"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow." ~ Helen Keller

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Happy Easter! Getting Crafty On The Cheap

Wow,can you believe it is almost Easter already? We have had such a painfully looong winter, I was starting to wonder if Spring would ever really come back! Finally we are getting green grass, buds on the trees, and warm sunshiny days here in West Texas. Oh happy day!!

I just wanted to share some photos of my kids and me and some crafty fun we had with plastic eggs. We always try to do cool crafts for the holidays and Easter is no exception. But this year we were kinda between paychecks so we just had to use what we had around the house and our imaginations. Actually, I think that is actually the best possible scenario for sparking creativity.

(These are my twins, Sophie and Jesse. They are almost 11, but they were about 6 or 7 here I think...we got these cool kits to use with your real dyed eggs. They had cootie bug legs and wings and stick on eyes. They were just toooo fun!)

So we raided our craft supplies, got out the glue gun and here is what we came up with. I think the kids did pretty well, and most important they had a lot of fun, AND as an added bonus...they continued doing this activity for several days on their own, providing me with some great quiet time to write, stare into space, and things of that nature!

Here is what we came up with from our left over plastic eggs from last year and some odds and ends from around the house...

Well in the end, we had a blast, and against the advice of everyone, we did in fact, put ALL our eggs in one basket! And it turned out fine! So just gather up whatever you can find and have some fun with the kids getting all crafty with it!  Happy Easter everyone!

Hey you guys...if you would like detailed photos and instructions on how to make these eggs, especially the bluebird and the bee, as well as other fun craft ideas to do with your kids, subscribe to my arsty craftsy newsletter, Creative License. Lots of fun and free ideas for you and your kids!!

email me at...  absopositive@gmail.com

And just a reminder, Easter is not all about colored eggs...it is all about HIM...

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16 New Living Translation

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MckLinky Blog Hop

We Have a Winner!

Hey everyone, and thanks so much to all who participated in last week's Friday Follow giveaway. Well today is the day and the winner is....

None other than the honorable Mayor of Crazytown Herself! Be sure to check out her HILARIOUS blog spot all about the insanity that is motherhood!

Crazy Town Mayor

Congratulations Mrs. Mayor! And thanks again to all who participated.

p.s. This is what I used to choose the winner. Totally random!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2010-03-30 07:32:22 UTC

Thanks everyone and we will do this again real soon! Have a great week! 

Chris :-)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Friday Giveaway!! Sadie book and handmade clay angel pet

Here are a couple sneak peeks inside the book...

Hey y'all!

I've had so much fun participating in the last few McLinky blog hops that I decided I wanted to take part in the Friday Giveaway.

I'm giving away a brand new copy of the childrens' book, "How Sadie Learned To Smile," written by Linda Boulanger, and illustrated by me. This book teaches kids about the importance of being kind to our animal friends, and focuses on the joy of giving an adopted animal a forever home. It also deals with the issue of a beloved animal friend leaving us when his/her life is over. It deals with some sad subjects, but is a very uplifting and heartwarming story. I will personally autograph it for you if you like.

Additionally, I'm including a dog or cat (your choice) angel ornament, also hand made by me with polymer clay. This can be for your Christmas tree or you can just hang it on the wall.

To see more clay creations like the ones above as well as mosaic art work and other things, visit my Etsy shop, Imaginotions...  http://www.etsy.com/shop/imaginotions

For more info on "How Sadie Learned To Smile," including details about the author, illustrator, and inspiration for this story, please visit Sadie's website...  http://www.SadiesSmile.com

A portion of all the proceeds from the sale of the Sadie book benefit ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation) of Bartlesville, OK...where the original Sadie was adopted and where she met her forever family.

To be entered in the give away, please leave me a comment. Contest ends March 30th.

Thank you for visiting my blog!  I hope you will stop by again! :-)


MckLinky Blog Hop


Monday, March 22, 2010

Answered Prayers - "In The Waiting Room"

This week's blog hop has as its theme "Answered Prayers." We were challenged to relay a real story of answered prayer from our own experience. Sometimes it is easy to forget how willing and how happy God is to answer our prayers. Like an earthly parent wants to make their child happy, how much more does our Heavenly Father want us to be happy? 
I hope this testimony will be an encouragement to you. Thanks so much for stopping by.

In The Waiting Room
by Chris Janzen

When at last I walked down the aisle and got married at the age of 30, I was so filled with happiness and triumph. I was certain my family had given up any hope of me ever finding a guy willing to put up with me and my orneriness for any amount of time, let alone an entire lifetime! How I had prayed there was a guy out there some where that was perfect for me.

Finally, I met him, and in time there we were at the altar, saying those beautiful vows in front of God, our friends, and our families.

On the outside I was saying, “I take this man to be my lawful wedded...blah, blah, blah...,” but on the inside I was yelling, “I got me a man!” It was the happiest day of my life...and a wonderfully answered prayer.

We wanted to start a family right away; both of us couldn't wait to become parents. It was a dream God had placed in both of our hearts, and one we'd both wanted for quite a while. Finally we could focus on making that dream a reality. We both agreed we would have just two children, hopefully one boy and one girl. Then our family would be complete.

How impatient I was every month, wondering if this would finally be IT! I wanted a baby more than I had ever wanted anything, and I had prayed for one in earnest. I would be going about my day at work, in the car, at the store...wondering if that amazing miracle had yet occurred. I kept praying and waiting...

As month after long month passed, I fought discouragement and disappointment. I wanted to be patient, but I also wanted to be pregnant! My doctor told me not to worry, that it just takes a little time some times and to keep trying. Control freak me (these days I prefer the term “control enthusiast!”) hated not being able to snap my fingers and make it happen NOW!!

I tried to busy myself with other things, but truly could think of nothing else. I checked out books from the library and read every disgusting, graphic, wonderful detail about the whole process. I was horrified, excited, scared, and I still REALLY wanted to be pregnant! God kept me sitting in His waiting room, and much longer than even the rudest and most inconsiderate of doctors.

Then one day I was making my regular morning pot of coffee, something I had loved for many years. (I like to load it up with real cream and lots of sweetener.) It was so delicious and helped me get my day started, not being one of those freakish “morning people.” That day the coffee was extremely bitter and the cream tasted like it had been sitting on the counter for days. I was dumbfounded. “What in the world is wrong with this coffee?” I tried again to sip it, but it was undrinkable. My husband thought it was just great and finished off the whole pot.

Certain I had a terrible case of food poisoning, I checked in with my doctor. What a relief! No food poisoning, but could it be? YES! Finally I was pregnant! I was so sick all the time, losing my lunch on a daily basis, and usually my breakfast and supper as well! Pregnancy really wasn't as fun as I thought it would be!

Well that was my first pregnancy and God answered our prayer in the form of a strapping ten pound baby boy named Jake. He was healthy and handsome and obviously a genius from day one.

Around his second birthday we started praying for that second baby we wanted. Our plan had been to have one boy and one girl. We went through the same frustrating routine…sitting in God’s waiting room month after month.

Finally when I was sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, pregnant for the second time, the nurse midwife said she wanted to send me over to the hospital for a routine ultrasound. No big deal.

My husband and I settled into the ultrasound waiting room, so excited to see our little bundle of Heaven on screen. As soon as the gooey gel went on my belly and the wand touched my skin, we got the shock of our lives...there were two little bundles in there! We could see them plain as day on the monitor! TWO babies! We looked at each other in disbelief... “Do you see what I see?” We said in unison. The doctor confirmed what we were just figuring out…we were having twins!

A few months later we were back in the ultrasound room to find out if we were having boys or girls. I knew we would be thrilled either way, but I secretly prayed for a boy and a girl. The answer to that prayer was a great big yes in the form of Jesse and Sophie.

We had always wanted to have two children; a boy and a girl. The Great Physician gave us exactly what we asked for, and even more. Our family was and is complete.

Waiting is not something I do well. Most people I know don’t care for it and would prefer to have a root canal than to have to wait for anything. However some things are definitely worth the wait.
The time we spent in God's waiting room was infinitely worth it.

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."  

~ Ephesians 3:20 New Living Translation

MckLinky Blog Hop

Thanks for reading! See ya next time! :-)

Probably the coolest thing you will see today

Okay, so yesterday kind of sucked, pardon my French, but it just did. So in light of the politicians in Washington shoving their health care down the throats of so many who don't want it, I thought I would post a really cool video. This IS supposed to be a POSITIVE blog after all.

I've only ever been to one air show and it was at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. It was a completely awesome experience and my heart swelled with pride and patriotism at the site of all those Airmen maneuvering those amazing planes.

I didn't get to go this particular cool air show, but I sure would love to some time. There are some beautiful old planes here, as well as a lot of other awesome stuff. Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks Brent at McLinky for sharing this!

Oshkosh WISCONSIN Air Show 2009
Courtesy of MckLinky Stuff - FREE!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Mc Linky Blog Hop

Hi! Welcome to my blog! Thanks so much for stopping by. :-)

MckLinky Blog Hop


Five Question Friday

My Little Life

Well...in an effort to post more frequently I am participating in fun things like Five Question Friday. It's easy...just copy these five questions and answer them on your blog then grab the McLinky to share. Thank you Five Crooked Halos for setting this up. Looking forward to stalking all of you, I mean, visiting your blogs today! 

1. Have you ever had a celeb sighting?   I had a pretty cool one when I was vacationing in Hollywood. I was walking around scoping out the Chinese Theater, the famous footprints and the Walk of Fame and there is 80's teen heart throb Kirk Cameron with a camera guy. He was interviewing people on the street for that show he does on Christian TV. I would have jolly well gone up and gave my opinion to him but I had to catch my little tour bus to the Hollywood sign. Wish I had that picture...but it is lost somewhere on another computer!  OH! I also got to go see a taping of Ellen on that same trip and she danced right by us!!

2. What temperature do you keep your house? I like it around 70 all the time, but here in Texas where we live you have the AC on one day and crank the heat the next!!

3. Do you notice dust at other peoples homes? No, because my house is so dusty I am totally immune to noticing it elsewhere. Unless it is like knee high or something... but it's not like I would judge or anything!

4. What's the worst job you ever had? When I lived in Alaska I worked in a fish cannery. It was THE worst! Cold, wet, boring and stinky!!

5. What is your most sentimental possession? My wedding ring and family photos.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

What I want to be...

I've never been a big fan of growing up. Didn't want to when I was little, don't want my kids to either. Being a grown up is SO over rated. Just ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that yes indeed, I am very childish, I mean ummm...child like. Whatever.

Lately I've been having a real hard time deciding what I truly want to do with my life other than the obvious things of being a good wife to my husband, a good mom to my kids, and keeping the dogs and cat alive and the house clean enough to keep the Health Department away. I love to write and draw and paint and create all sorts of things, and I like to do about a million other things as well.

A friend pointed out to me this week that I am blessed (or did she say cursed?) with the ability to do many things fairly well, and I just need to pick one and go with it! Yeah, thanks Linda! But which one do I pick? One of the things I am really excellent at is procrastinating. My philosophy on that...procrastinate NOW! Don't put it off! Making decisions is definitely not one of my talents.

On the one hand I to LOVE to make stuff...all things artsy, craftsy, and creative make me positively giddy. On the other hand I have come to enjoy the little luxuries in life like gas in the car and food in the fridge. I want to be an artist but I don't really want to be a starving one! If only there was a way I could make money doing what I really love....

Hey, if any of yawl have figured that out, I would LOVE to hear about it. I have lots of dreams of books to publish, works of art to create, cool crafty classes to teach to kids, awesome topics to blog about, fun businesses I'd like to start...in general I am just kind of a big old mess of confusion!

Well...while I try to sort all this out, I will leave you with some fun stuff to ponder.

Hey...thanks for stopping by, and let me know you were here, okay? I want to visit your blogs too!

OK, there are some things that are just too dang funny not to share. This most certainly is one of those things. Enjoy.

A first grade girl handed in the drawing below for a homework assignment...

After it was graded and the child brought it home, she returned to school the next day with the following note:

Dear Ms. Davis,

I want to be very clear on my child's illustration. It is NOT of me doing a pole dance on a stage in a strip joint. I work at Home Depot and had commented to my daughter how much money we made in the recent snowstorm. This drawing is of me selling a shovel.

Mrs. Smith

OK, I saw this on someone's blog and thought it was kinda cool. Try it on your own blog if you want! C'mon! It'll be fun and we'll get to pick the recesses of your brain. (That sounds really ewwww...sorry)

Yeah...I don't think my dream job is on Monster...and I have already had years of having a brown nose! No thanks!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blog Hop


I am trying a new thing called a blog hop. Someone gives you a topic and you post a story or something about said topic and everyone visits each others blogs. Sounds like fun!

So for this special post, I decided to post a short story I wrote a while back...it actually won second place in a Faith Writers challenge. The prompt was to write about the color black.

All righty then, without any further ado, here is "Jed's Lucky Day."

“Jed's Lucky Day”
Christina Janzen

Jed picked through the garbage can, looking for a scrap of bread or anything to eat. He was accustomed to getting his meals this way. He'd done it for a long time. His search was fruitless so he hunkered under the cardboard box that was home, trying to get warm in the bitter October wind. Lying on his concrete bed, he watched the brown leaves swirl and dance on the sidewalk. His mind drifted back to happier times.

He saw his beautiful Jet Black mother and the rest of his large family. He had many siblings and they had such fun together playing games and sharing adventures. They were always warm, safe, and fed; well cared for by their capable mother.

A siren blared and Jed was startled back to his harsh reality. None of those things were true any longer. His mother had died and he and his siblings had all gone their separate ways. He had no idea where any of his brothers or sisters were.

He knew it was difficult to be Black, but he never understood it. His ancestors had been royalty. From the first time he realized he was being treated differently because of his color, he was outraged. It was so unfair. He was as strong and smart and good as anyone else. What right did anyone have to make assumptions about him because of his color?

He thought how unjust it was that black was always associated with evil, death, and bad tidings. He wondered why it was the chosen color for mourning. Why did the villain always wear a black hat and the hero white? Who assigned these arbitrary meanings to his proud and beautiful color, and what right did they have?

Jed repositioned himself under his box, trying to get comfortable. He thought of earlier in the day when he had been out walking. The disgusted stares of people were hard to ignore. Some even went so far as to cross the street when they saw him coming.

He may not have been the most handsome, but he was hardly hideous. He'd certainly had his share of companions. There were plenty who liked his “kind.”

There were plenty of others who did not.

Jed was startled by the sound of footsteps. A beautiful young white woman was walking towards him.

“Ugh,” he thought, “just what I need...some snooty white girl and her attitude.” He was more than a little surprised when she walked right over to him and said hello. He remained silent. He had learned not to like her “kind.”

“I'm Abby,” the young woman said, “and I'd like to help you. No one should have to sleep out here on the street on a night like this. I want you to come with me. I can help.”

Jed didn't understand. No one had ever spoken to him with such kindness. This was most unusual.

Abby reached down and picked him up very gently. He immediately started to purr. “This one is nice,” he couldn't help thinking. She wrapped Jed up in her coat and started to sing one of her favorite hymns...

“All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful,The Lord God made them all.”

She continued singing all the way to her house.

“He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell, How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well.”

She brought him in and fed him a can of tuna, which he eagerly dug into. “Goodness, you were hungry, weren't you boy?” He purred his response and gratefully devoured the bounty she had provided.

Abby gave Jed a warm bath, washing off the grime and smell of his life on the street. She very gently and lovingly scrubbed and rinsed his fur, then dried him off with a big, fluffy towel. He couldn't believe his good fortune. He had never felt so wonderful.

All his life he'd heard he was unlucky, undesirable, a bad omen...even accused of witchcraft. Now here was this beautiful creature treating him like the royalty he always knew he was. Finally someone had recognized him!

“I'm gonna name you Jinx,” Abby said with a smile, looking into his brilliant green eyes. Jed didn't know what the name meant, but concurred with a purr, thinking “this is my lucky day.”

p.s. The theme for this blog hop was PETS, but I didn't want to give away the twist till after you read the story. Thanks for reading! Have a great Monday.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Do You Do Windows?

When people ask me if I am a "glass half full or half empty" person, I usually say something like, "my glass overflows..." or something to that effect. However I know people who run the gamut from an overflowing glass, like I try to visualize, and others who say their glass is "almost completely empty." I'm not exagerrating! Someone said that to me recently!

Sometimes it is hard to realize or understand how full your "glass" is. Lately mine has felt bone dry at times...and I know logically it is not. But those pesky emotions get stirred up sometimes and it is hard to see how good we actually have it. When we are struggling, it clouds our thinking and affects the way we view everything.

I heard Joel Osteen, my favorite preacher, talk about a woman who looked out the window at her neighbor's clothesline. Every day she would comment on how dingy and dirty the lady's clothes were. She was aghast that she would allow her children to go out in public in such dirty and improperly cared for clothes. Day after day this went on, with the woman becoming more and more critical of her neighbor and her ineptness at doing the laundry. Then one morning the woman was having her coffee, and looking out the window was amazed at how bright and clean her neighbor's laundry was. She called her husband in the room, and said, "Would you look at that! She finally learned how to get her family's clothes clean!" Her husband smiled, and said, "No, I got up early this morning and cleaned that window...it was filthy."

I know I have been guilty of looking at the world through a dirty window. When things are not going as well as you would like it is easy to see everything that is wrong and not remember all the things that are right with your world. Maybe it's time to get out the Windex.

Have a great week and Live Postive!

p.s. Here is a great article from The Mayo Clinic about the Power of Positive Thinking. I hope it helps you see your glass as at least half full, if not more so. :-)

Positive thinking: Reduce stress, enjoy life more