Beautiful Digital Clip Art Metallic Embellishments, Available Today!

The first of several Metallic Embellishment kits is available starting today on The D.A.I.S.I.E. Company website.  It is $6.98 for a 40 piece kit, with each of the embellishments available in both silver and gold finish.  These charms are heavily detailed and so life-like you'll swear they're real.  Add a little embossing powder on your finished page and they will truly fool the eye! To purchase, click on the picture and a window will pop up that will take you to The Daisie Company store.  By the way, special thanks to Atomic Cupcake.  Link to kit at Daisie Co.In the next few weeks, there will be a Tags, Frames 'n Borders collection to coordinate.

Also coming next Tuesday are two of my Quick Page duos for the "Lilies 'n Lace" Wedding set that is featured in April's D.A.I.S.I.E. Club offering.  Remember that you have a chance to win one of those sets simply by referring my blog to your friends or family and posting a comment letting me know that you did, to whom and how many.  I'll then enter your name into the drawing.  There's no limit to the number of entries!  Good luck and thank you everyone who has already entered.

Audrey Jeanne Roberts 

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Excellence, Not Perfection

Do you struggle under the curse of perfectionism?  Do you measure everything you are or do against some mythical, unreachable standard and always feel that you come up short?  Most of us struggle with understanding the balance between perfection and excellence.

I hope this post will help bring a little perspective to your struggle.  The following is from a book a wrote some years ago called, "Walking With God in the Garden of My Heart."  It was published by Harvest House Publishers, but is now out of print.  In fact, I had inadvertantly given away my last copy so I recently purchased one on line for myself!

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:13-14"

As a classic, firstborn, overachiever perfectionist, one of the earliest lessons I had to learn was perfection simply isn't possible in the garden.  I can try all I like, but my garden never looks like the gardens I see in magazine spreads.  I was frustrated until I read something that set my heart free.

The story was written by a gardener whose yard had recently been featured in a national magazine.  She revealed the behind-the-scenes manipulations required to turn out those "perfect" garden shots.

She knew a year in advance the timing of the photo shoot, so she planted anything and everything that would bloom during that month.  As planned, her garden was spectacular, but afterwrd there would be very few flowers blooming in it for the rest of the year.

To shoot close-ups, the photographers meticulously picked off every dead leaf from her potted plants and picked blossoms from other parts of the garden, tucking them in to "enhance" the shots.  Her potted plants were moved all over the yard and even secretly tucked into bare spots so they would photograph a little better.  To sum it up, she confessed that her garden bore about as much relationship to achievable reality as a 5' 10", 120 pound runway model does to the average woman.

I'm glad that the Gardener of my heart is so much more realistic and relaxed in His approach.  He understands my frame.  He knows there wil be seasons of great beauty and abundant harvest and seasons where I am bare and dormant.  He much prefers year-round excellence to spectacular short-lived perfection.  He understands that when I am at my "peak glory" I'm only two weeks away from being bloomed out and bedraggled.  He doesn't berate me for my natural limitations; He tucks new little plants in under the cover of the old so that I can continue bringing Him pleasure. 

I still wrestle with perfectionism.  I easily panic when a weed sprouts up in my heart or I feel I failed to perform up to my capabilities.  I don't allow for the frailty that is my human nature — but my Father the Gardener does.  He understands me.  He loves me, and He thinks I'm pretty special — dead leaves and all.

Lord, I have such a hard time with having unrealistic expectations and then feeling like a failure.  Help me to understand who I am, how You made me and what Your expectations are of me.  Help me to quit comparing myself to others and strive for excellence, not perfection.

Audrey Jeanne Roberts 

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Oh My! What am I Going to Wear This Summer?!

… is almost every woman's dilemma going into the summertime.  You may wonder why I'm thinking about this when we had 4-6" of snow yesterday, but I bought a new magazine "Quilter's Home" over the weekend and there was the funniest little poll in it.  Their "Posse Poll" page asked the question, "What are you wearing this summer?"

2% answered a bikini (yeah right!) 7% said a two piece, 60% said a one piece and 31% said a BURKA!  I couldn't help laughing!  Hmmmm…. maybe if we created a cute enough fabric it might work?!

Basically most of us women aren't happy with our bodies for one reason or another.  Over the winter our "burka" is our sweats, but they have to come off sometime and when they do we often discover there's a few more pounds hiding there to deal with.

All kidding aside, it feels really yucky when our weight and/or eating is out of control and we just can't seem to turn things around.  We know that another crash diet isn't going to work — every time we do it we throw our bodies a little more out of whack and end up putting on more weight rather than keeping it off.  So what can we do differently THIS YEAR than any other year that we've tried?

I have a couple of suggestions from things I've learned on my 60 lb. weight loss journey over the past 18 months.  The good news is you CAN gain control over this area of your life.  One day at a time, one meal at a time, one choice at a time…

  1. Those cravings you wrestle with are often your body telling you that you aren't feeding it good, whole, nutritious foods.  Even if you never count calories, but substitute whole foods for everything that you are eating, your body will become more nourished and quit screaming at you "Feed me!!!"  If you eat rice, make it brown rice.  If you have bread, make sure it is 100% whole wheat, if you want something sweet, have a piece of fruit rather than a candy bar.  Whole foods fill you up more, for less calories and they don't send your blood sugar skyrocketing then plunging causing you to crave.  Whole foods trigger your body's satisfaction mechanism rather than craving and keep you satisfied for a longer time.
  2. NEVER, EVER, EVER DROP BELOW 1,000 CALORIES A DAY!  If you do, you will work against yourself as your body will go into "starvation protection" mode.  Your metabolism will slow down and your body will eat its own muscle rather than the fat you're trying to get rid of.  1200-1500 calories a day over time will do more to drop your weight off and keep it off.
  3. Drink more water, clear soups or herbal tea.  Believe it or not, drinking 8 glasses a day will go a long way to filling you up, especially warm clear soups or flavored herbal teas.  The water also helps your body metabolize the fat and get rid of it more easily.
  4. Add a little bit of exercise to your day.  Don't try some great big binge of working out, just add 15-20 minutes walking or working out in your garden but do it consistently.  It will produce more results than a couple of intense sessions that end with Bengay and enough pain to keep you from going back!
  5. Read the calorie/nutrition menus at fast food places before you order.  You won't believe the calories and bad fats that are in almost anything you usually eat there.  Make wise choices when you eat out, especially if you eat on the run alot.  You can drop a lot of weight effortlessly if you change this one area of your life!
  6. Sugars are in everything we eat.  Read the labels of your canned or packaged foods you'll be amazed (and probably disgusted too).  Sugar is a huge culprit in your uncontrollable urges to eat.  It raises your blood sugar level, then causes it to plummet which makes you feel shakey and crave another sugary snack that repeats and intensifies the process.  Replace white refined sugars with whole food sweetners like honey, molasses, and maple syrup and you won't have the same reaction.  These are real foods that nourish your body, while refined sugar is an anti-food that steals vitamins and minerals from you body in order to process it.
  7. Make changes gradually BUT FOREVER.  Diets don't work.  Even if you lose the weight on a diet, you won't keep it off if you don't change the behaviors that got you there in the first place.  Change your life a little at a time, but again, CHANGE IT FOREVER and you'll feel so much better for doing it.  (Information learned through The Prism Weight Loss Program www.pwlp.com )

Summer's coming!  And this year I'm going swimming… in public… and I'm not going to wear my burka!

Audrey Jeanne Roberts 

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An Easter Gift for You, A Craft Kit Freebie

I wanted to give all of you a small Easter present, so today I made up this fun "Chinese Take Out" Easter Basket Box with my Gerbera Daisie Clip art kit.  The box is perfect for year around use, but with the Easter egg gift card it’s a perfect little container to make for a small Easter gift or candy treats, cookies or?  Finished size is 4" tall by 3 1/2" square.  The kit requires a color printer and 4 sheets of 8 1/2 x 11" cardstock, scissors, double stick tape or glue and 12" of wire for the handle.  Finish it off with the ribbon or trim or your choice and you’re done! 

Link to free downloadThe photo doesn’t show the color well, but the box is a light aqua blue with yellow,orange and pink Gerbera Daisies.  Also included is a second Easter egg and another gift card for everyday use.

I hope that you and your family have a very special Easter celebration if you celebrate the holiday.  Every blessing I hold dear in my life has its roots in the most precious gift of love that Jesus Christ gave me on that first Easter.  While I was still a sinner, he died for me that I might live with him forever.  He loved me enough to give his life for me alone (even if I were the only sinner on Earth) and I am forever grateful.  He loves each of us with a powerful and unfathomable love far beyond our finite capability to understand.

That is the joy of my Easter and it is a joy I’ll never stop celebrating!  Blessings to you and yours.

(UPDATE: the link has expired.  Please check back for other specials about once or twice a month).  To download your kit, click on the photo to the left and it will take you to the download window.  When you finish, you can click go back to come back here or head to your crafting table.  HAPPY EASTER! 

(Note: the missing file has been replaced if your download didn’t have 4 jpeg pages, redownload and all is well!)

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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Brand New, Metallic Accents Digital Clip Art Sneak Previews!

Inspired by the beautiful British "peel offs" gold and silver three dimensional stickers and trims, I've created several kits of metallic dimensional sets.  Shown in this preview are two of the sets, "Brads 'n Things" and "Tags, Charms 'n Borders."previews

There are mini photo frames, heart charms,  and borders in one kit.  There's another kit for Wedding-oriented text items for such as "Guest Book,"  "Bridal Shower," "Love" and "And they lived happily ever after."  There's another kit of "Brads 'n Things" that is for everyday use.  It has a swirl clip and  heart clip (or they can just be used for accent pieces) there are also oval, circle, square and rectangle pieces to use for brads.  Each item in this set comes in gold, silver, pewter, antiqued brass, rusted, distressed gold and black iron.

silver charm frame

The pictures in these charm frames are of my Prince Charming and I saying our vows and the two of us at Hume Lake last Labor Day. 

These kits and a few more will be coming soon to D.A.I.S.I.E. Company!  I hope you'll enjoy using them on your creative projects!

For digital scrappers, the texture and dimension that metallics add can really make a page pop.  These can also be used in craft projects in many ways such as tags for gift bags and labels for cans and boxes or on greeting cards… the possibilities are endless!

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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More Lilies ‘n Lace Wedding Digital Clip Art Sneak Previews

The April D.A.I.S.I.E. Club is just a few days away and I am once again one of the contributors to the 10 to 12 kits that come in the club each month.  For only $9.95 you get 2 full art kits of 30 pieces or more (I think mine is over 40 pcs this month!)  and 8-10 printables kits — that's the best kit value on the web!!!!Daisie Club April Preview

In the kit are papers, frames, tags, spot art, borders, text pcs. and more.  This kit is perfect for Weddings and Anniversarys, but there are plenty of blank or non-specific items that can be used for other occasions or crafting purposes as well.

After the club comes out, there will be two kits of Instant scrapbook pages called "Quick Page Duos."  Each set is designed to be facing pages in your scrapbook.  Simply drop your pictures behind the openings, size and print… it's that easy to make beautiful scrapbooks!  I will continue to add to the Wedding Quick Pages so that you will eventually be able to create an entire album with little or no effort.

This kit will be available April 1st, 2007 at http://www.daisiecompany.com/.

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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Electric Quilt 6 Makes Designing the Perfect Quilt a Breeze!

For those of you who are serious quilters and fabric crafters, I have just purchased a product that has the possibility of totally revolutionizing the way you work.  Electric Quilt 6 comes programmed with over 5,000 scanned fabrics in its library (staple, long-term fabrics from major companies),  with over 4,000 block patterns to play around with and the ability to scan your own fabrics into the library to use as well.  There are 62 videos built in to the program that are clear, concise and simple to follow.  With a couple of hours investment of time to learn the basics of the program you can be off an running like I was.

Have you ever looked at a pile of fabric that you picked out in the quilt shop but got home and weren't sure exactly what you were planning on doing with it?  Or worse, gotten half way through cutting out a project and had to stop for a while and then tried to remember what you were planning when you got back to it?!  If you design your quilt on EQ6 it will give you the patterns to cut, the placement of every fabric color and the precise block placement to assure that the quilt you were envisioning is the quilt that you produce. 

Once you pick the quilt style that you would like to create, you can change anything you want about it instantly and with perfect accuracy.  Add a border, make it narrower, change out the border and try any combination of fabrics until you get it just right.  You can do all of this without wasting a single square inch of your precious fabric in unnecessary mistakes!  Even better is that you can create as many versions of the quilt layout as you like and decide which one is the most beautiful, giving yourself the confidence to make that first cut.

As most of you know, I have been working intensively on the new line of quilting fabrics that I am designing for Loralie Designs' (http://www.loraliedesigns.com/) fabric company.  It's a huge undertaking and part of the process for me is to test the color, pattern and scale of each fabric to make sure that it will work well in the real world.  In years' past, prior to the fabric being actually produced there was no way to determine that they would really work except in printing paper samples and playing around with them a bit.  Now, with the EQ6 I have been able to create virtual quilts that are so real and lifelike that I'm dieing to see them made up in real life.

If you have earlier versions of Electric Quilt, I believe the most important difference between the programs is that EQ6 actually scales the fabric perfectly so that whether you look up close at a quilt block or you are laying out a king-sized quilt, the fabric adjusts to your perspective and it looks as it will in real life.  There are complete lists of what is availabe in each product and there is an upgrade package available.  You can purchase Electric Quilt 6 at http://www.electricquilt.com/ or look at their retail store list for a quilt shop near you.  It retails for $149.00.

I found a fabulous quilt shop in Clovis, CA called "Quilter's Paradise" and it is!  The store is huge and brimming with fabulous fabrics, samples, books, magazines and other quilting goodies.  They have knowledgeable and friendly support staff ready to help in any way they can.  Their web site is http://www.quilters-paradise.com/

I can't wait to show you my fabrics, but of course I can't do that just yet!  But as soon as I can I will.

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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Sunny Days in My Garden!

I just finished planting 19, six packs of annuals in my garden.  When I used to live in the city, that was just about all it would take to assure a massive display of color for the rest of the spring, but on my five acres… it pretty much disappears!  All these pictures are from my front yard, the mountains and the view are off the back of the house.

Spring's here!The tree in bloom on the left is a Redbud.  They grow wild in our area and there are a few here in the yard.  They really should be called "Magenta Buds!" as there's nothing red about them.

The tree to the right is a Ginko and there's a clematis trained to grow up its trunk.  The clematis is about 4' high already.

It rained so hard the past couple of days that my bells fell over.  The antique English roses around the fountain are about 3 or 4 weeks from blooming.

Here are the first of the tulips which popped up yesterday.  Yippee!  After growing up in San Diego all my life (where you can't grow tulips) they have become my favorite part of Spring here.

The garden with the little dutch girl fountain is at the top of our hill and is pretty much solid granite with a few pockets of dirt.  In about 3 or 4 weeks this garden will be filled with yellow and white daisies and the lilac bush will be in bloom as well.  This time of year really is the prettiest for this particular garden.  The sun cooks anything planted here in the heat of the summer, so I don't spend much effort on it.

I remember my first Spring here three years ago.  In San Diego, very few plants go dormant over the winter and there are flowers every month except December and January.  In February when "spring" starts, it slowly unfolds a little at a time.  When we first moved to the mountains, it was the beginning of March.  We went from the dead of winter to full bloom in about the first 4 weeks… spring didn't just arrive, it exploded all around me!  I hope your spring is getting ready to explode as well.  Have a great weekend in the garden.

(UPDATE: About 15 minutes after I posted this, our weatherman said we're supposed to have snow on Monday or Tuesday!!!  Ahhhh, spring in the mountains…80 degrees for 2 weeks and then snow!  Fortunately we don't usually hard freeze so all the new baby flowers should be just fine Laughing)

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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Children are a Thirty Year Crop!

"It's easier to build a child than to repair an adult." 

Audrey Jeanne Roberts, from the book 'Lord, Help me to Build a Healthy Child'" 

If you're about ready to pluck your children out of the garden and throw them (figuratively) onto the compost heap because they're looking a lot more like weeds than flowers… I just wanted to encourage you a little today.  It's a long, slow process to grow children into strong, healthy, mature and godly adults.  In fact the dirty little secret you weren't told when they handed you that sweet liitle "bundle of joy," is that it takes closer to thirty years than eighteen!

The world around us tells our children that they become "adults" at age eighteen.  That expectation can be the source of significant friction between children and their parents.  Of course there isn't really a magic number that signifies the finish line in the race to adulthood.  As anyone who has parented an eighteen year old knows, even the most mature among them is still a long way from being able to make it on their own as a responsible adult. 

The process of becoming an adult occurs slowly. It happens one day at a time, one decision at a time,  and one experience at a time.  It is a byproduct of the process of facing life's challenges.  Some challenges will produce successes and others setbacks and failures.  Great parents know when to stop protecting or overcontrolling and step back a little, giving their children the freedom to fail in a safe, protected environment.  Every experience in your child's life can become the building blocks of wisdom and experience, if he or she is willing to learn from them, and you are dilgent to help him or her learn. 

Your parenting role has to adjust and change significantly over time.  At birth your child was completely helpless and vulnerable.  Over time he or she can do more on their own and require less assistance from you.  Most parents find the process of release to be a rocky one.  Some children struggle to be released too soon. while others don't seem to want to be responsible and venture out on their own at all! This transition rarely happens without struggle, disagreement and even ocassionally periods of great turmoil.   No matter the personality of your child, your job description is the same… ultimately your job is to work yourself out of a job! 

Just keep this thought in mind if you're discouraged at where you are in this process.  If you're trying to measure your success as a parent any time before your child is 30 years old, the crop hasn't fully matured yet.  It's quite posssible you won't see the full fruit of your parenting until your children become parents themselves.  Be patient, be prayerful and be diligent.  Don't give up and don't ever quit working at it.  The sad fact is there's absolutely no guarantee of success even if you're a great parent.  But with the help of God, and a lot of sweat and tears, it's likely you will ultimately be successful if you keep working at it. 

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.  Gal. 6:9-10"

Some of the most joyful moments in parenting begin in the mid to late twenties.  That's about the time when you start to hear your child tell their friends (or children) something you've said to them a thousand times and never even thought they heard!  It's when you receive calls asking your advice on an important life-changing decision that they need to make.  It's also when your child will often start to consider you not just their parent, but their cherished friend.  Be patient and in the words of Winston Churchill, "Never, never, never give up!" 

I'll end on a humorous note.  I think it was Erma Bombeck who said, "Grandchildren are the reward we get for not killing our children!"  Hang in there!

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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Lighten Your Load

Have you ever noticed that life seems to go a little easier when you have prayed about things before they become a crisis?  Have you noticed that when you first start praying it seems like "All heck breaks loose?"  Have you walked with the Lord long enough to know the truth that prayer changes things… starting with my own heart first?  

Do you worry about your children and whether they will continue to walk faithfully with Him in the years to come?  Do you want to see a family legacy of godliness that will have a powerful role in this world long after you're gone?  Have you ever even had the time or energy to think beyond the battle you're engaged in today, to envision a hundred years from now?  I know, most days getting through today's tough enough! 

About 20 years ago, the Lord taught me a little principle that I have already had the privilege of seeing work out in my life and want to pass on to you.  I believe that it will, over time, hugely begin to lighten your load and increase your fruitfulness for God's kingdom.  That principle is the concept of multiplying your prayers throughout all your generations.

"My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message… John 17:20"

When my children were little, in fact before my youngest daughter was born, the Lord taught me to pray according to the above verse.  What do I mean?  He taught me to ask Him that when ever I prayed for my older daughter Jennifer for Him to remember those prayers and apply them to any other children that I might have.  Then one day I realized I should ask Him to apply them to my grandchildren.  Then my vision began to increase and I thought, "My imagination is limited, but His isn't, why don't I ask Him to apply these prayers to anyone who is ever born, married into or adopted into my lineage?" 

Over time, I began to realize that when I prayed for my marriage I could ask him to apply those prayers to my children's marriages yet to come.  When I prayed to find what He had called me to do and the courage to do it, I realized my struggles could become prayers that would affect the lives of those I will never meet on this side of Heaven.  When I prayed for the President God wanted elected this next election, I could ask God to accomplish those prayers in every election, for every President yet to come.  Over time He began to open my vision beyond the immediate needs of my own family into the unknown lives of generations yet to be born.

Now… you need to understand the magnitude of thinking and praying for my descendants a thousand years from now is totally overwhelming, and it staggers my tiny little faith levels!  I'm very limited in my own imagination, but I do have enough faith to pray for my own life and the lives of those around me (hmmmm, I probably have faith the size of a mustard seed) and that's all the faith it takes to change my generations… one prayer at a time.  It's easy to do because it relies on His awesome "Godness," which is so far beyond my tiny imagination.  It relies on His strength and memory, not my own.

When I read the verse above, I realize that I am walking in the power of Jesus' prayer for his disciples two thousand years ago and that prayer is still as active and powerful TODAY as when it was prayed!  It's power will never diminish and it will remain active FOREVER!  I am slowly coming to fully believe in the power of this principle as applied to praying for this day forward in my own life as well.

Over the 20 years I've been praying this way, I've watched my children grow in areas that I had HUGE struggles to grow in… and it just "happens" in their lives because the prayers needed to win the battle have already been prayed.  My children in so many ways are decades ahead of where I was at their ages, and I believe will far exceed my spiriual fruitfulness in their lifetimes.  It's an exciting, empowering thing to see happen before my eyes… yet it is a light burden and an easy yoke because it is based on the power of God's ability to remember and bring to pass the prayers offered up to Him, and not upon my own feeble faithfulness. 

If you don't have children… it doesn't matter.  You can pray for your family around you and your nieces, nephews and the generations yet to come as if they were your own.  "Sing… you who never bore a child…because more are the children of the desolate woiman than of her who has a husband, says the Lord.  Isaiah 54:1"  There are no limits with God.

Lord, this concept is too big for my little faith to grasp, but teach it to me.  Open my eyes to how I can pray today and effect every single tomorrow yet to come, by your power, strength and grace.  Show me how to pray for my children.  Show me what to pray for my family, my marriage and the world around me.  Then Lord, I am asking you to multiply those prayers for all who will be coming in my family line… by birth, by marriage, by adoption or any other means.  Even if I never remember this principle again, I know you will never forget … because you are the all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere-present and most especially all-loving God!  Enlarge my vision.  Expand my understanding of prayer and of you, the God who answers prayer.  At times everything feels too hard for me, but I rest in the fact that nothing is too hard for you"

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

 

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Contest Reminder! Refer a Friend and win…

This month's prizeThe month is almost over all ready!  Can you believe it?  There's a little over a week left to refer a friend to my blog and be entered into the drawing for the prize.  

I will be giving away a set of "Lilies 'n Lace Quick Page Duos" to the winner of the drawing.

For each person that you refer, you will get an additional entry into the contest.  No limits. 

How do you enter?  Just post a comment letting me know who and how many people you referred and I will take it from there.

Thank you so much for helping to let others who might be blessed by our sharing here, know about it. 

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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A Grateful Heart is a Cheerful Heart

Gratefulness is an attitude of heart, it is a skill that can and should be developed by each of us and practiced with great liberality!  A grateful heart is a cheerful heart.  A grateful heart spreads sunshine in dark places without even having to make an effort.  Do you have a grateful heart?  Do you communicate that gratefulness to those around you?

My husband isn't perfect… in fact some of his flaws can be downright annoying and frustrating (of course I NEVER annoy him!)  But I am so grateful for who he is that I rarely ever get focussed on what he isn't capable of or who he can never become.  

There's an old saying "No man was ever shot while doing dishes!"  My husband does our dishes every night before going to bed or first thing in the morning… without fail!  He also does the laundry (because he has experienced my lack of alertness for red socks in white loads and ended up with pink boxers once too often!)  These are huge things to me, for which I am very, very grateful.  But if I never spoke those words of gratefulness to him, would he know how much it means to me?  I doubt it.  He would feel taken for granted, especially if I mentioned something that he hadn't done that needed doing.

I think that a spirit of gratefulness is the match that keeps the flame of love glowing brightly in a marriage.  A grateful heart notices the little things and takes time to say "Thank you, I appreciate you and all you do."  A grateful heart cherishes "what is good" about our relationships and avoids looking over the fence at another's "greener" lawn.  Remember, even weeds look green and lush from a distance!

Have you been the recipient of a heartfelt "Thank You" recently?  Did it lift your spirits for a great while?  How did it make you feel about the person who expressed it, especially if it was thoughtfully communicated?  Think about the warm sunshine that those words spread in your soul and look around you today.  What are you thankful for?  Who is a blessing in your life?  How could you put that thankfulness into words and give it as a special gift to the one you are grateful for?  Love that is unexpressed has almost no power at all, but love that is put into words and expressed openly warms the heart for a long time!

Are you thankful for life?  For breath?  For the love of your family?  Take a moment to express that thankfulness to the God who gave you life and breath and love… Have you noticed how He is always faithful to our tiniest cry for help?  He diligently watches over the detais of our lives whether we remember to thank Him or not.  I'm constantly aware how easy it is for me to take Him for granted…

"Lord, help me to see my blessings more clearly than my areas of lack.  Help me to recognize and appreciate the treasures that are everywhere in my life.  Show me where I have taken those I love for granted and find ways to express my gratefulness to them… and to remember to make a practice of saying "Thank You" consistently and in many different ways. 

Most of all, help me to see all that you have done for me and develop heart of gratefulness towards you.  I love you, Lord!  Amen

"Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things…and the God of peace will be with you.  Phil 4:8-9"

Audrey Jeanne Roberts 

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Wedding Season is Coming… Personalize Your Wedding or Wedding Gifts.

gold embellishmentsI have been working on my contribution to the April Daisie Club and having so much fun!  I had some wedding art that I had created a couple of years ago for greeting cards.  I decided to play around and see what I could make from it, and boy have I made A LOT!  In fact so much that there will be a kit in the D.A.I.S.I.E. Club and at least one other kit to go with it (and probably even more before I get done!)

Here's a pair of Quick Pages that I made using some of the kit contents.

 

Preview

 

There will be several sets of Quick Page Duos so that creating an album would be very easily done either for your own wedding or for someone dear to you.

I also have a series of beautiful gold three dimensional embellishments that I have been crafting to make a mini kit with.

I thought I'd give you a sneak peek and invite you to tell me what you want in a Wedding/Anniversary set so that you have input while I'm actually in the process of creating things!  Feel free to leave me a comment with any of your requests or ideas. 

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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Passing Hard-earned Wisdom Along

Saturday my husband and I went into town to get our hair cut, see "Amazing Grace" the movie (again!) (www.amazinggracemovie.com/) and run a month's worth of errands.  By the way, if you want a great movie to go see, you will LOVE "Amazing Grace."  It's a wonderful movie.  Its theme is one man or woman really can help change the world.  It will lift your spirits and delight your heart.  We went to a different town than we usually go to when we "come off the mountain," so we found a Supercuts store and it was there that I met Rosalie.

Rosalie is a 23 year old single mother of a 7 month old beautiful baby girl.  When she was cutting my hair, we talked about her daughter, about her working part time so she could be with her, and how her boyfriend's mother was taking care of the baby when she had to work, so that she didn't have to go to daycare. 

I shared a little about my childhood as a child of divorce (with a single mom for a while, and a working mom the rest of the time), and about my grown children and the relationship we're blessed to have.  She shared some of the details of her childhood.  It was a delightful conversation with a delightful young woman. 

One thing I noticed about Rosalie is that she had a spirit that was hungry to learn and hungry to do the right thing… but from what she shared it was evident that she had had little or no real parenting herself and wondered how to do it well without an example to follow.  She shared a little of what life was like for her growing up and her Mom's "choices," especially regarding men in their home and how they affected her.  Rosalie had a very sweet, warm, wonderful spirit… I liked her very much.

She was open to my sharing anything that I thought might be helpful to her, so I was able to share an idea with her that I'd like to pass along to you as well.  I said, "If you'd been blessed with a really great set of parents who did most things right, all you would have to do is follow their example and you'd probably do pretty well.  But if the examples of marriage and parenting were a little less than adequate, look around you and see if there's anyone who's parenting you really admire.  Is there anyone whose children seem really well cared for and you'd like your children turn out like?  Is there any one whose marriage seems really solid and you respect the way they treat each other?  If so, get to know them.  Spend time with them and ask questions about how they do things.  Chances are they would love to help you learn."

I continued, "If you want to be a great hair stylist, don't you get training from someone who is much better than you are so that you can learn their secrets and tips?  The same concept works in every area of life, but we often just don't think to ask."  She was genuinely intrigued by the concept… she got the connection immediately to hair styling and realized that parenting and marriage were much tougher jobs to accomplish well.  Isn't it funny that we go to college to learn from professors in our field of study, but rarely think of getting instruction from those who are successfully accomplishing the toughest jobs in life?!

Here's my challenge to you.  If you are doing well in your marriage and your parenting, (note: I didn't say doing perfectly Laughing) there are hundreds of "Rosalie's" living around you that have never really been parented.  They've never had someone willing to invest in their lives and cheer them on.  They have no one speaking wisdom into their lives.  Could you share some of your hard-earned wisdom with a young man or young woman and help prevent them from suffering unnecessary pain? Could you share where you've made mistakes and also where things have worked out well?  Could you be the older friend and mentor that perhaps you once wished for and couldn't find?  It doesn't have to take a huge amount of time.  Just a small investment of your time, infused with a lot of caring and speaking from your heart, and you just might make a great difference in how one life turns out. 

In fact, you just might change many more lives than the one you chose to invest in… because healthy people raise healthy children, that build healthier societies and healthier worlds.  As the movie "Amazing Grace" points out, change happens one life at a time… one man or woman really can help change the world. 

And if you're a "Rosalie" my advice to you is the same, find an older friend that you can ask questions of and listen to their advice.  Do what it takes to learn, grow and change so that your children DO have a great parent whose provides an example they can safely follow.  You don't have to be limited by the parenting you received or by what family examples you have seen.  You can chose a different path. You can change the course of your family's future, by the step you take today in a new direction.

The two best resouces I know of for both these areas are Focus on the Family with Dr. James Dobson which you can find at www.family.org and FamilyLife Today with Dennis Rainey at www.familylife.com.  These two resources are full of time-tested wisdom and personally have taught me so much about being a good wife and mother.  I value them so much that I have added them as links in my blog so you can find them here anytime you need them.

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

  

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Just Can’t Stop Creating!!! Another Kit for Tuesday

Oh boy!  I'm having so much fun for Easter… makes me wish we had little ones around again.  I put together another digital clip art minikit of 10 pcs. that you can add on to your Gerbera Daisy Collection (if you own it), to make it into a wonderful Easter set.  It will retail for $2.98 at The D.A.I.S.I.E. Company beginning on Tuesday, March 20th, 2007.

Easter kit from DaisieThere are four large frames that will hold a standard photo or you can put text into.  A blue and a pink with Happy Easter and without and a blue and a pink with and without Easter eggs.

The tags are also with and without text and Easter eggs.  This will allow you to use them all year around as well as for Easter!  Here's the link to all of my digital clip art kits at The D.A.I.S.I.E. Company store.

Oh well… I really, really MUST get off the mountain and go into town for a haircut that's at least a month overdue!  So… off to civilization I goBye  Maybe some more goodies tomorrow?! 

Audrey Jeanne Roberts

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