Friday, January 30, 2009

~FingerPrint Friday~

There's a song by Steven Curtis Chapman called "Fingerprints", that goes:

"I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know it's true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God."

Tonite we're going to Winter Jam Fest, with our son, Tom, and his girlfriend, Amy. Jam Fest is a concert given by a group of Christian artists, hosted by NewSong.

Brandon Heath, who sings, "Give Me Your Eyes", which is one of my favorite songs, will be one of the artists taking part. Those words just really speak to my heart. Certainly his music is touched by the FingerPrints of God, as is all the music of the artists' we'll hear tonite.

To quote Brandon about why he wrote this song:

"The song was inspired from the idea that every once in a while, God gives us His eyes. You tend to see a lot of different kinds of people in places like airports. Sometimes, usually only for a few moments, I feel like God gives me true compassion for those people around me. I think that the longer I get to know the character of Jesus, the more compassion I personally have for others. “Give Me Your Eyes” is saying, “Jesus, give me Your eyes so that I can see people the way You see people, so I can love people the way You love people.” One of the core goals of my ministry is focused on striking up conversations about social injustices around the world and being a voice for those who have often been silenced by poverty or lack of influence. I want to challenge people more. “Give Me Your Eyes” does that. It is one thing to have compassion and quite another to act on it. Most times, it starts with the people around you." –Brandon Heath

Lyrics | Brandon Heath lyrics - Give Me Your Eyes lyrics

Here's the You Tube Link.

Take a peak at Beki's blog to see links to more Fingerprints.

Have a blessed Friday....wherever you are in the world today!

Monday, January 26, 2009

~Never Lose Your Little Girl Heart~

My mother bought me a framed calligraphy saying several years ago, from one of my artist friends, that says, "Never Lose Your Little Girl Heart". It sits on a shelf in the family room with some other treasures. Whenever I read it, I smile.

I am no longer that little girl. But she thinks I am. What she sees when she looks at me is “that little girl”. And how can she not? She’s my Mom.

She remembers long curly hair. Black patent leather shoes for Sundays. Easter hats and purses. Little white gloves. She remembers boo-boos, band-aids and skinned knees. She remembers first days of school. And Brownie meetings. She remembers first boyfriends. First dates. A beautiful wedding gown purchased with her sewing money. She remembers seeing me pregnant. And two precious baby boys. She remembers. Those long-ago things.

What she no longer remembers is that now, I really am grown up. She can’t tell you what she ate for breakfast. Or that her own mother is no longer alive. She no longer remembers the everyday little things. Like what season this is. Much of the time, she lives in the past.

But like any mother….she still worries. I can walk into her room, on any given day, and she can read me as clearly as if my brain were totally transparent. Even when I try to hide things from her. But there are no more band-aids and kisses to make everything better.

She can still give the best hugs. And she does. More often now than ever before.

So whenever I enter her room at the assisted living facility that is now her home, I can pretend that I AM that little girl with the long curls and the patent leather shoes that she remembers. I can fall into her arms and feel the security and the unconditional love that only my mother can give. And I smile.

This won a Post of the Day Award at David's Authorblog. Thank you, David. I am very honored.

Friday, January 23, 2009

~Fingerprints Friday....A Father's Love~

There's a song by Steven Curtis Chapman called "Fingerprints", that goes:

"I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know it's true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God."

There's one man on this earth that I know is covered from head-to-toe with God's fingerprints. This post is dedicated to him. He is my life's greatest gift. He's been my rock in good times, and bad. He has more integrity than anyone I know. He's a devout husband, and a loving, giving father. And I love him with all my heart and soul.

Faith is an easy thing to say you have in good times. It's tough when things are bad. But true faith shines when the road gets hard. I believe I have that faith. I KNOW he does.

I am here for you, Jim. I stand proudly beside you. I always will. No matter what. In good times, and in bad. That's love. And faith. Your goodness shines through everywhere you go. There's a saying that goes, "When God made you, He broke the mold". Fortunately, He didn't break it after He made you. He molded two beautiful sons who idolize you, and walk life like their father. I was lucky to be chosen as their mother. And blessed to be your wife. To travel through life by your side.

I love you all the way to heaven and back. Always. C. xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

(To all my Blog Friends: Please keep us in your prayers.)

Stop by Beki's blog to read about more of God's Fingerprints.

Have a blessed Friday, wherever you are in the world. Don't forget to look around. God's Fingerprints are everywhere.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

~Cookie Philosophy 101~

This past weekend, Ella and I made Valentine Cookies. Her little 4-year-old hands tried diligently to pick up the sticky heart-shaped dough cut-outs and place them on the cookie sheets for baking. I was in awe of her attempts not to ruin any of the shapes. Sometimes her frustration got the best of her, and she'd say, " can roll this one again, 'kay?". In the end, we ended up with a platefull of beautiful pink cookies.

When it came time to eat them, she announced that she wanted the most beautiful one. She screwed up her little brow when I picked up a cookie that looked more like a circle than a heart, and had messed-up frosting. I explained to her that I felt sorry for it. What if no one wanted it? Anyone would want the prettiest one. But the uglier one may have been left behind. With that....she asked me if we could trade. She didn't want that poor cookie to feel bad! I pray she takes that piece of "Cookie Philosophy" with her as she travels through life. It would make her quite a 'Smart Cookie'. (sorry...I couldn't resist!) If only life-lessons were all that easy.

I designed a Valentine Cookie Charm Bracelet in honor of baking Valentine Cookies with Ella. It includes lots of heart-shaped cookies complete with 'icing' and well as tiny heart-shaped cookie cutters. I think you'll agree it looks good enough to eat....and it's 100% calorie-free! You can find it in my Etsy shop!
**SOLD** Thank you, Debbie!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

~Home Is Where One Starts From~

Coming Home. Always special. No matter where or what you call home. For me, now, seeing my kids come home is more special than ever….as they each have their ‘own’ homes. But coming home to where you started is always special. It’s safe. Filled with unconditional love. And the warmth and security of your parents’ open arms…and full refrigerators. It stands staunchly. Waiting. Filled with memories of childhood….schooldays…and homecomings.

Jeff arrived this weekend with Ella and Jackson. DIL, Jackie, had to work, so they came without their beloved wife and mother. (we all missed her!) There were lots of hugs and kisses. Lots of laughter. Jackson is walking…no, running… everywhere. No more crawling. Balls are his favorite toy now. And boy can he throw. And even catch! His face is always smiling….eyes dancing. He loves life. And Ella is an ever-moving girly-girl. We played Barbies. We colored. We put puzzles together. Over and over. We played Barbies. We baked cookies. We laughed. We worked on the ‘puter’. And did I mention we played Barbies? I suggested we only undress one Barbie-at-a-time, since it was cold out. “No, Grandma. That’s not how you play with Barbies. We take all their clothes off. Then we dress them. ‘Kay?”. Who knew?

And at nite….this mom/grandma got great pleasure out of tiptoeing into their bedrooms, and standing silently. Watching. In awe that they are my child’s children. My bloodlines. Magnificent miracles. Soundly, peacefully sleeping. ‘Home’.

I used to tiptoe into the boys’ rooms quite often. From infancy on up….watching them sleep filled my soul with love. And yes….even to watch my grown son sprawled across the bed like he had been so many many times before throughout the years of his childhood, was magical. To watch him sleeping still takes my breath away. Praying, silently, that while he’s here…. ‘home’…that the pressures of his job, of being a father and husband to his young family…all those worries that come with adulthood…would slip magically away. At least while he’s sleeping. Here. ‘Home’.

Today, the house it still. The bedrooms empty. The silence could be described as hollow. But it’s really not. For echoing in these walls are memories of a joy-filled weekend with Jeff, Ella, Jackson, Tom and Amy. More memories to cherish. And to remember during the silences.

PostScript: The Mary Englebreit poster at the top of the page hangs near our backdoor. It’s one my my favorite of Mary’s works.

This post won an Honorable Mention for Post of the Day at Authorblog. Thank you, David!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

~Happy Happy Birthday Godson~

I was only 20, engaged to your Uncle Jim, when I became your Godmother. I loved you from the first moment I met you. I knew from the beginning that you were very special. You haven’t disappointed me! When Jeff was just 7, he decided he was going to call his new baby brother, ‘Tom’, after his favorite cousin, no matter what. So….we named our second little son Thomas, after you! And it was only natural that you should be HIS Godfather!

Look at all you’ve done in your 40 years here on earth:

*Worked at Disney World during summers between college years, dancing in the ballroom section of the Main Street Electrical Parade; was Tigger for 15 years; played a reindeer in the televised Christmas parade; and (my favorite): Prince Charming! A very appropriate role for you, IMHO.

*Graduated from Loyola, magna cum laude.

*Worked at MTV creating on-air promos as an Associate Producer.

*Work in live theater with a 30 year San Francisco cultural institution, Beach Blanket Babylon.

* Volunteer for the Oakland Public Library / Head Start partnership (in low-income communities) reading stories to children.

*Lead teacher's workshops, summer camps with your bag of developmentally focused stories, songs, movement activities, and listening games.

*You’re finally working on that children’s book I’ve bugged you about for years!

I love spending time with you, Tom. I’m so happy that you and your Godson had time together earlier this month when Tommy was there on business. I was SO jealous!

I’m proud that you took the bad hand that life dealt you, and turned it around. I’m quoting you directly, here, as I can’t say it any better than you have:

“In 1992 I became HIV positive. I was young and I made a mistake, but no one deserves HIV. It was a terrible price to pay. I can say that today I am a much better, stronger and healthier person because that happened. It took me some difficult years to pick up the pieces, but that very act was totally empowering. In 2007 I celebrated 15 years living with HIV (in 1992, a doctor told me I had 6 years to live). To celebrate I rode my bike in the AIDS LifeCycle from San Francisco to LA (535 miles in 7 days) and raised $3,000 for the SF Aids Foundation. I'm in great physical shape and the doctors say I'll live until I'm 90.”

So my dear Tom…..may you live a healthy, happy life way beyond that 90 year mark the doctors are predicting!

I love you.

Your Godmother


Sunday, January 18, 2009

~Our Woods On A Snowy Evening~

Stopping by Woods On a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow...

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Friday, January 16, 2009

~FingerPrint Friday~

Miracle on the Hudson

There's a song by Steven Curtis Chapman called "Fingerprints", that goes:

"I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know it's true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God."

It was a miracle. The pilot and co-pilot successfully landed a US Airways plane on the Hudson River after losing two engines when running into a flock of birds. The risk of landing a plane safely on water is slim. But they felt is was a better risk than crashing on land. Passengers reported that there were many prayers being said aloud. God was definitely guiding them yesterday. All 150 people made it safely to land, including one mother and infant. You can't question God's Fingerprints after this.

I remember my father telling the story of crouching down in a foxhole in a field in Germany during WWII with a confirmed atheist. As my father fervantly prayed, the non-believer laughed at him. And then the planes overhead began flying lower and began dropping bombs. His fellow-foxhole-sharer began praying, too. "I thought you didn't believe in God", my father said. His companion's reply, "I decided not to take any chances in case there IS a God." Nuff said.

Stop by Beki's blog to read about more Fingerprints.

I'm off to my studio on this frigid -12 degree Ohio Friday. Stay warm, happy, and grateful....wherever you are in the world.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

~Martha...You Reading My Blog?~

Boy was I surprised when I picked my Martha Stewart Living magazine out of the mailbox yesterday afternoon! There, in living color, right on the front cover, was a whole layout of cupcakes! Hmmmmm......Martha must be reading my blog!! I KNEW she was one smart, cupcake! And inside, she has the most delicious recipes for cupcakes.....and I just happened to have 4 overly-ripe bananas sitting on the counter just begging me to do something with them before it was too late.

Now, in the olden days, I would have 'hidden' them in chocolate chip cookies. The boys never knew. But now?? Jim can just about 'smell' bananas in chocolate chip cookies. And he doesn't like them in his beloved cookies! I was out of ideas til I came upon Martha's recipe for Banana Cupcakes With Caramel Buttercream.

I know what I said in my previous post. I said cupcakes were easy. Boy was I wrong about that!! I started on Martha's Banana Cupcakes around noon. And I finished at 2:00. They were NOT easy. No way. But BOY are they good!! Good thing Ella and Jackson will be here for the weekend. I just ate 2 for my lunch....and at the rate of 2 per each meal...maybe 2 for Jim, that's 4 per meal starting tonite....those 28 cupcakes aren't going to be around til the kids get here Saturday. I'm gonna hide them. In the vegetable bin in the frig! Jim will NEVER look there. (and I'm sure not going to tell him!)

So, thank you, Martha. I read YOUR blog faithfully, too!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

~Crazy for Cupcakes~

What comes to your mind when you hear the word, "Cupcake"?

This classic, nostalgic little dessert that’s been around forever has now made its appearance not just on Martha, but on Oprah, Saturday Nite Live, and Sex and the City. The reason why cupcakes are so popular is surprisingly simple: they’re delicious. Cupcakes are moist and tasty morsels of cake, covered with just the right amount of fluffy, sweet buttercream. No utensils are necessary. You can use your favorite cake recipe - just add some cupcake papers and a muffin tin!

It's almost surprising that it took us this long to figure it out. Really, what's not to love? On a purely functional level, cupcakes are portable, they're small, and they're easily personalized. But it goes even deeper than that. From an emotional standpoint, they go all the way back to our childhood, and in so doing they seem to make us sublimely happy.

As a mom and grandma who loves to see the smiles on the kids’ faces, they’re easy to make, easy to eat, and sure to please even the biggest kid who may wander into my kitchen. They offer a small commitment of calories….though it’s not easy to eat ‘just one’. Creativity-wise, they offer endless options from batter to fillings to toppings. Heck….they’re even hard to ruin!

Even the smallest cities are now peppered with bakeshops specializing in these tasty little morsels. Cupcake cookbooks abound. They’re even gracing the buffet tables of the swankiest weddings!

And isn't nostalgia really what it's all about? Most of us long for a bite of our childhood. The thing about cupcakes is that they have an adult sensibility even as they bring out the child in us.

They’re hip, chic….and they’re here to stay. I still bet ya can’t eat just one!

See my Etsy shop for more Cupcake Creations!

Top: Cupcake Vintage Dictionary Definition Necklace

Middle: Cupcake Sprinkles Personalized Truffle Necklace

Below: Cherry Cupcake Truffle Necklace

Sunday, January 11, 2009

~I've Been Tagged~

I've been tagged by a sweet little miss named Chesteney, who writes a blog called, "Decaffinated: Chronicles Of A Milk-Drinking Diva". Chesteney....I want you to know that I've been tagged a bit....and probably have some bloggers mad at me for not linking back to them and playing along, but I think that this is such a special award, given to you by Reverand Mar Mathias Darin, that I wanted to play along with you! So.....I have to:

*post the award picture
*link to the person who tagged me (Chesteney)
*tag more people to pass it on to (I'm cheating and only passing it on to 4!)

I pass this to:

Artsy Clay

If they wish to play along, they can do the three *ed things in the list above!

Chesteney....Thank you for passing this on to me. I think you are such a lucky young lady to have a mom who is helping you blog at your tender age!! You are both very blessed! xoxoxox Grandma Carol

Thursday, January 8, 2009

~FingerPrints Friday~

There's a song by Steven Curtis Chapman called "Fingerprints", that goes:

"I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know it's true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God.

Just look at you
You're a wonder in the making
Oh, and God's not through, no
In fact, He's just getting started…"

When I look at my two grandbabies, I see God's Fingeprints all over them. Looking at them, touching them, listening to them, laughing and playing with them.....surreal. And getting those hugs......priceless. Only God could make anything so precious!

Take a peak at Beki’s Blog for more Fingerprints.

Be sure to look around you today. God’s Fingerprints

Are everywhere!

Have a glorious Fingerprints Friday, wherever you are in the world!

Monday, January 5, 2009

~Stepping Into A New Year~

Stepping into a New Year conjures up all sorts of emotions: Excitement, Trepidation, Hope, Joy, Fear, Uncertainty. It's a New Beginning. A clean slate. A fresh start. 2008 brought many joys to our family:

We had Mom with us for another year. (thank you, Lord)

Our sons and daughter-in-law are healthy, happy and successful in their life endeavors.

Our two grandchildren are growing into amazing little souls. (the photo shows Jackson taking his first steps at Grandma's house!)

We celebrated two weddings, welcoming two new 'nieces' into our ever-growing family.

My newly-resurrected business 'took flight' beyond my wildest dreams.

I celebrated my 60th birthday with six of my closest friends who flew us all to Chicago for a day of whirlwind site-seeing, shopping and lunch at the American Girl Co. (thank you all xoxoxo)

Along with the joys, came the sadness of losing my Aunt Kay, who was my mother's best friend. She lived a good 88 years and touched many lives during her stay here on this earth. She was an integral part of my life. I know that heaven has a special new angel. (watch for a blogpost about her later in the week) all my family and friends....real, cyber, et al......A Happy, Healthy 2009. Remember: Life is what you make it!

Have a joyous First Week of 2009...wherever you are in the world.