Monday, October 12, 2009

Social Scrapbooking

My favorite part of scrapbooking is sharing it with others. When I make something, I can't keep it to myself. I have to show Nathan or take a picture and email it to my mom or other friends. Part of this is sharing in an accomplishment, but part of it is wanting someone else to get out of the project what I got such as remembering the story or a memory associated with it. When I can share scrapbooking in person with a good friend; this is even better.
Aimee came to visit a couple weeks ago for a few days. While Thomas slept we were able to spend some time making fall cards. The Halloween card that Aimee made was "scraplifted" from a card in a the Scrapbook Etc. magazine (scraplifting is when you use or find inspiration from another person's work and is totally allowed and encouraged in most scrapbooking circles!) The Fall card was inspired by a card in the magazine Cards. I had precut all the materials for the Halloween card so Aimee was able to complete 20 of them (1o for each of us)! The Fall card I created was a little bit slower as I had to find the inspiration and then design it to work with my materials. Luckily I was able to use up things I already had at home including a lot of Fall ribbon from the One Stop Dollar Stop at Target! I was able to complete 9 cards for Aimee, and now have the design to complete cards for myself.
Other than the great cards we both now have, the best part was being together, talking, and sharing ideas. I don't mind creating on my own, but I definitely enjoy creating with a friend! Here are pictures of the cards!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Being vs. Doing

To do or to be? That seems to be the question, or at least a popular sermon theme. I can remember countless sermons focusing on this theme, and I'm sure there are many I can't remember! Again, this Sunday it was the theme of the Sunday sermon. The focus was on how too often we try to grow in our relationship with God merely through what we do...we forget that God's grace is the reason for our relationship with Him, and that we actually need to focus on Being a child of God.
But with that, comes with what does it mean to "Be" a child of God. Do we sit and do nothing? Of course, the answer is no. But what do we "do" when we are "being"? This concept is confusing to write about much less figure out what it means to live it! One big conclusion I came to this past Sunday is that this concept "being vs. doing" is really important and really hard. This is why it's a constant's probably one of the most difficult things of the Christian walk and also one of the most vital aspects of the walk.
With this in mind, I realize that being vs. doing is something that needs to be ever present on my mind. As I continue doing life, I need to be still at times and concentrate on the being part. This is a challenge I am slow to take on, yet eager knowing that the results will be great. To everyone else who has heard the sermon and has struggled, I want to encourage you! You are not alone in seeking to be a child of God!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

More Mini Albums

The past week I was busy making a few more mini albums as well as a gift card holder.  All of these were gifts, so I had to wait to publish them till the new owners received them.  I think the gift card holder is my favorite that I have made so far.  I just like how the colors and papers worked out!  I'm quite pleased by the mini albums as well.  I used my book to create them from scratch.  The covers are made with covered chipboard and then the pages (one sheet of cardstock) are attached accordion style.  I also learned a cool trick about hiding the ribbon underneath the pages.  The mini albums are very similar because they were created for my friends Kathy and Rachel to commemorate our weekend get together over labor day.  I used the same format for both albums and was able to create them over a couple days in 15-20 minute increments.  Now I just need to make one for myself!

Gift Card holder for my friend Kathy for her birthday

I fully lined the inside piece (because I didn't like its color) and I love the way it turned out!

Album for Kathy celebrating Labor Day weekend

The inside can be turned like pages or...

completely pulled apart for full viewing.  (Inside of Rachel's album)

Cover of Rachel's album.

Friday, September 18, 2009


I actually created this mini album a few weeks ago.  It's my first "coffee-related" album.  The title "Life is Short, Stay Awake for It" is the theme from Caribou Coffee.  I loved it as soon as I read it, because I truly feel that way.  It was the perfect theme for my album on things I want to do someday.  I am loving mini albums.  I think they are the perfect thing for a new mom.  I get 15 minutes here and there, and when I put a few together, I get my mini album.  :)  It's fun!

Monday, September 14, 2009

"My Cup" Overfloweth

At a recent Bible study I attended, a speaker used a coffee mug as an object lesson to illustrate her relationships with other women.  Immediately I realized that I would have done the same thing, and I began to ponder this.  Though I do not get the opportunity as much anymore, I used to love going to a coffee shop with a friend.  Occasionally a group of us would go, but the memorable times involve just one or two close friends.  We would all order our coffee or drink of choice and sit and talk.  Conversations would cover guys or marriage, work, family, church, and an array of other things.  Sometimes there would be depth in the discussion and even confessions--things that wouldn't have been revealed in a phone conversation, an email exchange, or even a shopping trip.  They were things saved for discussion at this moment over this cup of coffee.  
On a bad day, I sometimes go to the coffee shop alone.  Sometimes it is just a day when I need to "regroup."  I need time for myself so that I can continue to be all that is demanded of me:  teacher, friend, daughter, sister, a spouse and a mother.  
The speaker's object lesson brought all these things to the forefront of my mind.  And then I thought about Biblical descriptions and the children's song about filling our cup with Christ and letting it overflow.  I love the connection between these things:  between my relationships with others and my relationship with Christ.  As I remembered the many wonderful times of friendship and growth and connection over a cup of coffee, I realized that my "cup of life" truly does runneth over.  I am blessed by so many friendships and so many memories of friendships over the past few years, and I am encouraged to think and wonder about the cups that will be shared in the future.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Connecting: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

We all find ourselves in situations where it is necessary to connect with new people.  Sometimes it comes from a move, and sometimes it just comes from life circumstances.  In army life (and 3 duty stations in 3 years), I have found the need to make new friends multiple times.  Loneliness can be dangerous at any time, but in army life it can be devastating.  Loneliness combined with fear (such as that found during deployments) is not a good combination!  Today in Bible Study (PWOC, Ft. Bragg), our devotion was on connecting with others and what the Bible has to say.  Four truths were presented on what the Bible says about connecting with others. 

 They came from Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
(9) Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.  (10) For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!  (11) Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?  (12) And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him--a threefold cord is not quickly broken.  

The first truth found in verse 9 is that there is greater reward when we work together or have someone to work with.  This practical truth is easily forgotten when we try to "go at something alone."  But the Scripture plainly states that the outcome will be better when two (or more) face something together.  The second truth presented, found in verse 10, was that connections with others bring timely support.  As a wife, my husband is a wonderful source of support; however, as an army wife he cannot always be my "timely support" because I do face moments when he is not around or even unreachable.  Therefore, friendship with others is necessary!  
The third truth is found in verse 11, and it is mutual comfort.  This picture of physical comfort, can help us remember that there are times we need emotional comfort as well.  When we are faced with difficult circumstances, how wonderful is it to have a friend who understands and who can encourage us.  Finally, the fourth truth is found in verse 12:  there is strength in numbers.  God didn't create us to face life alone.  He meant for us to face it while connected to Him and to others.  So many visual illustrations accompany this verse, but we have all faced circumstances that also bring light to this truth.  
Today, in a new place, I was reminded how difficult it can be to connect with others, but also I was reminded of its importance.  Through all circumstances I must persevere, and find the connections God has for me.  In this way, I can fully realize the life that God has for me.

Monday, August 24, 2009


I might be, could be, probably shouldn't be addicted to: Netflix, Make it or Break It (on ABC family), DVR, fast-forwarding commercials, Twilight series, Hummus, FoxNews, Facebook, scrapbooking, blogs, Ohio State Football, Harry Potter, and my Camera.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Busy Weekend

This weekend, Nathan's sister and her family came to visit.  They have two kids, Madeline age 5 and Nathaniel age 2.  We had a busy weekend including a trip the the NC zoo on Saturday.  It was a lot of fun.  Here are some pictures to show you!

Elizabeth and Madeline baking cookies

At the Zoo.  Nathan and Thomas in front of the man made Marsh.
We visited the polar bear.  Thomas enjoyed watching the bear and seeing how big he was!

Enjoying one of my favorite treats, an ICEE!

Family Photo

A Murphy Family Photo

Nathaniel (almost 2), Madeline (almost 5), Thomas (7 months)

The End of a great weekend.

A Scrapbook Creation

I have been wanting to create one of these for awhile.  It is a gift card holder.  I've had the pattern since March, and have just gotten around to making it.  It's a really simple pattern.  You have to use thick card stock for the base and strong tape.  Then decorate as desired!  I love it though because I don't have enough room in my purse for giftcards, so this is great!  Mine is a light blue base with purple pockets and brown/blue decorative paper.
My scrap space is about half finished, but I have enough of a work space to start creating and this was my first creation.  I'm currently working on a mini album!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I'm a Photo-aholic

I admit it.  I am addicted to photos.  I just cannot seem to say good bye to a photo.  I don't know why, but I feel like I will be losing something if I don't save a photo.  I have a problem, I know!   This problem influenced me today when I took Thomas to get his pictures done at Sears.  I have this great saver card that gets me all kinds of deals, and I had a ton of great coupons too, and yet I still bought the package.  I admit it.  I did.  And you know why?  The photo cd.  I just couldn't bear that one shot of Thomas not be shared with the world!  Absolutely pathetic I know.  It doesn't help that the professional people's pictures are SO much better than mine (with the help of some amazing cameras and gear).  I'm such a pushover though.  I knew how much it would cost to get a cd, and I told myself no before I went in.  Although it didn't take much convincing, so perhaps I wasn't as firm as I thought.  The problem with this addiction is that I can't decide how to deal with.  Most of me, just wants to ignore it, I mean after all it's not a bad thing to love photographs of your family.  The bad part is, Thomas is only 7 months old and I have a couple thousand pictures of him.  Seriously, I do.  I don't know if my computer can handle even a few years of this!  I have to learn to not be afraid of that delete button!  And I have to start saving more to afford the professional photos I just can't give up!  Here are a few of my favorites from today!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

HPHBP Loves and Hates (Beware of Spoilers)

Well, I took a break from Harry Potter to add a few other fun things to the blog, but I did want to make one final post about Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  In essence, this will be what I really liked about the film, and what kind of drove me crazy.  The opening with Harry at the Underground, is a give and take for me. In some ways, I really enjoyed this creative twist, but I also really missed Dumbledore at the Dursley's.  I really wanted to see those clanking glasses of mead on the Dursleys' heads!  I'm also glad they kept the introduction of Slughorn relatively the same.  I love when they do fun magical things like put the house back together!
I also really liked how they handled Ron and his girl problems.  It was hilarious to watch his interaction with Lavender Brown, and fun to watch Hermione's reactions.  I thought it was a great portrayal and I'm glad they included it; though not vital to the plot of book 7, it's still important.  As for Harry and Ginny---well, I enjoyed the first part where Harry is flustered around Ginny; the scene at Slughorn's dinner party was entertaining, but the Christmas scene at the burrow and then the scene in the Room of Requirement, not my favorite!  It was so strange and not well explained.  It was after the room of requirement that they even mentioned that Ginny had broken up with Dean.  So strange.  Plus, she's such a strong willed character and I feel as if the movie has portrayed her as weak.  :(  So, not happy with that at all!  
The scene in the cave was pretty intense, and I did like this.  I thought it remained true to the book (other than Harry falling in the water), and was pretty good.  However, when they returned to Hogwarts, I was pretty upset that Dumbledore did not freeze Harry.  The fact that he could move during the entire scene on the tower frustrated me.  If Harry could have moved, it wouldn't have gone down like that; the fact that he was immobilized is vital to that scene.  This I suppose was the end of it for me. Really from that point on I was just frustrated at the movie.  The lack of a fight, the death scene, and the weird scene with Harry, Hermione, and Ron at the end just didn't do it for me.  Sometimes I wish I could better understand why writers and producers choose to do certain things when creating a movie from a book, and the end of Half-Blood Prince was definitely one of those times I didn't understand.  
Having only seen the movie once, I look forward to the next time to "love and hate" it more!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I love this photo!

I love this picture of Thomas taken yesterday!  It shows off his beautiful smile!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

New Book

I just bought a new scrapbooking book that I am very excited about.  It's called Outstanding Mini Albums by Jessica Acs.  I picked it up at AC Moore (you can use their coupons on books which is great!)  It's hard for me to spend money on stuff like this because I wonder if I will get any use out of it.  I usually want some type of review or personal recommendation before buying this stuff.  I was about to put this book back on the shelf when I saw three specific mini albums that confirmed I would buy this book.  The first was the Coffee Cup Album. Here's a picture from the book.  (Sorry about the backwards words, but the pictures were taken using the camera on my computer.)

The next album was a Coffee Cup Sleeve Album:

And finally the Coffee Cup Filter Album:  

I figure anyone who loves coffee that much, must have written a pretty good book!  And the book gives great instructions on how to cut and put together these albums.  Also many of the albums use materials from around the house.  I'm looking forward to making my own albums.  I think I will have to make one about my love of coffee.  I'll be sure to share my creation once it is finished!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Twilight Thoughts

Well, as could be predicted, it didn't take long to finish reading Stephanie Meyer's Twilight.  About two days actually!  So, I do have to admit that her stories are somewhat addicting!  I enjoyed the reading, and I enjoyed wanting to read.  Not every book can hold my attention.  After some thought there are two conclusions I have come to about Twilight.  The first is why it is hard to put the book down.  Meyer does an amazing job with her chapters.  She structures them so that every one ends in this mini climax.  I just had to turn the page to see what happened!  And of course, once I did that, I couldn't stop in the middle of a chapter!  Perhaps that is just me.  Secondly, I thought a lot of what was so addicting about the story.  In my mind I compared it to the Harry Potter craze, because they have had some similar reactions (midnight releases, movies, websites, etc).  I don't believe the books are as cleverly written as HP; and Meyer does not help me visualize the picture the way Rowling does, but yet Twilight was still a book I couldn't put down.  I decided one thing Meyer really has down is that she  can tell a love story.  She created two characters who love and are loved with such amazing depth and truth; this is the way most of desire to love and be loved.  In a world where many of us feel we search a long time for love, we admire, even long, for love like this.  For me it helps me appreciate my amazing husband all the more, and as a former teenage girl, I can totally understand their addictions to Edward and Bella.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

New Look

So, I had no idea how easy it was to get a new look!  I'm still working on where exactly I want everything, but I hope you like it.  I picked it up as a free template from LeeLou Blogs.  

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Part 2

I read an excellent review in World Magazine on the movie Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.  I enjoyed Megan Basham's comments, and I was intrigued by her observation here:

What falls on the cutting-room floor are the elements that were most effective at turning a fanciful series about a boy wizard into an epic tale of good versus evil. Almost all the background on Lord Voldemort—his parentage, his seething resentment toward his own father, his early crimes against his family—are lost, as is much of the narrative that allowed Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) to grow into more than a one-dimensional school-boy rival. In essence, with an opportunity to give Harry Potter more fleshed-out enemies that will allow him to become a more fleshed-out hero, Yates sticks with juvenile preoccupations of spell-casting and romance.

Her observations coincide with what I was trying to get at in my previous post.  Brasham mentions how significant this aspect of the plot is in the Harry Potter books--the importance of the war between good and evil.  I think this is incredibly important.  I LOVE book 7 (more on that another time!), and part of the reason behind that is the age-old story of good winning over evil.  It is such an important concept that the book illustrates so well and the movie just didn't focus on.  I think it is significant that Harry's life is surrounded by love and sacrifice--that of his father and especially his mother and also Sirius and Dumbledore.  The "good" sacrifice that is made for Harry shapes who he is, the decisions he makes, etc.  Voldermort has none of this in his life and it shapes him in a completely opposite way creating such a stark contrast between the two characters and ultimately shaping the decisions each one makes.  The movie didn't bring much of this to life.  Luckily there are still two movies left for this theme to be brought out more.  And even luckier, we can always reread the books!
I wanted to post the link to the review, but only half of the review shows up.  If you want to view the entire article, however, I was able to pull up the entire review when I googled "World Magazine Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" and clicked on the following link from the search engine page:  

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Part 1

I have so many Harry Potter things I want to say, so I guess I will start from the most recent and work backwards.  I think it is only fair to preface this review of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by noting that I saw the movie at 10 pm at night (after a long day!) in a theater with a broken air conditioning.  I think this may have influenced my viewing from being as enjoyable as other conditions would have provided.  But when you have a baby to take care of during the day, this is how it goes!
So, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince is a most excellent book.  It may be the most informative book in the series (other than book 7) because it includes so many important bits and pieces to connect books 1-5 and book 7.  It also is the book, in my opinion, where Harry grows up the most, therefore preparing us for the tasks he takes on in book 7.  I think the movie did an excellent job portraying the second part of this.  The movie shows a great maturity in Harry when it comes to relationships.  Not only in his growing recognition of liking Ginny (and his ability to respect Ginny's current relationship and Ron's reaction), but also in his friendship with both Ron and Hermione.  I think the movie shows growth in these friendships and the ability to deal with tougher situations.  Secondly, the movie also portrayed Harry as more of a "take charge" person.  From the very beginning with Harry in the diner reading and flirting with the waitress, to his reaction's to Dumbledore's request to gain the memory from Slughorn, he shows control of the situation.  Though, I wasn't completely a fan of the movie portraying Dumbledore as encouraging Harry to be "collected" by Slughorn, the maturity Harry faced in recognition of his task impressed me, and I believe it will make what we see in movie 7 more realistic.
As far as the movie's representation of the important information from the book, this I found lacking.  I didn't feel that the importance of the horcruxes was emphasized enough.  The number of horcruxes and the necessity to destroy all of them is what drives book 7, and I don't know if movie 6 really prepares the audience for it.  I believe this can easily be made up in the opening of the 7th movie, but it could have been better emphasized.  I'll probably have more to say on this later when I talk about one of the reviews I read.
I definitely enjoyed the movie, and I look forward to the opportunity to see it again.  I will share more thoughts on it later including Dumbledore's death, Harry and Ginny, and what I loved and "hated," so check back!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Photo Freedom!

I recently finished a book that has really inspired me.  The book, Photo Freedom by Stacy Julian is a book for scrapbookers about organizing pictures to optimize time and creativity.  Her system, Library of Memories, is amazing.  It's simple--one of the simplest scrapbook things I have ever seen, and it definitely sounds like it can work!  It's also a huge stress reliever because it in no way focuses on chronological scrapbooking, but rather on what is inspiring and documentation of true meaningful memories.  I know it may not make sense to say there is more focus on memories when you avoid chronological scrapbooking, but if you have ever scrapped you know what I mean!  It is also a great system for creating mini albums or other items beyond layouts.  I am really looking forward to incorporating this system into my scrapbooking.  I believe it will help me be more creative and more productive.  It also encourages me to work hard on getting my scrapbook area set up!  I can't wait to start scrapping again! 

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Family!

It's Been a Long Time

I can't really explain why I left the blogging world three years ago.  Honestly, that should have been the time I got serious about it since I was moving away from Lexington.  I suppose I can use the traditional excuse that "life took over."  It is true after all, life really did take over.  New spouse, new home, new job followed by Nathan's first deployment, another new home, a new baby, and eventually another new home.  That's the past three years in a sentence or two.  :)  So, here I am married almost 3 years (can't believe it!) and living in Sanford, NC.
Since most of you who will actually read this already know about most of my life, I'll just start with the most recent.  We moved to NC in May, had to live in a hotel for 3 weeks which was not fun, and finally bought our house at the beginning of June.  It's an amazing house which we just recently bought furniture for.  It arrives over the next two weeks!  I loved setting up Thomas's nursery.  He has one blue wall and the rest cream.  He already has tons of clothes and toys.  My next favorite part of the house is the library.  We finally have a place for all of our books!  If you have seen our collection of books, you know this is a wonderful thing!  And finally I'm very excited that I will soon be able to have a scrapbook space.  It's a work in progress, but eventually I'll have somewhere for the stuff and a workspace.  Then I will just have to find time to work in it!
Well, since it has been so long, I felt that an update on life was necessary.  Hopefully I will be more diligent!