Sep 30, 2010

for you...with gratitude!

Can you read my Grace Bits paper?
It is impossible to be negative when you are thankful.
Guess what?
I am thankful for you!
P.S. -Please check Tiny Prints soon! 
My holiday designs are supposed to launch Friday, October 1st if all goes well! 
I will make an official announcement when I know for sure!
Have a glorious fall weekend!
Also...the show pretties are still set up through Sunday if you wanted to get by but couldn't.

Sep 27, 2010

Precious in His sight...

I am in a cross cultural study...a 10 week training course through Women of Vision Charlotte.
Last week we watched this...
and part of my homework was to watch this...

and what can just one boy do?

Sep 26, 2010

Harvest Center update & Do we know?

Our family finally was able to go this morning to the Harvest Center
and we worshiped there for two hours and brought the donation
from William's Lemonade & Cookie Stand.
We ended up with a grand total of $1500 thanks to so many of you and others!
Quite a powerful service and our kids were struck by the level of gratitude in this place.

Jim Noble is now the pastor there each Sunday and he does an amazing job!
Jim and Karen Noble also founded The Voice of Healing Faith.
Jim has so many other gifts and he and his wife Karen
are using their time and talents serving others.
They own three fabulous restaurants here in Charlotte...
Noble's, Rooster's and The King's Kitchen.

The profits from The King’s Kitchen will provide funds for established feeding centers in the community to continue providing meals for those in need in our community. Designed to operate profitably, all profits will be used to help feed the hungry here in Charlotte, surrounding areas and in other parts of the world.
The King’s Kitchen is a new recipe to help fight hunger around Charlotte and the world. It is an outreach of Restoration Word Ministries (RWM). RWM was founded by Jim and Karen Noble in 1998 and began with a radio teaching ministry focused on the healing power of God. Through the years the ministry has grown and expanded with a partnership with Jim Noble Restaurants to feed the hungry in several counties of NC each Thanksgiving. Recently, the ministry has been able to expand to feeding people weekly because of partnership with Hoskins Park Ministry. With the addition of The King’s Kitchen the dream of feeding God’s sheep daily is becoming a reality.

They have so little and yet they are beyond grateful.
On a similar note...
Intriguing lyrics to this song...
Listen and ponder this over your morning coffee.
Do we even know how much God loves us?

And have you ever seen this video?
I think the point is we should not be ashamed of our faith.


Sep 25, 2010

Festival in the Park

Amazing art on display this weekend at Festival in the Park, 
which is at Freedom Park in Charlotte. 
If you're near by, you should pop over and check it out. 
All kinds of art on display through Sunday.
I was thrilled when I received a phone call last week from our new elementary school art teacher. 
She could only select 4 pieces of art from the school to display at the festival 
and William's piece was chosen!
Best part was when she said she selected his not knowing I was an artist. 
When she informed William, he said, 
"My mom is going to be so excited because she's an artist." 
She had the students look at an old fashioned telephone to create their artistic interpretation of it 
and.... voila!
So many wonderful student artists out there so we chose some of our favorites to share...
darling fish...
 peaceful wind catcher...
 bold and colorful...
intriguing design
3-D bird from hand cut book pages...
colored pencil shark...yikes!
fabulous pattern play...
and one of our favorites was this one...
made entirely out of bubble gum wrappers and colored Saran wrap...
so clever and creative!
and the festival and the people watching are just as intriguing;
where food and drink are an art form also...

and the smells of peppers and onions and brats breeze through the walkways...
for more festival snapshots you can visit here.
Here's to a celebration of the arts everyone can enjoy!

Sep 23, 2010

Cookies for Cancer-Please Vote!

Please vote for Cookies for Cancer today if you can and every day until Sept 29th! 
Read more and you'll learn how...
  Many of you who are in Charlotte know sweet Amy Christenbury 
and her son, Grier, who has neuroblastphoma. 
  He was diagnosed with stage IV at 2 1/2 years old. 
He is in Sarah Grace's class this year at school! 
This is Grier on his first day of Kindergarten!
You can learn more about precious Grier at  his website 
This month is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month and Cookies for Kid’s Cancer is in the running for $20,000, to be put towards research.
Cookies for Cancer is tied at the moment and there's only have a week left.
So, each morning as we put our healthy children on the bus, or take them to school, knowing we don’t have to split our day between chemo and kindergarten, let’s go to our computers and vote at: 
Cookies for kid’s Cancer. 
It’s the Jimmie Johnson Foundation: Samsungs Helmets for Hope.
  Please forward to some of your favorite moms and ask them to do the same.
Every day for a's so easy!
Thank you for helping sweet Grier and so many other children!
More inspiring stories here...

Sep 22, 2010

Miracles DO happen!

Don't ever doubt miracles...they DO happen and one did tonight.
My friend Stella's husband, Rich, has a heart condition 
and luckily has a defibrillator connected to him at all times now. 
Rich was driving on the interstate today at 4:45pm in rush hour traffic 
and was on the phone with Stella using his bluetooth. 
While driving at least 60 miles an hour he blacked out for 10 full seconds. 
She heard silence then his moaning and then finally cries for help. 
Can you even imagine what she was thinking and feeling 
with one of her daughters standing by her side while she was on the phone?
The entire ordeal was 23 seconds.
The doctors are downloading the data from the defibrillator
but already know he was unconscious and was near death.
If that's not a miracle enough...
Here's more to the miracle...
When he came to, his car was perfectly parallel parked on the left hand side of the interstate 
one inch from the guard rail. 
Yes, in park. 
Yes, not one scratch on the car. 
Yes, cars in rush hour traffic zooming by 
not even aware of this miracle or that he was in the car. 
A miracle that he did not hit or kill anyone else. 
A miracle that no one else hit or killed him. 
A miracle that somehow, no not somehow... (GOD) parked his car PERFECTLY 
in rush hour traffic so close to the guard rail 
that he could not even open the door when he realized what had happened. 
A miracle that he was checked from head to toe at the hospital tonight 
and that he is home kissing his children goodnight, showering,
and going to bed with his amazing and loving wife. 
A miracle that he completely KNOWS this is a witness to God's divine intervention. 
It is with gratitude to Stella and Rich that they allowed me to share this story;
not a story at all...
And I ask you to pray for them as they await test results 
to see if any of their children may have this same heart condition.
"He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted."
Job 5:9


Sep 21, 2010

Design Deliveries

It is such fun to receive samples in the mail of products I have been blessed to design. 
These came today, and it still never gets old to see it all go from idea, to painting, to product.
Especially useful, cool products..."mom invented" products which make life easier!
Calendar Dry Erase Boards
 List Pads
 and my favorite new product...
Light Ups
They are the cutest little carabiner clips with a mini flash light attached.
It looks like this when together...
the LOVE design on one side,
and then when you pull the top off the light shines and it's super powerful. 
Beautiful Bird design is on the opposite side. 
Great for book bags, camping trips, spend the nights, and more!
I'll have samples here next Thursday at the SALE and you can place an order 
for as many as you'd like of any of these great items I designed for 
Mayfair Lane.
This is the same great manufacturer who creates these
Happeez clips...
Had no idea when I painted these little birdies they would be so well received.
Remember all of these products except the Light Ups
are all created with the material on the back
which allows them to stick to stainless steel, mirror, glass and more!
If you don't live here in Charlotte but you'd like to find them,
 check here for retailers who may carry them near you.
Organization never looked so pretty.

Sep 19, 2010

Make it yourself=more fun

Not sure why I caved but recently the girls each ended up with these?
Have you heard of them or heard their noises yet?
We'll never have a live hamster if I have anything to do with it, so I guess these are not so bad. 
I refused to purchase any of the homes, equipment and accessories 
which are the extras for Zu Zu Pets, 
but I did suggest they be creative and make their own.
Our sunny weekend and over flowing recycle bin provided just what they needed to get started. 
With a little paint and tape they created this...
 now the Zu Zu pets have their very own hand made obstacle course.
This is what children are supposed to do.
This is what we did...we made our own fun.
We didn't buy it all.
We didn't ask our parents to buy it all (at least I don't think we did.)
And even if we did, they said "Be creative and go make your own fun..."
I do believe sticks, mud, sand boxes, tree houses, blanket forts and homemade obstacle courses
are far better than anything in Target.
Do you agree?
Soccer, baseball, golf, gymnastics, teen cotillion, youth group, piano, scouts,
martial arts and a bit of tennis are in full swing here!
But somehow, they always seem to have the most fun with the things that don't cost extra...
things we already have in the back yard and sometimes it's even the trash.
Hope you had a glorious weekend and have a great start to your week!

Sep 16, 2010

Are you a bucket filler?

I am absolutely in love with this book!
My mom gave it to our girls...thanks Mom!
I honestly believe all children should have this read to them or read it themselves 
and I also think all adults should be required to read it.
The author, Carol McCloud, does an outstanding job of explaining 
that everyone really carries around an invisible bucket. 
No one can see it , but everyone knows it's there. 
It's primarily the parent's job to fill a young baby's bucket 
by holding, caressing, nurturing and providing safety to baby...
therefore filling their bucket. 
Giving love fills buckets.
She also adds, children must also be taught how to love others. 
When we model that to our kids, they feel good and we do too 
and then all our buckets are filled.
Unfortunately, there are some bucket dippers out there,
like bullies and folks who spread rumors.
All day long we are either filling up or dipping into someone's bucket by what we say and do.
This precious book talks about specific ways to fill someone's bucket 
and how to put them into practice daily. 
Are you a bucket filler?
Try to fill a bucket today and see what happens!
You can see more about the book and the author here!

Sep 14, 2010

Not a hole in 1, but felt like it!

He's never had a hole in 1, but it felt like it today. 
Walker made the first cut for the middle school golf team!
37 boys signed up, and I believe 25 showed up to try out 
but only 12 spots available on the team.

He/we have literally been praying and waiting for this for years 
so he's thrilled and of course his biggest fans are too.
I remember this shot like it was yesterday... sigh, sniff...
Grateful for the opportunity to compete!
Time to tee off!
"...but with God all things are possible."
Matthew 19:26

Sep 13, 2010

Extending Summer

Well we figured out two ways to extend summer over here 
even though the mornings are becoming cooler and crisp as we head deeper into September. 
We place our prettiest summer shells in wire baskets and keep them on our patio tables. 
They're pretty and remind us of our shell collection and summer walks on the beach.
They're also great because I cannot successfully keep a plant alive 
on those shady tables underneath the lattice canopy.
Talk about a win-win!
How gorgeous are the details to His designs?
And how blessed we are to observe them all year?
The second way we have found to preserve summer is this:
we saved all our PERIWINKLES from our July beach walks.
Each of the girls were really into periwinkle collecting so they saved them in their own ziplock baggies and I promised them we could mount them on some way, just like I had done as a child.
Well you know how that goes...I kept putting it off and they did not let me forget 
so when I spotted these pretty shadow box frames at 40% off at Michaels, 
I purchased two and knew they would make for a fun project.
We added some prettier fabric to the backing then when they chose their design layout I handed them glue, showed them how to do one and they were on their own for the rest.
One final result looked like this...
and they each have one hanging in their room now.
We can't do much about winter coming after fall, but...
if you want to try and extend summer, give this a shot at home.

Sep 12, 2010

Thank you!

Well we had an absolutely gorgeous Sunday
and an absolutely fabulous turnout. 
THANK YOU from all of us but especially from William. 
We baked these for hours 
and made over 5 gallons of lemonade 
but it was all worth it to see that so many of you have a heart for helping those in need!
Bless you!
The kids love sorting and counting all the money 
and it always turns out to be a great math lesson too!
We are thrilled to report that we collected $1,310 
and already have a few e-mails from folks who didn't make it by 
but wanted too, and they plan to drop off their donations this week.
We'll keep the mailbox open here through Friday of you'd still like to help.
Remember to make all checks to the Harvest Center and it's a tax deductible donation.
Here are just a few reasons why we love The Harvest Center:
The Harvest Center of Charlotte is a non-profit organization that depends on charitable donations from foundations, churches, individuals and many dedicated volunteers to serve low-income families, the homeless and area youth. For over a decade The Center has provided hot meals, groceries, clothing, blankets, medical testing, recovery meetings, transportation, job skills and educational opportunities.  We will serve more than 75,000 hot mealsto individuals and families this year. The Center’s inspired mission is to impact individual lives for change by addressing natural, physical, and spiritual needs, and by providing hope and opportunity for the less fortunate to become productive members of society. The Harvest Center is more than a food ministry and we have been in operation for almost two decades. As a matter of fact we have been blessed to be the number one recipient, out of 600 distribution agencies, of Second Harvest Food Bank for the past three years. Last year we received then distributed over 1.8 million pounds of food. The Harvest Center serves breakfast and lunch Tuesdays and Wednesdays, also lunch on Sunday. We serve 600 meals on Tuesday and another 600 on Wednesday. Sunday lunch tracks about 200 or so. Our Food pantry distributes in excess of 200 bags of groceries (one week supply for family of 4) on Thursdays and again on Fridays.  We also supported dozens of guests in Addiction Recovery and Self-Improvement activities.  Our engagement services help so many neighbors in need, and the relationships built in our family of faith help transform lives.
from the bottom of our hearts!
Have a beautiful start to your week!

Sep 9, 2010

William's Lemonade & Cookie Stand

It's that time again and William will be hosting his annual 
Lemonade and Cookie Stand
along with some help from siblings and friends.
This was his idea 3 years ago!
If you are nearby please join us Sunday and spread the word!
for a great cause 
the Simas house
2036 Ferncliff Road
Charlotte, NC 28211
Awesome lemonade and cookies will be sold
For more information. please visit
(make tax deductible checks to The Harvest Center)
Last time I donated $1200 so help me meet that same goal!
We hope to see you Sunday!
How can you pass up warm chocolate chip cookies?

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