Over the pass year, really going into the second year for some, alot of my friends have lost someone in their life VERY dear to them. From the loss of a parent, mother and/or father to the loss of a child, it's my hope that anyone walking through such would take this time as a time of growth. Through your healing can bring you such great measure about life...healing...spiritual growth...

Recently in an effort to help a friend who lost her father, I went to the local bookstore to search for grief books for her and I both. For me to help to know more about the process of grief, I've been there, I know what it's like first hand loosing my father when I was 20 years old, but I am not familiar with it from the other side.

One of my passions in life is to be there for others, meet them right where they are in their life, taking them by the hand as they walk through to the other side. Because we all know times come up and there is hope. We do get through things. As the hands and feet of Jesus, I want to be that friend thats there for them. Now I might not always know what that looks like or how to handle that but I know He will equip me each time.

So the book I came up with about grief is Grieving God's Way by Margaret Brownley. I usually try to go for something that my mind can understand, that I can relate to and that I can translate.

I encourage you that no matter what stage of grief your in take time for yourself to move forward each day and gain the full knowledge of grief for a true spiritual growth opportunity.... God calls us to grow right where we are, not when we get things in line or when we straighten ourselves up.

A life of spiritual growth is of a Christian life. Grow in the knowledge of God's word:

Colossians 1:10 so that you may live in a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in everyday: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,

Mature: Ephesians 4:13 until we all reach unity in faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measures of the fullness of Christ.

Here's the link to Grieving God's Way on Amazon:

It's also available on iTunes, print and also available in audio.

Raise your HAND

If you'd like to grow....

Grow Spiritually

A step towards SPIRITUAL GROWTH is keeping a prayer journal:

-don't over think it!
-include dates of entries
-include scripture that stood out to you, that speaks to your heart, your situation. This will increase your knowledge of God's word. 
-record prayer request
-record answered prayers
-include friends & family request-pour your heart out, your thoughts, your frustrations, your happiness, sadness, joy
-don't feel guilty
-it may take days or a week to finish a page, write a little a day or a lot
-don't know what to write to get started, confess that. Start by stating you've come with an open heart not understanding just where to short journaling.
-use words ONLY
-bullet list
-use color...pens, pencils, crayon, markers
-look on Pinterest-"inspiration for prayer journaling" "prayer journal"
-use pictures
-use words, color, pictures together
-mix media
-be FREE-hear encouraging words write them down
-focus in on key words of your prayer, your concerns, note verses by that key word. Google the key word for verses ( ex. joy bible verse ) but then read them in your Bible, journal verse from the actual Bible. ( is good to find verse on by word) 
-expect God to speak to you
-journaling, getting in God's word is like recharging your soul, like recharging your cell phone
-it's not an artsy thing
-write what you hear in you quiet time
-writing in your journal helps your mind stay on track when praying
-helps you become closer to God
-more discipled in your prayer life
-increases your faith
-between you & God only
-no organization, God wants your heart
-tell God how you feel about Him
-what you need
-ask Him to show you areas He needs to deal with in changing you, changing your heart…growing you!
-George Washington, first president of the U.S. kept a journal even at the young age of 20
-take notes during a sermon, paste them in your journal
-a journal reflects your walk with God
-most important is it's written from the heart
-a place you can be real with God, confess your weaknesses and sins, draw close to you're Heavenly Father
-take time to dream and receive God's infinite love
-it can also be a place to "be still" before your maker and reflect, reflect on your life
-prayer journal is about both our relationship with God and our needs, also the needs of others
-transforms you in your daily life with God
-renewal what you're learning, Bible Study, verses, lesson
-listening, turn to scripture and listen when no one else can help
-learn to hear God's voice

The forgotten dream

Forgot to share my dream with y'all from not last night 
but the night before! Are you ready...!?!?!?! 

I dreamed a raccoon got in my house! 

See, I love birds. Like bird feeders in my yard. 
I know, I know it's a true sign I am aging but just last year 
I filled both bird feeders up with the special feed 
I get at Lowes that squirrels don't like. 
And raccoons came and ate out of both feeds. 
How do I know this because my dog told me. 

Her's smart like that...

She chased one off the feeder one night. 
He scooted fast under our fence. Wipe the forehead on that one. 
She was safe and so was he... 

So back to the dream!

What did I do when I realized he was in my house?! 
Well I, in my dream, got up to go to the bathroom and saw him in my house. 
So I screamed for the hubby to get up....that's all I remember! 

Pick Me

so most of you know
#iheartmail #iheartart !!!

Especially, if you've taken
my online art class
you've seen 
my love

Artist Roben-Marie Smith
is hosting an
online art class,
You've Got Mail...Art!,
starting June 15.

She is currently giving 
away three spots 
to her class!

I so would love one!

So I am hoping Roben-Marie 
sees this blog post, it's 
one of the ways 
to enter in a chance 
to win.

I wish you all the luck Roben...

to see more about her
online class
click the link

Listen to the words...

Do you ever truly
sit listening to the words
of a song or do you go just
for the sound, the beat!?

I'd say I do both from time to time.
When I listen to the words,
I strongly hold on to them.

It might be a few words,
the chorus or a mix of words
through out that I might
compile in my own

Today while cleaning (serving)
my daughters 
book case out
(she's on a mission trip,
chi alpha), I turned 
her radio on and 
listened to klove.

Christian music artist 
Meredith Andrews 
was a guest 
on the air today.

So of course 
they played 
her songs. The one that 
stuck out to me was 
I didn't know the 
name of the song 
at the time. 
The words that stuck 
out were, don't hide 
who you are.

So I googled 
those words with 
Meredith's name. 
came up. 
So rather than 
sharing a video with 
the music and all 
I thought I'd 
share the 

See what 
grabs at your 

Pieces by Meredith Andrews

Verse:- 1
It's a complex puzzle you call your life
It's an uphill climb, it's a constant fight
And it wears you down
Feeling like you're alone, like you don't belong
And you won't be loved if you don't measure up
And you wear your scars
Like they're who you are
Give Him your wounds, your bruised and broken pieces
All your questions, all your secrets
You don't have to hide who you are
You belong to someone greater
Than all your past mistakes and failures
Rested who He is
He knows how to make your pieces fit
Verse:- 2
He's the light on the road when you're lost in the dark
And He won't run away if you show your heart
Wants you to believe it
You can taste that freedom
When you give Him your wounds, your bruised and broken pieces
All your questions, all your secrets
You don't have to hide who you are
You belong to someone greater
Than all your past mistakes and failures
Rested who He is
He knows how to make your pieces fit
You are completely known
You are completely loved
This is where you belong
Give Him your wounds, your bruised and broken pieces
All your questions, all your secrets
You don't have to hide who you are
You belong to someone greater
Than all your past mistakes and failures
Rested who He is
He knows how to make your pieces fit

Ways to serve this holiday weekend

Peace does not come just because we wish for it. 
Peace must be fought for. 
It must be built stone by stone.
~Lyndon Johnson

No matter where you are this holiday
weekend take time to 
serve others. 

Leave alittle of your 
happiness behind...

ways to serve 

speak to others in the elevator, 
make a funny, watch them smile

pick up trash you see,
even if it's on the beach,
in a parking lot
or at a friends house

leave a nice message 
on your receipt 
while out to dinner
or a sticky note at 
a friends house you might
have been invited to

hang your American flag
big or small

break out the red, white and blue
napkins, plates, clothes
towels etc.

help someone who looks 
like they are trying to 
take a family 
 suggest a 
self timer app

remember those 
around you who served 
and are currently serving 
our country

think of those 
who's family members 
maybe away serving 

smile at others

write a message in the sand
for those who serve,
on a napkin, 
sticky note 
in an elevator 

draw a flag in the sand,
on a napkin

visit a cemetery 

visit a national park 

read a book memorial day book
to help understand 
a soliders sacrifice 

write a letter to someone 
serving or send a care package

Most of all remember to acknowledge 
to yourself your service...
IT MEANS a lot!

Enjoy your long weekend!

Summer of Service

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything,
but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do
interfere with what I can do.
~Edward Everett Hale

Summer of Service

What does that look like!?

Summer with kids serving others,
no ones sure to get bored! 

Help your kids identify what serving others is.

Serving others doesn't mean you have to go out 
of the country. You might already being 
serving and just haven't stopped 
to think of it like that! 

Serving brings joy,
love and inspiration to life.
Serve humbly, selflessly, put others
before yourself whole heartedly
without expecting anything in return. 

Serving takes time, energy and effort,
it's simple things that really help people
or things others can't do for themselves.

Doing jobs that might not be your favorite.
Doing jobs that aren't assigned to you.
Noticing things that can be done for someone else
and doing them with out being asked.

pick up trash when you see it on a walk
put shopping carts in bin
open the door for the elders
donate old magazines to local library 
donate old books to local library 
gain a pen pal
write a letter to a solider 
cook a meal for an elder
instead of birthday gift ask for items to donate
give coupons to someone who will use them
give boxtops to someone who's child's school collects them
start a recycling project
make cards for those in a nursing home
encourage others to take a bike ride
share your interest, hobbies, talents with others
set up a book exchange
collect dog supplies and take to shelter
send thank you notes
practice random acts of kindness
run or walk at a charity race
speak to the cashier

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life
by what we give.
~Winston Churchill

Click Here to see a longer list of community service ideas

Click Here to see Bible verse about serving others. 

Use your handy dandy Pinterest to get additional 
ideas. Search community service ideas

Most of all,
don't be discouraged
if your time, your schedule and
your resources don't allow you to serve
like your friend, your family member is or did! 

Facebook can be your mission field also!

If you would like to know ways you
and your family could serve ask me and I'd be
glad to point you in a direction you might
not thought of.

"No exercise is better for the human heart than reaching
down and lifting another up."
Serve out of LOVE!

In an effort to serve in the community
my crew and I are gearing up for a
"summer of service."

Splash of SUNSHINE

Here in the south 
it's been raining for like 
three days!

It's spring for crying out loud. 

Enjoy this video I made!

When there's no sun,
create your own!


I am in LOVE with this song!
I think this guy, Chris August-one of my favorite artist,
read my mind on so many levels!
Marriage is something I am VERY passionate about!
After being married for 17 years and
photographing weddings for 10,
I give you this song to listen to word for word!

Keeping it REAL

 From the Murphy Lodge....

 Spring has sprung
and Easter has come 
and gone here at the Murphy Lodge!

 But might we remind ourself that life is real, 
that even though we pulled those 
matchy match clothes together
for the one day 
He Has Risen

Online Art Class

Guess What!?

The Learn Live Lead
online art class is ready for

As I finish up a few
last minute things
getting the classroom
ready. I want
to go ahead and give you
time to purchase your
spot in the class.

The class will
March 25, 2013.

Just in time for a fun Spring...

I am giving $10 off
for those who sign
up before class starts.
So that means
it will be $29.99
vs. the original $39.99.

What a bargain!

You can do that by clicking below

Sale for Learn Live Lead
This sale will last
until midnight Sunday,
March 24, 2013.

Just because the class starts
Monday doesn't mean
you have to. The class is intended
for you to work at
your own pace
in your own

There are no deadlines...

Once you purchase
a spot in the classroom you will
receive a confirmation
email with in 24 hours.

From there you will be given a
special invite inside
the classroom.

Once in the classroom there
 will be a Welcome page
with a complete supply list
and a
Welcome video.

Starting Monday
a lesson will be posted each
day. This will be
about a weeks worth
of lessons.

If you sign up after class starts
everything will be there at once.

From there everyone has
unlimited access to the
classroom, but there
are a few classroom
rules I ask of you.
 There will be a video inside
the classroom explaining the rules.

If you are a beginner,
somewhere in the middle,
or an advanced artist
you are sure
to enjoy yourself.
All ages are welcome.
I use the very same
teaching tools
with my children.

If you've taking an
art class in your local town
before but not a online art class
you are sure to love
the online art class too.

It's alot of information I
know but it will
be alot of fun.

Let's get messy!

Art is the only way to run away
without leaving home ~ Twyla Tharp

Learn Live Lead

Learn Live Lead is an online
mix media art class. The class will
be broke down as the following...

Welcome to Learn Live Lead
My Studio
My Materials
Hands On
Step by Step

All within a private
online class room with
unlimited access.
This is great for working at
your own pace in your own space.

There will be a private
a facebook group. Once you register for
the class you will gain access to the group.
Here you will share, ask questions,
and gain insight from other
like minded artist.

Instagram #learnliveleadart for
instant sharing.

There will be a postcard swap with
others in the group for
those who register before the
class starts.
There will also be
a chance to win a custom
piece of my artwork!
To enter share 
about this class with your
friends. Send me proof
and you will have your 
name in the hat! 
This should be done before 
class starts 
Monday, March 25, 2013.


This class is intended to have
fun on a budget. So with that said
start with anything you might
have on hand.

*paper, cardboard, canvas, art journal
*scrape book paper, book pages
*junk mail, envelopes
*think recycle

a complete supply list will 
be given inside the class room.


If you haven't already
watch this video
for a quick
what the class
will be like.


Let's do THIS together

So a few weeks ago I shared
on facebook and instagram
this picture below.

Just finished filming how to make this nest !!!
#cutestuff beginning stages of an online art class!

So I am here today 
to continue this process and
allow you to see 
alittle more 

Back into editing videos
reminds me of 
my wedding photography 
days editing wedding 
slideshows. It's alittle different  
in the fact one's videos
with pictures and the other's videos
with videos. Ha! 

Jumping on over to setting 
the class room up. It will be 
a lot like my blog here.
I am thinking this will be good 
for you and I both. It will be something 
we are both used to.

So get ready...

Want to view alittle more in detail
what this class will be like
check out 
the tab 
top called 
"Online Art Class"
or click 

I am off to finish the class
up by videoing a 
few more 
things and editing. 
All while finishing up the Paypal 
button for payments!

While these last few things 
are under way I don't 
have the actual
class day start up yet!
But please be on the lookout...
there's advantages 
to signing up before the class

Are you ready!?
Have you taking an online art class before!?
What's your favorite color!?

Send Saturday Mail

I heart mail!
As a child, I had pen pals
and a stamp collection with my dad.
The recent announcement
about no more
Saturday Mail has touched
my heart beyond measures!
So Saturday I posted this to Facebook....
 And then on Sunday the rain
helped me take action. I started preparing
my "Saturday Mail".
I used some old card stock I've kept
from Church bulletins.

I tossed alittle paint here and there!

I glued pieces of scrapes I had!

Making ten special
"Send Saturday Mail"


“Send Saturday Mail” to be delivered or picked up!
Make it personal, it can be a recipe, magazine clipping, 
a quote, a verse, a note, a postcard, a card w/ envelope,
recycle, it doesn’t have to be crafty!!!
Let’s make history. You have until August.
I can’t wait to see what I get! What about you!?

Few facts about no mail on Saturdays...
This will start August 1st 2013
Congress was not asked about the stop of delivery
and they are fighting it!
Only 70% American support no Saturday mail
because they think it will lower
postage. But that's not the case.
Those who vote by mail will be hurt.

The post office will still be open just no
delivery of letters! Packages will be delivered.
This will save the postal service 2 billion dollars!
They lost 16 billion last year!
We will be able to tell our grandchild
mail was delivered on Saturdays at one time.

Will you miss Saturday Mail?
Will you "Send Saturday Mail" until August?
Would you like me to send you a piece, let me know!?
Who will be the lucky 10 this week!?

Stay Home Mom

I want
to take the time to show you
some books I read last year
about stay home moms.
My first response
to several of these
books was,
where have you been!?
I really wish I would have thought
to seek out to find
such books back
several years ago.


I read My Heart's at Home first.
And let me just say, I absolutely loved.
Jill is very down to earth
and tells it like it is on how
to maintain the wife and mom role.
the balanced mom
was really good. The author, Bria Simpson,
graduated from Duke University, obtaining a Masters in Psychology.
She worked as a child and family therapist,
followed by staying home full-time with her children
Now works part-time as a life coach and author.
She's married with three children.
This was a very fast read,
several of the points given I already
knew but was a great reassure
book for me.
Love the cover!
Love the feel of it!  
This was really the first one I thought
to myself where were you
five years ago.
The Essential stay at home mom manual
 is another one I wish
I had when I first came home.
It's kinda geared more towards having
smaller children. Which the author,
Shannon Hyland-Tassava, children are
older now, school age.
Really, really liked this book!
Great cover too!
She's on my facebook page
and enjoy following what she's
up to. Making friends through books,
making friends through facebook is the bomb.
She even talks about that in her book.
Very down to earth!
I really have enjoyed the survival guide,
although I haven't finished it. It's kinda a thick
book and I am bad about reading
more than one book at a time.
It's loaded with lots
of different moms
thoughts and opinions of the stay home mommie
I have to say, I've only read a few pages
of the praise one. I just haven't had
time to finish it up.
This book has GREAT reviews
on though.
 Here's a few old blog post
of me voicing
on my struggle at home,
but knowing I am right where
I supposed to be:
Have you read any of these books?
How long have you been home?
What's your take on the stay home mom roll?
Was it hard for you to give up
your career? Identity?
P.S. my side job is artist, photographer, author, blogger!!!


Babe it's cold outside! Everyone's wishing for snowflakes here after its been raining for eight straight days!

Handmade Planner

With the new year comes a new calendar. I usually keep a calendar in my kitchen and its been years since I've kept a planner. I used to live by those things when I was in college and my early years of working. So I thought this year I'd start fresh by using one again. Maybe it could help my head from spinning, right!? But this wouldn't be just any planner. It would be handmade. Yelp, that's right! If I was gonna use one I wanted it to be special. And what better way then to customize your own. Even better the mix media journal I wanted to use to create this was free. One day before Thanksgiving the art store was having buy one get one free sale on art journals. It was the perfect size. Off to creating this planner and the hubby along with my oldest daughter both kept telling me they'd buy me a planner. I continued creating! That's usually how it goes at my house when the creative juices are flowing, lots of questions, why!? I first painted the cover a blue, Indian Turquoise, that I love and use in most of, if not all, my work! I then glued a piece of cork board in the shape of a heart. I painted it the week before on a day I just felt like smearing paint! Moving on in to the inside, I created a page stating who's planner this was. Adding a year at a glance, a pocket and each month laid out with hand stamped numbers used for the dates. I am in love it looks and feels grand!

Dreaming is a form of planning 
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
-Benjamin Franklin 
Do you keep a planner!?

New Year New Word Relax

Night time sketching
#relax #church #vermont

My new word for the year is Relax.

Make or become less tense or anxious.
Rest or engage in an enjoyable activity so as to become less tired or anxious.

This church is in a free calendar that was sent to my home. It's St. Barnabes' Episcopal Church in Norwich, Vermont. I've always loved churches. The red door caught my eye and last night felt the need to give it a sketch. Enjoy!

Paint Brush Cleaning

One downfall to an art studio is the clean up! My hubby, Mr. Clean, went in my studio the other day to put something up for me and liked to have freaked!!! Days later I begin clean up, because believe it or not once I am done with a round of projects I have to clean up and start fresh the next time. It kinda reminds me of my office job I had years ago. My desk would get so messy but before it was all said and done the next day my desk had to be spotless, that's kinda how I keep my house too! Clean slate makes this girl, Mrs.Clean, a happy girl! It's my off to cleaning the studio the other day. All the glued, mod podge, up sponges tossed. All the scrap pieces of paper that just don't make any since to put in the scrape bucket, or should I say buckets, gone...ones i don't see a future with, in the trash. All the paints put up. All the glitter put up. All the pens put up. All the pencils put up. All the scissors put up. All the aprons put up. All the paint brushes put up or should I say in a bucket of water. This list goes on but I am gonna stop here at paint brush and show you how I clean my brush that sit in a bucket of water for DAYS...I soak them in Murphy's Oil soap then I scrub them!