Thursday, November 14, 2013

Chalkboard or Cross Stitch? VOTE!

So, I'm trying to do better about blogging on both this blog and my paper crafting blog, but going back to school full time seriously takes a ton of my time!  So, I hate to admit it, but my paper crafting blog has been winning the battle the past few months.

BUT, I do have a question to ask you all...which type of print do you like best?  Chalkboard (very trendy right not) or cross stitch (also kinda trendy)?  I've made two prints using the same quote but different styles and I want you to vote!  Hopefully this will be the first in a series of prints where I ask you to vote and then give away the winner as a freebie here on this blog! :)  I shall call it Free 4 All Freebies!

Here's the chalkboard~

Here's the cross stitch~

So, which one would you like in your home?  Which goes along better with your style?  Would it make a difference if I used different colors on the cross stitch one?  Here's the kicker--the one that wins will be added here later this week as a freebie!  So, go to it!  VOTE in the comments below!!! :)  Hope to see you again later this week or early next week! :)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Apple Tree: A Parenting Parable

I'm sorry I haven't been around for quite some time.  I quit my job and went back to school full time.  EEK!  It's been an experience, let me tell you!  It's not been a horrible one, it's mostly been good.  I'm learning a ton of things and I love that I can see the gospel of Jesus Christ in everything.

And I learned a great parenting parable in Biology the other day.  If everything points to gospel truth, then I think this points us in an interesting parenting direction.  Before I write the parable, I wanted to relay a fact to you that is important about apple trees.  Did you know that the apples that fall too closely to their parent tree will never maturate and become trees?  If they are too close to the tree, there is not potential for growth.  I won't write what I got out of that fact, I'm just going to write a little parable and then you can decide what you get out of it. Please comment and let me know what you think!

The Apple Tree: A Parenting Parable
by: Mynnette Kitchen 
(copyright 2013)

Not so long ago, a tiny seed fell from an apple and landed in fertile soil.  A beautiful and healthy apple tree grew from the seed.  It knew that it would need to grow tall in order for it's branches to hold it's fruit in the future.  It also knew it needed to not get too close to other apple trees that might take nutrients from its root system and sunlight that its leaves desperately needed.  It grew little by little, year by year.  It stretched its branches higher and higher to reach more sunlight to feed itself.  It made sure to take advantage of the rain.  It became a strong, healthy, and wonderful tree.

One day, after waking from a winter's rest, the apple tree realized that it was old enough to start to bear fruit.  It could feel the tiny buds starting to grow on its branches and knew that, this year, it would bear fruit.  Because it had grown taller than other trees around it and had not entangled its root system with another tree's roots, it was strong enough to bear many apples.  

As the blossoms turned into apples, the apple tree started to worry.  How would her fruit be able to realize its full potential and grow into other fruitful trees?  She knew that the seeds from her fruit would need to also grow in fertile ground.  It would need to grow and stretch.  It would need to find water for its roots.  And the apple tree also knew that if her fruit fell too close to her, it would never mature.  It would rot and it would decay.  It would come to nothing.  The seeds would be wasted.  She knew she had done all she could, but she also realized that when her fruit was mature enough, it had to leave her.  How else would it turn into another fruit bearing tree?

And so it was with great relief that, one autumn day, the apple tree saw people coming to pick her fruit.  She hoped it would be helpful to the people and that they would in turn be helpful to the seeds from her fruit.   Other animals came and took the fruit that had fallen from her heavy branches and carried it away to eat.  She had hope that the seeds from her fruit would find their way into fertile ground away from her where it would grow into trees.   She couldn't be sure exactly what would happen to her fruit and their seeds, but she knew that leaving her sheltering branches would be the best chance for success.

Unfortunately, not all of her fruit was picked or taken away from her.  Some of it fell to the ground at her trunk and she mourned the loss of what could have been.  If only her fruit had been taken somewhere that it could grow and strengthen itself!

There is opposition in all things.  It is important for us to take the good with the bad.  How will you, as a parent, give your child the opportunity to allow him or her to be the best they can be?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Small & Simple

Hi all!  I know it's been a super long time since I posted on here, but I've been busy.  I've been busy trying to simplify my life.  I want to get back to basics, do the things I need to do first (spiritual study/prayer), the things I have to do next (housework), the things I want to do (crafting, etc.), and then I can do the things that I don't have an enormous amount of responsibility for.  Unfortunately, this blog is categorized under the last one...not because I don't want to share, but because I would rather share face to face and so I've been out doing more of that! :)

Tonight I was scrolling down Facebook (the later category...although housework isn't 100% done...oops!) and I saw a post from Elder Bednar about keeping things simple.  PERFECT!

Here's the clip~

So, I made a print to display in my home as a reminder to keep things small and simple.  And then I thought YOU'D like to display one too perhaps!  So I've done up all sorts of colors and hopefully one works for you!

Here they are~

Just click to enlarge then right click and save!  Please feel free to use these FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY.  For more disclaimers and printing policies, please see the tab up top!  Happy printing!!!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Doing Things the Lord's Way

It's a sad fact that people just don't always get along.  The thing that really bothers me personally is when people cannot look past what they think should be done in a situation and see the good that others do.

When we tear others down and only see bad, we are not acting like Christians.  Everyone does good but doing good doesn't necessarily mean doing is the way you would have done it.

When someone does something a different way than you would do it, that's okay.  We are all different.  BUT, when you can't look past the way YOU want things done and/or you criticize others, you are not on the Lord's side.

Here is the difference between the natural man 
and the Lord when it comes to this issue~

In conclusion, let's stop judging others.  Let's stop telling people how they should do things.  Let's stop telling people they need to change.

Let's judge ourselves and repent.  Let's focus on the callings we have and magnify them instead of wasting time judging the way other's do their callings.  Let's change ourselves.

I know that when we do this, we will see the good in others and become more Christian Christians.  We will find unity in each other and all will feel happy, loved, needed, and wanted.  Isn't that what we all want?

Please feel free to use this printable for PERSONAL USE ONLY.  For more disclaimers and policies, please see the tab up top.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gratitude Tree

Hello!  It's actually going to be a busy week of posts for me here--I'm helping out with Young Women tomorrow night for an activity and I'm teaching Primary on Sunday!  Stay tuned for some lesson helps for Primary in a few days.

Today, though, I'd like to share with you the activity that I've planned for the Beehives (girls ages 12-13) since their leader just had a baby and they do not currently have a class president.  The girls had planned to do something about gratitude.  I like to coordinate my class activity ideas with Personal Progress goals and this one was kind of hard to fit in with one, but I think I got it!

So, we will be reading about gratitude in For the Strength of Youth and then starting goal #3 in Divine Nature.  Here's how it will work from start to finish:

1. Read about gratitude in For the Strength of Youth.  Discuss what gratitude is and things we should be grateful for.

2. Read goal #3 in Divine Nature.  Talk about things that our family members do for us that we should show gratitude for.  I will try to point out things that might not be as noticeable such as older siblings giving rides to Church activities, etc.

3. Have each girls decide which family member they will try to improve their relationship with.  Make sure they write down a few things that this person has done already that they could be grateful for.  Have them verbally express this gratitude when they get home.

4. Have each girl create 14 small note cards.  These will be used throughout the two weeks that this goal will take. My note cards are made from small 6" x 3" pieced of patterned paper and some punched shapes.  Encourage the girls to make each one different and to make them in their own style. I made sure to include patterns that were both feminine and masculine in case the girls chose a male family member.

5. Give each girl a Gratitude Tree handout and explain the rest of the two week process.  The instructions are included on the handout itself so that they don't forget what it's for. ;)

Another way you could  do the gratitude tree is to take branches, put them in a pot or vase, punch out hearts, and have the girls write the things their family member does for them on those hearts and put them on the tree.  Like THIS gratitude tree.  That way they could have a more concrete visual reminder of the things that their family member does for them.  Since this was spur of the moment, I don't have time to get all the things ready for this but if I had had the time, this would be the way we'd do the activity.

Please feel free to use my handout FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY.  For more printing policies and disclaimers, please see the tab up top.

I hope that this is helpful to someone else out there!  See you soon for some more free lesson helps! :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

You Got This

I've been having a little bit of a rough time lately.  I won't go into details as I'm working on it and I'm trying to stay positive, but I needed to do something to remind myself that I'm okay.  Hence the print I'm about to share...

Here it is~

I've used a freebie digi from the Neare Store (scroll down...something is wrong with their blog code) and other digi elements by Carrie Stephens ("trim" in between the two patterned "wall papers"), and two free patterned papers I've picked up from somewhere (sorry!).

It's really hard to try and keep it all together in a world where it seems like nearly everyone else has it together.  I know that isn't technically true, but sometimes I just need a reminder that I, too, can appear to have it together.  And maybe if I keep faking it, I'll actually BE it!  Who knows.  We'll see.  Hopefully you can use this reminder as well!

Please feel free to use this print FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY.  For other disclaimers and printing policies, please see the tab up top!  Just left click, right click, save, and print!  This print is 4" x 6" so it would also be okay to send it somewhere to get prints made! :)  Hopefully it can help someone other than myself...

HUGS friends!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Inkspirational Color Challenge

Happy Saturday!  It's General Conference week so that means that you should stay tuned for more fabulous quote printables coming soon!!!

Today I've got a beautiful quote to share with you, though.  I'm using this week's colors at Inkspirational challenges as my color scheme.

Here's my project~

Based on these colors~

I hope you'll come and join us this week and that you'll make something totally YOUnique!  Don't forget to stop by and tell the other gals on my DT how fabulous they've done, too! :)  HUGS and happy digital crafting, friends! :)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Some more October GC Prints

Here are five more prints for your printing pleasure!  Only three more days and then I'll get busy making more from April's Conference!

Thanks for stopping by!  Feel free to use these for PERSONAL USE ONLY.  For more printing policies and disclaimers, see the tab up top! :)  Happy printing, friends!

Monday, April 1, 2013

More Conference Prints

Here are 5 more for you!  Are you counting down yet?  Only 5 more days!!!

Please feel free to use these printables for PERSONAL USE ONLY.  For more printing policies and disclaimers, please see the tab up top! :)  Happy printing, friends!

Monday, March 25, 2013

An apology...and a few digital prints!

Well, I didn't make the deadline to share all the prints from last October's General Conference!!!  I've just got two weeks to share them all with you, so I'm just going to post them without any thoughts, sorry!  Although some of you might prefer that, lol!  I'll share 5 per post over 4 posts and then we'll be ready to start over after the April meeting convenes! :)

From Elder Oaks' talk~

From President Eyring's talk~

From President Packer's talk~

From Sister Burton's talk~

From Elder Gonzalez's talk~

Feel free to save and use these prints for PERSONAL USE ONLY.  For more information on printing policies and disclaimers, see the tab up top! :)  Happy printing!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

My life is NOT my own...

I'd like to talk today about our lives, but first I'm going to share with you a print that I've made using this week's sketch at Inkspirational challenges.

The sketch~

Here's the print~

I hear a lot of people saying things like, "It's MY life." I'm sure I've said it myself a few times!  There's just one problem.  That's a lie.  Our lives are most definitely not our own.  We were created by a loving Heavenly Father who has given us life and everything we have. Our immortality was bought with a price--the Atonement of our Savior.  We read in 1 Corinthians chapter 7 verse 23 that we are all bought with a price and then are commanded not to be servants of men.  Whom do we serve then?  God.

We also learn in the Book of Mormon more in depth about the huge debt of gratitude we owe our Father in Heaven.  King Benjamin, a prophet in ancient America, explains it much better than I can.  Here is what he says in Mosiah chapter 2 verses 20-25:

"I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—

I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

 And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.

And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?

And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you."

When I read this passage of scripture, I realize how selfish I am when I choose to serve someone or something other than God.  I do this whenever I put my wishes ahead of His work that I've been asked to do.  Whenever I do not keep my covenant to follow Him and to do as my Savior would in all situations.  Whenever I feel that I need to watch the television instead of visiting the member I feel needs to feel of God's love.  Whenever I use my money to purchase things that will not help in building God's kingdom instead of paying my tithing.  The list goes on. Each sin--whether or omission or commission--is an example of how we can be an unprofitable servant. 

While none of us are perfect, I truly believe that we can all  try to serve God with our whole souls each and every day.  We do this when we repent and try to do better every step of our journey here on this earth.  We are bought with a price--do we realize what this means?  We can utilize the Atonement each and every time we prove ourselves to be unprofitable servants and then strive to do better!  The hardest part is the striving and trying to do better continually.  We are never truly repentant until we root out our sins--and this is also the only way to gain true happiness and peace in this life.  More about that in another post coming soon. :)

I am so grateful to be a servant of God.  I feel so blessed to know that I am bought by my Savior's Atonement so that I can gain eternal life if I repent continually and endure to the end.  I hope that each and every one of us will strive to do better each day and to remember and give thanks to our Father--we owe Him everything for He has given us everything.

Please feel free to use this scripture printable for PERSONAL USE ONLY.  For more information regarding printing policies and disclosures, please see the tab up top.  Happy printing!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Being Thankful

I'm doing it again!  I've used another digital project as a DT project for this week's CASE challenge at Inkspirational! Maybe this will turn into a regular thing...we shall see! ;)

Here's the CASE inspiration~
Original artwork by Vicky Hayes found HERE.
My digital print~
(I was inspired by the layout.)

I used digital paper (textured white) by donakat and a digital flower by One of a Kind Design Studio.  The fonts I used are Birch Std and Channel.

I have always found in my life that gratitude is something incredibly important.  When I saw this quote on Teresa Kline's blog, I just knew that I had to make it into a digital print to make for my home!  I find that when I am most grateful for things, I am the most happy I've ever been.  We have so much to be thankful for each day!  In the midst of trials and hard times, gratitude helps us to keep our heads above water and continue on in hope.  Isn't that we all want?

Thanks for popping over and taking a peek at my digital artwork!  If you'd like a non-watermarked version of this quote for PERSONAL USE ONLY, please email me!  HUGS and hope you join in our fabulous challenge this week at Inkspirational! :)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Finding Beauty

Well, I hope you liked my DT post last week for Inkspirational because I've got another one for you this week, lol!  This week we're challenging you to be inkspired by a fabulous photo.

Here's the inkspiration~

And my digital print~

I've used digital "paintings" found at Eclectic Anthology (our monthly sponsor) and elements and paper by Dusty Bear.  The font I used is called Jane Austen.

Sometimes we just need a little reminder that life is beautiful.  I think that we can all make this possible for those around us.  We can give a smile, send an email or card, make a phone call, help out with some small mundane daily task, the list goes on and on!  Each small act of service not only brings beauty to the lives of those we serve, but it also helps US to find beauty every single day.  So, what will you do today to beautify our world?  

Thanks for stopping by to take a peek at my digital artwork!  I hope that you join us this week for a fabulous challenge! If you'd like an non watermarked version of this print, please email me and I will send you one to use FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY.  HUGS and happy creat{ink}! :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Trials of Faith

Well, it's been a little while since I last posted a General Conference quote and I think I'd better hurry up or else I won't have them all posted before April's conference rolls around, lol! ;)

Here's the print~

So, today I'm sharing thoughts about "Trial of Your Faith" by Elder Neil L. Andersen.  This talk really struck me as I read it and I think that today is the perfect day to talk about it because I've had "one of those" weeks.  We all have them, but let me give you some background.

Some facts you need to know to understand where I'm coming from that contributed to my mini trial of faith:
1. My husband and I have been struggling with infertility for about 7 years.
2. We are in the process of getting out of debt after a fraud hit our bank account a few years ago.
3. I have been suffering this week from severe insomnia and haven't had much sleep.
4. I work in a high stress job with children who are severely mentally disabled.  LOVE them, just a very hard (but very rewarding) job.

Okay, so now that you know those four things, let me tell you about my week/the past few months.  My husband and I started discussing our desire to be temple workers about 18 months ago.  We prayed about it and felt that it would be a good decision, but I was taking fertility medication to help us get pregnant and so my hormones and blood sugar levels were being messed with.  We decided that I needed to go off the medication so that we could proceed with our plan, but it was hard to give up the thought that maybe we'd get pregnant.  Finally, in September 2012, I went off the medication and we decided that perhaps we are not meant to be parents of our own children in this life.  It was a very hard decision and sometimes I still wonder if we are doing the right thing and second guess it, so that stress is always present in my life.

A few weeks after ending the medication and after we had discussed the idea again, a sweet sister in our ward, who also works at the temple, came up to me after sacrament meeting and told me that she had an application for us to fill out and an invitation from the temple president to become temple workers.  I am not a sign seeker, but if there is a clearer sign that we were on the right track, I can't think of one!

So, we set up an appointment with our bishop.  He's only been bishop for one week and had only been in the ward for about two months.  All three of us had no clue what we were doing, but we got it together and were able to proceed to the next step--an interview with the stake president.  That would prove to be easier said than done...

After trying to get an appointment for about 3 months, we finally were able to see the stake president a couple of weeks ago and he told us that he would send the paper work on to the temple.  We were excited and a little bit apprehensive.

Fast forward one more week.  That would be this past week.  I had been having severe insomnia issues and other emotional issues dealing with our infertility issues and was also incredibly stressed out with work.  We hadn't heard back from the temple president and so I tearfully told my husband that maybe this was a sign that we shouldn't be temple workers.  He reassured me that we were trying to do something good and that he would call to see what was going on.  We were planning on going to the temple tomorrow (Saturday) because it is our ward temple day, but my husband had promised to help clean the building.

So, my husband worked it out that we would be able to make it in time for one session if he went early with another brother in our ward and did some cleaning earlier.  He also called the temple and was told that we would be set apart when we came down for our ward temple day.  To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement.  I had been toying with the idea of not going because I have had literally about only 4 hours of sleep a night plus work and other things that I've had to do.  I told my husband that I thought we were making a mistake.  He reassured me that we were not and that every little thing would be taken care of.

It was.  I was finally able to get a full night's sleep last night, wake up and get all I needed to done and MORE, plus I am actually very excited to go down and be set apart as a temple worker with my husband tomorrow. 

Some other blessings that have helped me this week as I've gone through my mini trial of faith:
1. We found out that our tax return would be enough for us to pay off the debt that occurred when then fraud hit our bank account.
2. Because of the debt being paid off, I will be able to quit at the end of the school year so that we can serve more in the temple.
3. I was able to finally sleep last night.  I know I already said it, but seriously, this REALLY helped me.
4. We were able to have the missionaries in our home for dinner.  I don't know why, but this always makes me happier.
5. Each person that I've had to explain about our new calling has been so incredibly excited for us.

So, dear sisters (and brothers), I have had my testimony strengthened not only by personal experience this week, but also by the words of our living prophets.  I feel so blessed that I could just burst into song!  Except that each time I do, I find myself crying with joy.  What a blessing the gospel is in my life!

Please feel free to save the print above and use it for PERSONAL USE ONLY.  Other disclaimers and printing policies can be found in the tab up top.  HUGS and happy printing, friends! :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Just a quick post to wish you all a very Happy Valentine's Day!  If you feel like you're not loved today--you're wrong!!!  YOU ARE LOVED!!!  And the best way to feel loved is to share YOUR love with other people!  You'd be amazed how loved and how much love you feel for others when you serve them.  It doesn't have to be a gift, it would be something as simple as a hello or a smile!  Start small, then work your way up!!!  God's love will then fill your entire being!  Now, for some crafty & YUMMY sharing...

Here's a little treat I created for my co-workers~

Isn't that fun?!  Heart shaped jelly beans!  All different cherry flavors!  The glitter paper I used is by Recollections and all other supplies used are by Stampin' Up!.

The love of MY life~

What my darling husband made me~

He's so amazing to me!  I'll never forget how upset I was when we were first married and he didn't bring me flowers (still doesn't) and/or candy or any of those other romantic things husbands are "supposed" to do.  You want to know what I discovered within the first few months of marriage?  He shows his love for me by serving me.  And he was much happier than I was about our relationship.  So, I now appreciate his service--that is true love--and I try to I guess I'd better get offline and go make his Valentine's gift! (It's food again...Neapolitan cake balls to be exact...maybe I'll blog about them later...)

Anyway, don't ever forget that you are loved!  If you don't believe me, email me and I will send you proof!  If you know you're loved, pay it forward in an act of service today, friends!!!  HUGS have a Christ centered day!!! :)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Purple Pansies

Well, hello there!  I bet you didn't even know that I had a digital art blog, did you? ;)  Well, I've done something NEW for a project for my DT work this weekend over at Inkspirational!  I just adore this month's sponsor's images and so I had to make a digital print with one of them to show their versatility!

Here are this week's colors~

And my digital print~

The pansy painting is from Eclectic Anthology--this month's sponsor--and all other digital elements are by Dusty Bear.  The font I used is called Janda Elegant Handwriting.

I adore Shakespeare and Hamlet is my favorite play.  I have always felt for poor Ophelia--such a tradgedy!  I feel her story is even more tragic than Hamlet's and so when I saw this quote about pansies, I just knew I would have to use it for a project!

Thanks for stopping by to take a peek at my artwork!  If you'd like a non-watermarked copy for PERSONAL USE ONLY, please email me!  Do come join us this week--what fabulous project do you have up your sleeve for us?!  I can't wait to see!  Hugs and happy creat{ink}! :)