Friday, February 27, 2009


A sun dog or sundog (scientific name parhelion, plural parhelia, for "beside the sun") is a common bright circular spot on a solar halo. It is an atmospheric optical phenomenon primarily associated with the reflection or refraction of sunlight by small ice crystals making up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds.

Did you see the beautiful sunrise today? A gift from God on a cold Friday morning.

All the way to school today, I listened to story after story about Heaven on my favorite radio station, KNWC with my friend Suzanne on the air. Some people shared moments with loved ones as they were traveling from this life to the next. Some said they themselves had actually been there, seen it, felt it.....and returned to tell others that it is a real place, that it does exist. It is bright, it is light, it has unbelievable music, it is so filled with love. Maybe that bright beautiful sunrise is just a little bit of what is in store for us. For now, we must BELIEVE and wait, but it sounds like that is the place I want to be! How about you???

I Can Only Imagine

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By your side

I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When your face
Is before me
I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine

I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever, forever worship you

I can only imagine

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Let the Little Children Come Unto Me"

Again with the "little blessings". I present:
*Our Seeds of Faith Sunday School Class*

We have learned about baby Jesus and how God gave us His son. We have learned about Zachaeus and how God loved him no matter what he had done, and no matter how little he was. He could climb up in a tree so he could see better, but could not hide from Jesus. As posted earlier, we are now learning about the Prodigal son. It doesn't matter if we run away, waste all of our money, do "naughty stuff". God still loves us and welcomes us back. "Great is His Love for us". We have learned to be nice to others, not to lie to others, to share with others. We have prayed together, we have laughed together. We have played together. We have sung together. We have snacked together. We have confessed together. In between all of that, there has been a lot of coloring and gluing and making and talking, and lots of eating!!!!

Our beautiful tree. It started out all brown and drab, but week after week, we are adding little notes with messages about the nice things we do for others. The tree was made out of scraps of construction paper which I tore into "treeish" shapes, I built on it every week, first putting leaves that had "good things" on them that came in the Sunday school packet. If it was not a nice thing, we threw that leaf away. If it was a nice thing, we stuck it up there. As we learned about Zachaeus, I put him up in the tree and a picture of Jesus under the tree. Then every week, the kids would tell me something nice they did for someone and I would write that on a leaf and they could stick it up with double stick tape. This month, I wrote the nice things on hearts and they got to stick them up. Some of them brought their parents in after class every week just to show them their tree.

Dawn and I are teaching the 4 year olds together! We are both learning so much! You are awesome, Dawn. I am blessed for this experience with these kids and with YOU! See you Sunday!!! I can't wait to see what you have planned for us this week!!! Love, Carol

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Red Letter Campaign

Thank you to Darlene, a lovely blogger friend at for bringing this to my attention today. I hope it is ok with you, Darlene that I copied and pasted your post today. Did you know that abortion will kill about 120,000 babies today? What can one person do?

Please consider joining in the Red Envelope Campaign.
Participate by sending a red envelope to the White House @:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Seal it and write the following message on the back:

"This envelope represents one child who died in abortion. It is empty because that life was not allowed to offer anything to the world. Life begins with conception."

Stamp it, mail it, and invite others to do the same.
Send red envelopes as often as you are led.

Wouldn't it be awesome if we could make a difference in the lives/deaths of so many children.
We love our babies!!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

New Blog

As I was painting the sunset area, I began to sing the old song, "Beyond the Sunset", so that is how it got it's title. "Beyond the Sunset"-Acrylic

Believe it or not, I have begun a second blog!!!! I am applying for the job of providing artwork for a new facility in our area, so had to write a letter of intent and purpose and submit pictures of my work. This is a first for me, so it may not fly, but thought it worth a chance. I am always up for some extra summer work, and painting is what I love to do. Anyway, the best way I could figure to get them the pictures was on a blog site. Check it out if you wish, and sorry for the letter and pricing thing, but you get to see that too I guess. Hope you like it! If you click on any image, you will be able to see a larger version of it. Carol I won't be changing it often, but maybe adding things now and then. If you lose the site address, I put it under my "sites of interest" as Carol's Art Site.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's Fabulous Friday!!!

*The weekend is finally here.
*Today is the long awaited art show held at our school.
*Everything is hung and ready before opening time of 5:00 p.m.
*I submitted an essay to my weight loss center this week.
*I won first prize!
*That means I AM A WINNER!
*Check out what I won!

I received all this for winning the essay contest! My essay follows. Please do not feel obligated to read it all. Some of it, I have covered before!

Why I Love LA
I have come out of the dark. I am on a journey and I am not alone. I have been so alone for so long, and not doing well going solo. I have tried, failed, quit, got up day after day resolving to do better today, failing by up became my only option. I was a failure. I was overweight. I was tired, sluggish, old, and alone. I had a major surgery which took me down for a while, my husband had a heart attack, we were having some family problems, I was told I was going to be a Grandma, our son was in his senior year of high school. He was injured in football. My mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, and while caring for her, we found out that one grandchild would be 2. I helped make everything for the wedding, and 2 weeks after the wedding, our daughter in law went into preterm labor. I really fell apart at that news. I really didn't know how to lose my mom and my grandchildren at the same time. I sat with my mom and my daughter in law for 2 weeks. I month after the wedding, I became a grandma to two amazing boys, weighing 2 lbs. 3 oz. and 2 lbs. 15 oz. They were tottering on the edge of life and death on the very far distant end of the spectrum as my mom. I sat with mom or I sat with the twins for months, continued to teach school, took care of my house and family as best as I could, tried to get to all the football games and volleyball games and soccer games, washed clothes in the middle of the night, gave up sleeping for a while, scrapbooked every memory I could find, working most of the night on Mom's scrapbook or the twins' scrapbook, ate whenever and whatever I could, sat at bedsides between mom and the twins, didn't move very much, and I simply did not have the time to take care of myself. I lost my best friend when my mother passed away. She always believed in me. I was simply too tired to believe in myself.

Then I found LA Weight Loss. Those ads on TV would not stop speaking to me. Maybe I could do it if I had some help. I hated to think that I had to pay someone to tell me what to eat and how to eat and when to eat. I thought of myself as an educated woman....I should be able to figure this out on my own. The day I stopped in, I was told, "This is your last stop" and it was....

I now have a spark. I have energy. My smile has returned. My laughter has returned. I may have taken some extra time to get where I am, but I am arriving. My friends say, “You’re back!”
I know my Mom would be so proud of me. She IS proud of me!

I am worth the cost. I am worth the 35 mile drive. I am worth the shopping and reading labels and taking care of myself. LA made me believe in myself.

What I love about LA is the encouragement. The connection I have made with some of the girls has kept me going during some of the rough times. I can see their faces telling me I am worth it. I am doing ok. I can do this. I enjoy going to LA each week and giving hugs to all. They tell me I look great. They say my enthusiasm is contagious. I am filled with so much appreciation and thankfulness at the support and love I receive from them.

I am not alone.
I have an awesome team on my side.
I CAN make good choices.
I CAN eat.
I NEED to eat.
Starving, overeating, failing, restarting and struggling more does not work.
The cycle of trying and failing is over.
I love how I feel and I love life, thanks in great part to the friends I have made at LA.

I am younger.
I know I look better.
I have gotten off my blood pressure medications.
My bloodwork shows remarkable changes.
30 pounds ago, I was tested for diabetes and Cushings Disease.
There are no signs of those diseases now.
Thank you LA for your support, and thank you Lord for my healing.

Life has begun again at 50!!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hard Lessons

Well, we have just about survived the painting lesson. Kelly had the students first create a color wheel so that they would know how to mix colors. That was pretty easy. THEN, she asked them to paint a picture of a person. Some painted faces, some painted hands, almost everyone had struggles. Some started over. Some got mad. Some got frustrated. Everyone survived and learned so much. The results are good.

Life is hard sometimes. You may have to start over. You may get mad. You may get frustrated. But, (thankfully), most of us survive and learn something when it is over.

"No one knows what he can do until he tries."

More lessons from the art room.

Kendra working on her flesh tones.

Jami chose hands to work on her flesh tones. It was a struggle but the end product is good.

Ivan tackled a storm and lightning.

Erin did a great job with scenery.

Works in progress-

Marissa's portrait study.

Mitch used a palette knife to make rugged mountains.

Brandon painted his first realistic painting. He usually leans toward cartoon images.

"You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

"Great is His Love for Us"

Luke 15:11-32
There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them. Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.' So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate. Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 'Your brother has come,' he replied, 'and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.' The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!' 'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' "

I have the honor of being a Sunday School teacher for preschool children. I share the post with a friend, Dawn, and she and I muddle through this experience, both being in our first year as teachers. I know, I have been teaching for years, but my area of teaching has always been teenagers. This is a whole new interesting, wonderful ballgame!

I had to try to make this story make sense to 4 year olds. Today, I reviewed the story of the prodigal son. What 4 year old can understand "interitance" "estate" and "squandered" and "property" and "prostitutes" and "famine" and "destitute"? I watered it waaaayyyy down, so the story went like this:

Once there was a man with 2 boys. When parents or grandparents die and go to heaven, sometimes they have some leftover money and they leave it to their kids. Well, one of the boys didn't want to wait until his dad died, so said, "I want my money now". His dad gave it to him. His brother didn't ask for his money right now. The boy who had gotten his money left his house and spent all of his money on food and clothes and parties until his money was all gone. He became hungry so he had to go to work for a pig farmer. He was so hungry, he wanted to eat the leftover pig food. He thought about his dad's farm workers and he thought that they had more food than he did, and a place to stay, so he decided to go back home and ask his Dad to take him back. When his Dad saw him coming down the road, he yelled at his workers to make a big meal and bring him a robe and sandles and a beautiful ring. The older brother was mad because he had stayed home like a good son and worked next to his father and the father had not had any big parties for him or given him a beautiful ring. The father said I have always given you what you need and everything I have I have shared with you, but your brother was lost and now he is back home again, so we are having a party! No matter what he has done, I love him.

We went on to each draw a picture of something we have done that we are sorry for or something we have done that is bad. After finishing the task, I asked each student to take their drawing, ball it up and throw it in the garbage....just like the pig slop...just like what God does to our mistakes once we ask his forgiveness. They become like the garbage, gone forever! No more worries!

Then, to relate this father to our heavenly father...have you ever strayed? Have you ever squandered? Have you ever left your father to live a life you thought was greater than the one you had? Have you ever wasted your gifts, your talents, your wealth? Guess what? Your heavenly father is just waiting for the moment you return to Him. He will welcome you with open arms and celebrate your return. He loves you so much that he will take you back. He will welcome you back and He will love you just as much as before. Maybe more! He says, "No matter what you have done, I love you". Our memory verse: "Great is His love for Us". I am learning right along with my 4 year olds. They are my little blessings, and I am so very blessed!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Train Up a Child

Is she not the cutest baby ever? She has the most beautiful blue eyes! I love all my kids and grandkids, but this is the youngest and I just want to squeeze her!!!! I am so proud of my son and his wife. They faithfully bring all the kids to church every Sunday. The years of insisting he go to church may have been the best thing I have ever done as a Mom! Thank You!

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

I posted a few pictures a while ago of SpongeBob and Patrick that I painted for Calvin and Kavian. I have now finished the bathroom with the Crusty Crab. Now the twins will have scenery as they stand and "take care of business". Enjoy!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Jeremy Camp

Janet, Marilyn, ME, our new friend Suzanne from Lite 96.5 KNWC, Beth and our new friend, Carmon, who literally took a dive at our feet!!!!

I have always said that songs speak to me. God speaks to me through songs. Well, I heart Him, LOUD and clear! Jeremy Camp sang, "There Will Be A Day" after he shared the story of the loss of his young wife to cancer on that very day years before. He went on to say that he is now remarried and has two beautiful girls, but is holding tight to this thought: There will be a day....

"I try to hold on to this world with everything I have, but I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab . The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth, that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew. But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings that there will be a place with no more suffering .

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more.
We'll see Jesus face to face, but until that day, we'll hold on to You always .
I know the journey seems so long. You feel you’re walking on your own,
But there has never been a step where you’ve walked out all alone.
Troubled soul don’t lose your heart, cause joy and peace He brings.
And the beauty that’s in store outweighs the hurt of life’s sting.
I can’t wait until that day where the very one I’ve lived for always
will wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced.
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery
This is why I sing.

A full house!

Jeremy with his amazing backdrop!

"Speak up. Speak lounder than before. We can make a difference!"
"We are the light!"

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:5-17

Lots of sound, musicianship and a little smoke!

Bebo Norman and his amazing friend and musician.

As promised, I have pictures. Actually these are just SOME of the pictures I took. We had a wonderful time. At times, I thought I was too old for that kind of music, but really, I ended up really loving it and rocking out with the best of them. We found a few old friends, a few new friends, a wonderful ticket taker who was even older than me! He came up to us and said laughingly, "Ladies, I hope you realize this is a Christian concert!You are having entirely too much fun!" Then he went on to say how great it was that we were having so much fun together. We must have been infectious!!!! We laughed, we talked, we giggled, we cried, we texted like the kids do, we talked purses and clothes, we lost jewelry and broke a coat....I even went right up front for whole body was vibrating with the sound coming from the speakers at that close a range. Janet adopted her child....Janeth.....she REALLY really REALLY wanted that child!!!! I saw some of my "blog buddies", Jennifer, and Chris, and Michelle, and got a big hug from Shelly. Jennifer even thanked me for the big "Choose Joy hug" she has come to appreciate so much! The next morning, on KNWC, Suzanne talked about the concert. She said that one of the great things about going to a concert like that is the new friends she makes. She said, "I met this crazy group of ladies from Iowa. Here's a shout out to Janet, Marilyn, Carol and Beth". My phone went crazy.....texts from all over the place. "Did you hear?" I heard, and I loved!
Music, friends, laughter, tears, hugs.....what a blessing to be part of such an event. I was choosing joy all day!!!! I heard an interesting thought on the radio. Maybe there is a reason I named my blog what I did. J. for Jesus - O. for Others- Y. for Yourself. That is the order of things. That should be the priority list and you will find happiness. Put Jesus first, then others before yourself and all will be in order. Have a better than ordinary day-and you too can Choose Joy!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Time to Work

Kelly is doing a great job teaching and I am trying to let her teach and stay out of issues with kids. I am kind of like a mom when it comes to her I guess. She has to make her way in this world and learn and find out things....I have to give her wings and let her fly......

Meanwhile, I have had some extra minutes to work on my painting!

It gives me joy to paint again after such a long time!

This one has been done for a while but I think it is so special!

The students love to watch me paint. They are in awe, and it makes them think I know what I am talking about when I try to teach them.

I am off to see Jeremy Camp and Bebo Norman tonight in Sioux Falls with friends Marilyn, Janet and Beth! Yippee! I am sure I will have some pictures to share another day!

For now, turn up the music and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Proverbs 31

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies."

"Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value."

"She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands."

"She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar."

"She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls."

"She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard."

"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks."

"She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night."

"In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers."

"She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy."

"When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet."

"She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple."

"She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes."

"Strength and honor are her clothing; she shall rejoice in time to come"

"She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue."

"She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness."

"Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her."

"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."

"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

"Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate."

4 years ago, she taught us her final earthly lesson.
Life goes on.....she said it many, many, many times, and so it does....
I opened her bible that night and read to her from Proverbs. She was a Proverbs 31 woman. Anyone who knew her, would tell you that so many of the attributes listed are of her. That passage became the message for her celebration. Pastor Johnson also read from a passage about how weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning. Our second son was very, very sick that night and I left her to go to him. I took him to the hospital and waited for hours in the ER. I was so tired, I actually pulled into school and slept in the parking lot. I awoke, finished the drive home early in the morning. I checked my emails, tired but not wanting to go to bed. I did not sleep much during those months. The phone rang. Susie, my sister from Texas, who had come all the way to be with Mom....she called to say...."Remember how Pastor Ron said joy would come in the morning? Mama went home." Thank you Father, for her healing.

Mother and child...a bond that can not be broken....

Love you forever, Grandma!

Sweet picture of Kavian fighting to live....

Precious times....Marissa and her two Grandmas.

For everything, there is a season....

Life does go on....she was right about that...but my path is a little darker now without her by my side. I know, I know, I know....she is well, but that does not make me miss her less. I was told by a friend....Missing her "makes heaven all the sweeter". Keep praying for me!