Friday, January 30, 2009

Life Lesson

"The artist is nothing without the gift,
but the gift is nothing without the work
"-Emilie Zola.

Kelly began her teaching by having the students create their own color wheel. They learned some lessons....yellow and blue make green, red and blue make violet, etc., things they thought they already knew, but I think there were some life lessons in there somewhere! If you don't mix the colors in just the right amounts, you could end up with something very, very wrong! If you don't follow the directions, you won't get the points. If you don't use the correct tools, your finished product won't look right and you will be frustrated. If you make a mess on the table, you will have to work harder and longer to clean it up. If you don't wash your paint brushes, someone will hunt you down and you will have to do it anyway! Usually, it is best to start at the beginning, learn something from it, and go on from there to use that knowledge. Sometimes in life, you have to try, try, and try again to get it right. Some people may be natural born artists, but they still have to do the work. One more quote I love, from artist, Pablo Picasso:
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working." You have to learn the basics first. You have to learn to walk before you can run races.

A fellow blogger at hope42day had the most beautiful comment I would like to add to my post: "The most wonderful color wheel is the one God draws everyday when the sun rises or sets, when it snows, when it rains, when a rainbow appears...and when love takes over our hearts."

Life lessons learned at the hands of our young artists. It was a great week!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

He Will Carry Me

I just love, love, love this song my Mark Schultz!
I even drew an illustration for it. It was used for a church bulletin cover. I make my own cards too, so this is one illustration that I use over and over again. No matter the day, no matter the hour, no matter what the circumstance....He Will Carry Me! How great is that? I hope you enjoy my drawing and the song. Listen......

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Advice from Sister Linda

This was sent to me today....perhaps for a reason....from my beautiful sister, Linda. She is wise.

Never borrow from the future. If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn't happen, you have worried in vain. Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.

1. Pray.
2. Go to bed on time.

3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.

4. Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule.

5. Delegate tasks to capable others.

6. Simplify and unclutter your life.

7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)

8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.

9. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don't lump the hard things all together.

10. Take one day at a time.

11. Separate worries from concerns . If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety . If you can't do anything about a situation, forget it.

12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary purchases.

13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.

14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.

15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.

16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.

17. Get enough rest.

18. Eat right.

19 Get organized so everything has its place.

20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.
21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.

22. Every day, find time to be alone.

23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.

24. Make friends with Godly people.

25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.

26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good 'Thank you Jesus .'

27. Laugh.

28. Laugh some more!

29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.

30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).

31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).

32. Sit on your ego.

33 Talk less; listen more.

34. Slow down.
35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.

36 Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that you've never been grateful for before.

'If God is for us, who can be against us?'(Romans8:31)

Love to the Lee's (Jennifer Dukes Lee), as they say goodbye to Paul today.
"We imagine now what Paul must be seeing and experiencing, though God's Word tells us that no eye can see, no ear can hear and no mind can conceive what Paul is experiencing now.
But in our earthly minds, we try. We imagine what it might be like: a welcoming party that includes his father, a dock over a beautiful lake, fishing boats, new fields to plant, sunsets and the beginning of life with no pain." These are Jennifer's words. She is a wise one too! Love you, Jennifer!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Path Taken

If it is serving, let him serve;
If it is teaching, let him teach;
If it is contributing to the needs of others,
let him give generously;
If it is leadership, let him govern diligently;
If it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Romans 12:7-8

They follow behind me, Father. Lord, please help me with this responsibility, because I have discovered that it does not matter whether they are in preschool, in the Sunday School class I teach, my own children and grandchildren, junior high, high school, or college, children will follow if they have trust in those who are leading. Help me choose the right way. Help me to be a wonderful teacher and source of information for Kelly, that she will leave here with only positive feelings about the path she has taken. Help me never to forget that trust is to be cherished. In Your name I pray, Amen

Sometimes blessings come in the form of student teachers! I never knew that before. I have never taken on the roll as mentor, teacher to another teacher, but I have received the gift of Kelly. Meet Kelly Mulder who comes to West Lyon to student teach with me this semester. She is tall, beautiful, talented and very special. I can tell in just a couple of days that she will bring a lot to my classes and I will look to her to teach this old dog a few tricks too! She was interviewed for the school newspaper soon after she arrived. The following is an article written by a student news reporter for the "Catscratch" at West Lyon.

New Student Teacher at West Lyon
By: Ashley Boom

Kelly Mulder will be student teaching this semester at West Lyon. She will be observing Mrs, Childress who teaches art from eighth grader through senior year. To learn a little more about Miss. Mulder we had her answer some questions for us:

Where are you from? I live on a farm by Steen, Minnesota.

Who are your family members? Holly and Dennis are my parents. Randy and Jerry are my brothers. Becky is my sister. Jerry is married to Kerry and they have one son named Nikolas.

What high school did you attend? Hills-Beaver Creek

What college are you attending? Northwestern College in Orange City.

Why did you choose education? I have always enjoyed working with people and helping people learn to use their creativeness. I like working with kids and I enjoy being able to spread my passion about art to them.

What is your favorite book/movie/music genre/food?
Favorite Book: I have way to many to list because I love to read, but my favorite author is Ted Dekker. I am currently reading the Twilight series and I like them too!
Movie: Sweet Home Alabama
Music Genre: Almost anything, but I really like country.
Food: Steak and Potatoes with Applesauce

What are your hobbies? I enjoy painting, fishing, water skiing, playing cards, running, volleyball, and basketball.

How do you like West Lyon so far? It’s only my first week, but it has been great so far. I think West Lyon is a very good school and everyone is really welcoming! I look forward to learning a lot here during this semester.

What are your future plans? I hope to find a job teaching art somewhere close to home.

Welcome to West Lyon Miss. Mulder!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Celebrating Brittany and my 100th Post!

First of all, Happy Birthday today to my daughter-in-law, Brittany,
shown here with Calvin. I am thankful for you, and thank you for
my grandbabies!!! Love you forever!!!

This is officially my 100th post!!!!! I can't believe it!

Before all the fanfare that goes with 100, please pray for a new blogfriend, Kelly and her new baby, Harper, who is having heart surgery. Check out her story at:

Next, and again, before the fanfare, isn't this the cutest baby ever?
My granddaughter, Braylyn Ray is 9 months and so full of fun and smiles.
She is a real blessing to all! Love you forever, baby Braylyn. Grandma Carol

Braylyn Ray

Now, in the spirit of "100ism", this is what 100 looks like:

For my "grandbabies", Carter, Mason and Spencer!

If I had 100 friends.....

If I received 100 roses.....

Doesn't 50 + 50 = 100?

This will be me in just 50 more years!

I found this on a devotion for today at:

Thanks, Marilyn, for listening....again! Love you- You can "meet" her at:

If you are struggling with someone in your life, take time today to intentionally lift up that person throughout the day in prayer. Pray blessings over them and ask God to help you see their positive qualities.

Dear Lord, Thank You for loving me and all my quirks. Please help me to love others in the same way—extending grace and compassion like You do. Help me to appreciate the people You have put in my life and to not look elsewhere for happiness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Flowers continue to bloom in Mom's backyard. I think the green ties in so beautifully with my new background from Click on the blue and red icon on the top left of this screen or on this link and you can get a new background too!!!!

I have been tagged AGAIN, by Janelle at . She had an interesting outlook on the new year...instead of resolutions for 2009, she chose to simply contain all her resolutions into one word; the word is "break". You can read about it on her site. I loved it, Janelle! Sorry I am letting you down with this tag thing, but I don't know who else to tag and what else to tell you!

Now, for lack of anything better to reflect upon,and since I am "choosing" to not be tagged, I would like to instead, give you this list I found....great attributes for anyone to strive for in the New Year, and I choose to make my word for 2009, "Choice". All of these attributes are a choice...we can choose to do them or choose NOT to do them, but they are all good and right. Sorry, it was written on a small slip of paper in one of my piles and I don't know who gets the credit for these words....but they are not my words....sorry. Now, today is my 99th post and I am still Choosing Joy!!!! Thank you to all of you who have visited and commented and prayed for our family. I choose you as my friends!!!

The list:
Courage: Doing what you know is the right thing even when it is hard to do
Determination: Staying focused on a plan even though the path may be difficult
Teamwork: Working with other people toward a common goal
Persistence: Moving forward even though you face obstacles
Integrity: Sticking to your values, regardless of what others think you should do
Citizenship: Making a contribution that improves the lives of others
Justice: Treating all people fairly, no matter who they are
Commitment: Making a promise and following through with it
Excellence: Doing the best that you possibly can

Have a great day. I am gearing up for my 100th post tomorrow. Thanks for cheering me on!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Blog Title

Thank you, thank you, thank you to my friend Diane at Spreading Seeds for the amazing new blog title photo banner she made for me today. She did it as a surprise and sent it to me. My mouth dropped nearly to the floor. Within the photo, I can see each of my children, my son, Brandon, with his wife, Brittany, and kids, Calvin, Kavian and Braylyn, my son, Tyler and his girlfriend, Christi, and one of his famous football carries,our daughter, Marissa, and Grandpa Dave with the twins, my precious brothers and sisters and Mom, and me with that beautiful granddaughter of mine!!! It took a while for me to notice everything in the collage, but in the background, there is an iris and some pansies, from my mama's garden, and the backdrop I painted for a photography studio last summer. Diane, you are amazing. You are such a gift to me. Check hers out too. She made one for herself today too! Now, if I could just get back into my CutestBlogontheBlock website and make everything match. I did it once, but when I tried to change it, I lost it and can't get it back! (sounds like me I am talking about!)I play around so much, and that is fun, but frustrating when it doesn't work out the best and I can't figure out how to fix it. Anybody have any free background sites they use?

Diane's Title Banner

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Missing Home

Sunday, January 11, is our last Christmas Party for the year 2008. Really!
With all the storms and weather and scheduling conflicts, we are having our party a bit later than usual. It is kind of nice actually. Christmas is so rushed, so busy, so full. Today, we celebrate family. Mom and Dad are both gone, our home is gone, but the 9 children try to stay connected any way we can. We email often, we see each other along the way, we call, but 2 times a year, we try to come together to celebrate family.
It was not a very nice house, but it was our home. It was old, it was crowded with 11, it had no running water, no furnace, no closets, no bathroom......but it was filled with family and love!
I miss home.
We got together for Christmas Eve....always. I miss Christmas Eve.
It has become a tradition, developed along the way, to trade small gifts. Sometimes it may be an ornament, a new coffee mug filled with the makings for hot chocolate, some new bath salts or pretty scented lotion. I think it is kind of a "lady thing" as most men are not thrilled with bath salts or lotions , or ornaments, but it is fun to receive these little gifts and fun to come up with something original. My gift this year is a handmade accordian book filled with good thoughts, words and momentos....if you have followed me at all, you know I am good at momentos and lots of sap and sentiment! Anyway, I have made enough books for all my brothers and sisters. One of my favorite books has the words found in Ecclesiastes:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sow; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war; and a time of peace.

To everything there is a season. There is the season of childhood, of rough times, but of love and happiness. There is the season of losing a father. There is the season of losing your childhood home. There is the season of losing a mother. There is the season of going on without them. There is the season of staying together. Hopefully, we will manage to gather 7 of us, with many children, grandchildren, neices and nephews, plus Mom's husband Jack, and his new wife, Dorothy, and have lots of food and lots of coffee, share some memories, share some laughs, most likely some tears, maybe sing a few songs, and treasure times together.
We love you Tom and Darese and your family in South Carolina. We love you, Susie, and all your kids and grandkids in Texas. Wish you could be with us. Your book will be in the mail.
Love you forever-Carol the Barrel

Friday, January 9, 2009

Never Too Old to Play

Kinda looks like some sort of prayer ritual, but really, it is "the plank"...body off the floor, touching only toes and elbows!

This one has only the torso touching the floor...arms and feet up...the two finalists!

"The bridge"...You don't see me in these photos....I didn't do too well at this one!


Really, really stretch!!! Collapse into laughter! That is good.

Have you ever heard it said that a parent should take the time to get down on the floor and play with their children? My children are pretty big for play time, but we had a good time anyway. We held a "contest" to see who could hold the "plank" and the "bridge" the longest. Then it turned into many other interesting positions and lots of laughter.
Remember to play.
Thank you Lord for my children and for adding light and laughter to our home. "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you." Philippians 1:3-4

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pray for the Lees

I sure hope this is ok with the Lees and my friend, Jennifer Dukes Lee over at Her father in law, Paul is struggling, and so, the family is struggling as well. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue on this journey of love and peace. The following is a partial post from :
The have so much to teach us....even in the midst of pain and sorrow and suffering, they have kept their eyes on God and not wavered in their faith and in their knowledge of the truth:"God is Good". Love and prayers go out to you, Jennifer, and to your whole family. Just to let you know, this prayer chain is growing by the minute. My post today is featured on high callings blog under family! The warriors are out tonight!

"Paul came home to the farm last night.
Paul, his family and a capable team of doctors have determined that it no longer makes sense to fight the two diseases in his body -- the fungus and the leukemia. He will, instead, enjoy some time at home, making memories with family and good friends. He will be under the care of nurses who will help control his pain. He is feeling pretty good right now, and we are thankful for that. It is best for Paul to come home. At the farm, he will be treated for any pain he is experiencing, find the rest he needs and enjoy some of the things he loves best. Please know that all of us have peace with this decision. We have felt and continue to feel the power of your prayers. Please continue to pray. We ask for prayers for healing, for miracles, for controlled pain, and for Paul to enjoy each day to the fullest. Really, that is what life is all about. Jesus says in John 10:10 that He came down to Earth "so that we may have life, and have it to the full." He didn't say we wouldn't suffer in this life, but He did promise to stand with us in our storms.Paul is feeling quite good now, and is happy to be home. We anticipate some good days ahead where we can sit, talk, laugh, reminisce and count our many blessings.Even in the midst of suffering and trial, we know this truth: God is good.
Love, the Lees"

Saturday, January 3, 2009

No Worries-

There really is something new to learn each day.
Sometimes we need a little help.
I sought help once and learned that I am good enough, I am worth enough, I am enough.... no worries....
Today, my verses come from Matthew 6: 25-34
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, or what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For your heavenly Father knows what you need. Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I hope to lean on someone, ask someone for help, rest and not worry this year.
I can rest in Him, He is enough. Carol

Friday, January 2, 2009

I've been Tagged!!!

Sarah at has issued me my very first tag. This one asks each person tagged to share 7 random and/or weird facts about themselves, then tag 7 random people and include their links. Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they have been tagged. 7 random facts about myself-seems daunting, but there are many more weird things about me than 7!!!

1. I love peanut butter-with chocolate, even better!
2. I lost a baby between my boys. I always thought it was a little girl. I told my daughter about her and we even named her years later.....her name was Kayla.
3. I get concerned about losing my vision one day.
4. I love

5. Every night when I go to bed, I snuggle up under the covers and let out a big sigh! I made it!

6. I, like Sarah, stay up way too late and don't get enough sleep...I am way past beauty sleep, but we all still need some!

7. I am an adult child of an alcoholic.

That's all there is to it! Hope to hear from some of you!

1. Jennifer at

2. Marilyn at

3. Debilou at

4. Talkin' TexanAt

5. Spreading Seeds at

6. Kim at

7. Sarah at