place where the dinner was being held in the creatively-named buffet, "The Buffet"?

The LOOT, all laid out and ready to be handed over!

Registration went so very smoothly, it was obvious a lot of preparation work had gone into this event! Kudos again to the organizers!!

Jessie's big job of the night...drawing for the fabulous prizes! "AND THE WINNER IS............."

A wonderful time was had by all! This shot was taken as the evening was coming to a close and everyone was getting ready to go home, tired and happy. :D

The only thing left to say is, I can't wait for the next one!! :D

Friday, February 03, 2006

CHA Droolings!!

I just got home from Vegas and the Craft and Hobby Association trade show. WOWZA!!! There was too much great stuff there to shake a stick at, but I got pics of some of the goodies! :D

Maya Road had luscious ribbons and slides, and some awesome new chipboard embellies, too!

Posted by Picasa

This adorable lamp was made by Sherry Laffoon using Imagination Project supplies and a Where the Heart Is lamp.

And here's another lamp by Where the Heart Is...I wish I knew who created this one!

Doodlebug's booth was set up like a candy store--adorable!

Sharon Sonneff's new Cupcake line for Creative Imaginations is so sweet and soft! I especially love the chipboard elements!

A new company called Charms had the most DARLING ribbon slides and washer-style charms, different from ones I've seen before. They were so thin and lightweight but look gorgeous.

Petaloo had fabulous flowers---luscious and thick, with a sheer layer on top and solid or spotted layers underneath. I loved these!!

And last for today, these adorable ribbons by Heidi Grace (just acquired by Fiskars) were pinned with such cute little pins with heart-shaped tops!

It was truly a smorgasboard of delights! :D