Friday, August 22, 2014

What is going on . . .

Do you ever have a plan to start something new and other things just seem to get in the way. The word BUSY seems to flood the English language and I recently read: "Focus on being Productive, not being Busy." I am trying to avoid using the word "busy" and finish things on my to do list before I start again.

Summer comes and goes in Minnesota and with a very late spring this year and snow still in May, I try to embrace all the warm weather that comes our way. July was so so and we did have some great days in August. Also with my summer comes Vacation Bible School at our church. This is a my 9th year as director. I remember the first meeting I went to back in 2005, they all looked at me and asked if I wanted to be in charge and I have been in charge since.  
2005 Fiesta

As the years past, the program seemed to get easier and easier. We use material from Group Publishing and the best part about it, they tell you exactly what to say and what to do. This is my kind of teaching. I have an amazing group of volunteers that step forward each year as we take on this adventure.

2014 was a big year for us. A little background of First Lutheran goes like this. In January, our pastor stepped down and moved on and the process of calling a new pastor began. Through many meeting and bible studies we narrowed down our choice to 4 candidates. In June we put out our first call to a pastor. At this time, we are meeting about VBS wondering if we should do it or not. We thought, "well if we have a new pastor, what a great time to meet and greet people in the congregation and community". On June 27th, the first pastor we called and his wife came to tour Ely (good sign right), had dinner with members and that following Friday we received his decline. Bummer. This was July 4th and panic started setting in. VBS is scheduled to start one month from today. What am I going to do? I don't have a pastor and he does the main part of the program. I put out a call for an emergency meeting, we talked, we contemplated and decided to move forward.  We have one month to pull this all together.

Now it is time to be productive. I rounded up crew leaders, leaders and volunteers to set up, clean up, donate money and just pray for us. This was going to happen.

August 4th came and it turned out to be an amazing week. One grandmother asked me how do I have so much energy? I think it was God's plan to fill me with energy this week and keep me moving. I know I didn't do this on my own. We ended up with75 kids (3 to 11);19 crew leaders (12-18) and 20 volunteers (19-80). Everything was perfect except for a little mishap on Day 3. The kids seemed to have fun and the music is always is a plus.   
2014 Weird Animals

The week is done and We Did It!! We made is through. My faith was tested and I believe anything is possible with a little help (okay a lot) from up above. When in doubt, you can always PRAY.

A side note, we were in the process of calling the second pastor. He and his family decided to make a trip to visit Ely this exact week. What a great time to come and if anything he can see how awesome our community is and the support we receive from the community.

So there you have it. It has been a "productive" summer and looking forward to getting back to a normal routine and a little scrapbooking. Until the next adventure . . .

By the way, this photo of me and the giraffe.  This guy has been with me since my very first VBS - Serengeti Trek (2004). I don't have the heart to let him go.

Happy day ~ Ann 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Just start . . .

Do you every have a feeling that just won't go away. That feeling you should do something but you don't know why. After reading blogs for several years and being inspired by so many I thought I would just try and see where it will take me.  I plan on sharing random projects I am working on and if for anything so I can have a running list of what I created.


Most of the classes I take are from Big Picture Classes (BPC). If you haven't tried them, you should. They have amazing teachers and classes to share.

1. Phone Photography 2 at BPC: This class is learning how to use your phone to take photos. Any regular camera will do for this class, but with each lesson they share the different apps that you can use to edit your photos. I am still learning what apps are the best for an Android. 
I think the best part of this class is using my phone and not being afraid of it. I still carry around my point and shoot but when I am in a situation where that won't work, there is always my phone.

2. For the Love of Things at BPC: This class has ended but I am finishing up my album. This again was one of my favorite. The finished project is of an album of certain treasurers you have in your home and the reason you are keeping them. I have been wanting to tell these stories for a long time and now I finally had the push to do it. This is one page that I have completed so far. I think the hardest thing about this class was ripping the pages out of the Bible but I did it and I love the look.

3. Inspired Scrapbooking at BPC: This is a year long class and I still think it is available to take. StacyJ is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met. She is so creative and I have learned so much from her. This class is a spin-off of a class she taught in 2012 called Twelve. Each month we talk about a different topic and she gives us challenges and ideas to make pages. She really teaches me to cherish and pay attention to the everyday.

4. One Little Word: This class is inspired by Ali Edwards. This is the 4th year I have taken this class and followed the prompts. My word for 2014 is GROW, but I have also insert the word "REFRESH" because I needed to start a few things over in the beginning of the year. She is an amazing instructor and if you get a chance, read her blog. She does have good things to share.

5. Yearly Mini Album: I love the Project Life concept but I just do not have the motivation to do a weekly spread. I have all intentions of making an album, take photos and document but in the end it never happens. I have created one PL album in 2012 on a weekly basis but nothing since then. Last year, I had the idea of just printing random photos from the month and putting them in this Mini Album. Love it! This year, with an inspiration from another favorite person CathyZ I added a bit more journaling and using random photos from the month. Again. I love this. I plan on sharing more pages in a different post from this album but for now here is what one looks like.

So that is enough for now. I will add more later and the plan is to keep updating what is going on in my crafting life and the world around me. What has inspired you lately to "Just start . . ."