Thursday, 29 April 2010

From our Readers:

We have received 4 submissions from Gina.
You can visit her blog here.
She is a recent widow and is doing a phenomenal job of honouring her late husband.
She says:

Journaling just lists a bunch of our private jokes and day-to-day little things that I miss. 
The pic is the one we took just minutes after our engagement.

Over the last four months, I've discovered that the loss of the little things is so much harder to process than the "big picture" ideas. It's the little day-to-day things that hit harder. You know, the little intimacies that are private and exclusive to who you are as a couple, to that relationship as not only husband and wife, but best friends. Things like: the feel of your skin under my hand when I touched your face, as I did several times each day; Gina speak; "boo!" "kitty!"; rubbing my hand through your hair; teasing you about your cute pj's; listening to you breathe beside me in bed each night; your occasional night terrors; waiting what felt like forever for you to finish your shower; that expectant look whenever you made us something new for dinner; your perfectionistic tendencies (over an hour to hang a few pictures? Really?!?); watching you fall asleep sitting up, then deny it; "Which way? Right or left?"; the way you closed your eyes whenever I put the car in reverse; "Do we have time?"; your love of British TV, the history channel, and Hogan's Heroes; listening to you laugh like a loon at Hogan's Heroes in German; anxious repetition of the same darned stuff; the look of concentration on your face when you were futzing about in the war room; your practical jokes; feeling your arms come around me when I was washing the dishes; "Could you use this for your scrapbook?"; "Hey, ooo! How is?"; "It's Rick's world."; your chicken peck typing; singing Sound of Music songs just to get on my nerves; your horrible timing; your inability to "say anything right"; gorilla cheeses; "Go ahead, be a mommy's girl!"; listening to your conversations with Athena each  morning; the sound of your shaver; insisting on fixing things yourself; your total inability to judge time (30 minutes v. 3 hours!); crazy bike rides to God only knows where; you wash, I dry; "Honey, the cat licked my ice!" and other whiny sick bed complaints; my filter; "honey, where's our water?"; the smell of Dunkin' Donuts coffee; missions!; reading oh-so-boring educational materials to you in the car; your patience; your goofy sense of humor; we "acquire"; tighty-whities; the scar on your back that you refused to call a scar; hearing you dress in the dark each morning; forehead kisses and quick pecks; jewelry and Steiff for me, tools and WW2 for you; you unload, I put the groceries away; Gina's hair is everywhere; lit candles; cuckoo clock upkeep and repair; your insistence that I get what I want, but then your resistance to buy what you wanted; "I hear it calling you!"; the search for new members in the land of the misfit Steiff; messages from ebay; laughing at the butt songs; the "sexy" dance; rewriting history and rose-tinted glasses; "'s silky"; the way you'd laugh while telling a story that wasn't even remotely funny; "The iceberg sunk the Titanic!"; your absolute refusal to tell me what I said after you proposed; game pie; hoarding gifts; no bears left behind; definitely; your tendency to let me win and then play it off like you hadn't; "let me think about"; innovative solutions to the strangest problems; chocolate cat prints and other kitty gifts; 831; how you always took in and tolerated even the most annoying people; the look on your face when we argued; different shades of blue; lists for everything; little things you'd pick up for me here and there, just because; your laugh...there are so many more things to list, but these are the first that cross my mind as I think about our daily lives. My life will never be the same without you. It, and I, are forever changed.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Tracy's challenge 78.

I am uneasy with DEATH – I’m not afraid of dying per se just afraid of leaving my loved ones behind without me.  I know the sorrow and heartache they will suffer and it makes me very sad.  I DO BELIEVE that when you are dead you do not feel the same anguish as you would whilst alive, but the thought of my loved ones mourning me is too much for me to bear.  I have not suffered really intense loss and this makes me anxious as to how I will react to the loss of say my husband or child or mom or dad or siblings.  My very dear Nanna died in 2000 and it was an extreme shock for me as well as incredibly heart-breaking but somehow I felt comforted at the time by the fact that I knew within my heart she was in a better place and that she had “earned” her place with our Heavenly Father, which was all she would have wanted.  Somehow also I think it is easier to deal with the loss of an older person as opposed to a younger person, not simply because they have had an opportunity to live their lives for longer, but because I think that when age brings with it loss of hearing/eyesight/free movement or mental capacity, this can be extremely distressing for the person involved, particularly if they were incredibly active up to that point.  I think of Granny Gardiner, who was 92 when she died – her husband and close friends were all gone and she was losing her faculties and she was unhappy and frightened.  Her loss was no less mourned but it was easier to deal with.  I went to my first funeral when I was 22 – a close friend of ours, Andrew, was only 23 when he died in a tragic car accident.  He was a security guard in a cash-in-transit van and lost his life when an attempted robbery caused the van to roll.  It was an incredibly sad funeral because he was so young and because it was so sudden and it was difficult at the time to comprehend that he wouldn’t be around anymore.  I am grateful that even though close on 17 years have passed, I still remember him and, if I close my eyes, I can see him clearly and even hear his laughter – I still miss him although I no longer mourn him.  What is amazing is that my son was born on the same day Andrew died, only 3 years later …  I believe that those that pass on before us become our Guardian Angels.  I also lost a brother-in-law to suicide, which was incredibly difficult to deal with, especially because he left behind two very little children.  I don’t like to think about death – it makes me anxious and very sad but I believe in, and am grateful for, the Plan of Salvation and this gives me great comfort even though I know I am not prepared for death. APRIL 2010

Monday, 26 April 2010

Lynn's challenge 78.

I chose to create a LO about 'the life i left behind' when 11 years ago I moved away from the town where I grew up for 11 years. Last summer was my first visit back there since we moved & the photo was taken in the woods I walked through with my friend on our way home from school.

Journaling reads:
I have lots of happy memories of living in South Queensferry & there are times when I miss it. I miss being near to the beach & going for walks with mum to the village shops. I miss the fairs and the closeness of the community. We had great friends & neighbours, the people are definitely what I miss most.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Melissa's challenge 78.

Title: Wish you were here
There are certain things I wish I could remember about my grandma Worden, like her voice, the way it felt when she hugged me, the way her face looked when she smiled. She passed away just after I turned six, and I knew when it happened how different my life would be. There are still many times in my life, 24 years later, when I feel the full impact of her absence and wonder how things would be if she were still here. I wish Ethan and CJ could know her and love her like I did. But I know she is watching from Heaven, even now, and more than anything else, I hope I have made her proud.
It wasn't until 19 years after Grandma's death that Grandpa joined her, and I felt his loss to my core. I was only a few months pregnant with Ethan at the time, and although we knew the cancer would take him soon, I found my hopes crushed that he would never meet his first great grandson. It was a terrible time following his death, and I still have a difficult time accepting it, more than five years later. I miss seeing him at coffee hour at Theo & Staci's. I miss his teasing smile and sense of humour. I miss his guidance and wisdom that saw me through the troubling times in my life. 
There are so many things I would say to them if I could talk to them just one more time. I'd make sure to tell them both how much I love them and that they both had a huge impact on my life. I'd introduce them to the great grandsons they never got to meet. I'd introduce Grandma to Jason and show her that I still use many of the skills she taught me -- cooking, crochet, and growing the perfect rose. 
They may both be gone, for now, and I know that wishing them back won't bring them back here. I know that they are alive, if only in my heart and that I will see them again in Heaven. But I can still dream and imagine feeling their arms around me right now.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Cabbie's challenge 78.

title: peaceful


no other place is more serene and peaceful than a cemetery. this is where the final destination and last goodbyes are made. i have loved ones whose memories will always stay in my heart and i know their journey to the other world will be a continual road. the cemetery is a place, a place where prayers are heard. it is like a church for the departed, a territory of memories and love. it is the final resting peace and of earthly significance

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Cindy's challenge 78.

the layout is called 'Find Peace'

the journaling says
"Sometimes it was a flash flood.  Other times it came on like a slow-building rainstorm, the kind that gives you enough warning you might even have time to get inside before the clouds burst.  Once it started, though, there was nothing to do but let the sorrow pound you like the most powerful current, the strongest waterfall.  When the sorrow hit, small losses came crashing over you in one suffocating torrent." Joyce Maynard 'The Usual Rules'

This is how I imagine grief to be.  Moments of utter devastation, of uncontrollable sorrow.

But I walk this life like a zombie, just doing what has to be done without thinking or feeling.

It has been 5 1/2 years since mum passed away and I am still numb from it.  I havent cried, or got angry.  I have just got on with life like nothing happened, yet I feel empty inside.

I need to grieve, I need to allow myself to feel the pain of life without her, I need to cry, to scream, I need to feel, to love, to find peace.'

Monday, 19 April 2010

Shannon's challenge 78.

it's funny - i can say i never thought i'd ever be far apart from you - but here we are - you moved back to MI and i'm here in TN.....i can't tell you how much i miss all the little things we shared each day and all the big ways in which you helped me. i can't say it has prepared me in our separation being any easier, some days i feel very lost....others i just feel sad you aren't here, i still miss you.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Mia introducing challenge 78.

This fortnight is a tough one for most of us.
The challenge is to journal about loss, whether it is the finality of someone passing away or someone just moving away. Document the impact on your life, or create a tribute to that person.

Explaining death.

I was at a loss the other day when four-year-old Nadine came up to me bearing a long face. I asked her what was wrong. She gave me a hug and said, "I want us to always be together. I don't want you to grow old. I don't want you to die." I looked at my beautiful daughter's face and saw fear in her eyes and worry across her brow. And I wanted to cry right there and then.
I hugged her tightly, hoping that she would feel the love and concern that I had for her and at the same time gathering my thoughts as to what to tell her. I wanted to tell her that everything was going to be fine, that Mommy will never die and that we will always be together forever. But I knew I couldn't say that. I couldn't lie to her and give her false hopes. So I hugged her quietly for a few minutes.

Then I began explaining to her how everybody grows every year. That everybody started out once as babies and that every year we all grow a year old until someday we will be too old for our bodies and that we will eventually die. But only our bodies will die and not our soul. Our soul will go to heaven and be with Jesus. But that will take years and years to happen. And that we need not think about that right now and just enjoy living.

I reminded her that she was once a baby and every year she grew a little older, bigger and taller. And now she is four years old and already a big girl. Someday she will get married and have babies of her own.

I told her that Mommy was once a baby too and I grew older every year until I married Daddy and we had her and her sister. I asked her if she wanted to see Mommy's baby pictures and she nodded. So I brought out my pictures all yellowed with age.

"Is this you? Mom, you're so cute! You have a pretty dress." Nadine was her bubbly self again, her thoughts and concerns suddenly forgotten. I looked at her smiling face and answered her questions. But I knew that this was not the end of our conversation. That she will relive her fears again and be worried about them.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Shannon's challenge 77.

journaling:  i can remember coloring eggs when i was little....and it was definitely my favorite! my mom always let me pick the colors i wanted to use.....holidays were always so happy and i'm thankful for that and all the memories.

Monday, 12 April 2010

My challenge 77.

Easter Sunday was the day the Easter Bunny came to Grannys house. I think that my Mom used to keep me (and my cousins; ) busy while Aunty Dodo did the actual hiding of the eggs. My Mom would always call that the Bunny was there if we were very quick we might still catch a sight of him. The one year I really believed I saw him, just before he jumped over the wall to the neighbours garden. That just shows you the amazing power of the mind. He was pink and white and about 6 feet tall!
I can even show you the exact spot I saw him, in Grannys garden.
It never even dawned on me that eggs were hidden by a person. I just believed that the Bunny was very clever – always hiding exactly the correct number of eggs, one for each of us. We also knew that if we had found one like that already to leave it for one of the others to find. As I was the oldest I found most of them, but let the boys “discover” them, themselves. I remember one year Aunty Mavis was also there helping us search. For some reason I used to really get excited when finding the shiny metallic covered eggs. The eggs used to then be stored in the fridge and would get rationed out. Having so many Aunts was a bonus as us kids were richly blessed with chocolate eggs.
It looks like these photos span 2 different years, but I guess I must have been around 5 or 6.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Melissa's challenge 77.

Easter 1981
Journaling: Easter was always about the dress. Whatever dress you wore for church on Easter morning, you typically wore every Sunday until it didn't fit anymore. So the dress had to look good and you really had to like it.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Nicole's challenge 77.

There are many traditions associated with Easter: dyeing eggs, vegetarian meals on Good Friday, and the iconic Easter bunny.  This year we saw Granny and Grandpa before Easter Sunday and they decided to surprise you with an early gift: an adorable rabbit you named Twinkle.  It's so cute that something so simple can make you this happy.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Lynn's Challenge 77

Spring Break

When I first started scrapbooking everything I did was based around events, so I quickly used up all my Easter photos from my childhood.  I did however find these photos, taken when I was a toddler.  For many years we would take our annural trip to Kilconquhar Castle theweek leading up to Easter.  I loved it there as not only was our apartment great, but I got to spend a week with my Grandparents and Godmother.

Journalling reads:

I have many happy memories of our spring breaks spent with family at Kilconquhar Castle.  I loved our big apartment, with it's turrets to hide in and every bedroom was an en-suite.  I got to go pony trekking and we played crazy golf together.  I especially remember spending time with my Grandfathers.  Going for walks and to the park with Grandad Robertson, and singing and dancing along to the Jungle Book with Dranda Duffy.  Happy Times!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Reader's roundup for challenges 75 and 76 March 2010

From Michelle (Mimita)

I have a special child. Music plays an important role in his life, it enables him to express, let out everything inside, it's a blessing.  So I wrote this poem for him.  It may be almost weird to you but it bares a lot of meaning to him.  I know he gets it and he agrees...
Scratch my guitar
Feel the music
It’s so fantastic

Scratch my guitar
Instrument of joy
So more than a toy

Scratch my guitar
Rhythm of my soul
Hear it to the North Pole

Scratch my guitar
When I’m frustrated
Totally distracted

Scratch my guitar
When I’m down
Feel like a clown

Scratch my guitar
When I feel bound
To the ground

Scratch my guitar
Get all of it out
Express all the doubt

Scratch my guitar
Rise above the chaos
Stop feeling the loss

Scratch my guitar
Let me rise above the clouds
Away from the crowds

Scratch my guitar
Oh so soothing
Melody playing

From Daisie

Journaling says:
"I LOVE music. As far back as I can remember I have been listening to music and singing. I love any kind of music I can get my hands on. I’m really not picky. Music gets me through all the good and bad times. I just hope that I can raise my kids with the same appreciation.I remember the first time I discovered my musical style. I was 14 and before then I had always just listened to what the people around me had been or soundtracks of movies I loved. But then I ordered some cd’s from a catalogue and discovered No Doubt, Garbage, and the Cardigans. From there on I had my own music. None of my friends liked those groups but I couldn’t get enough. Now I have added some music but I still have my “core” set of music that I love that will never change. "

Just checking with you all that there are no other's that I might have missed or any submissions for challenge 76 - What makes you mad?
I will be doing the draw tomorrow unless I hear from some others.
(Carol B, Mimita and Daisie all have a chance to win the awesome prize sponsored by Debbie Hodge.

Cindy's Challenge 77

Easter Hunt

Journalling reads:

The Easter Bunny has always created great Easter Egg Hunts on Easter Sundays.  I remember running around the yard searching for eggs and as I got older they became harder to find.  FUN!!  I am so glad that the Easter Bunny now visits my girls creating the same Hunt.  The excitement is precious.


Monday, 5 April 2010

Liza's Challenge 77

 Egg Art

When we were kids, I remember always being invited by our neighbors for an Easter egg hunt after the mass. It was a lot of fun then, looking under the tables, the bushes, anywhere possible. Each egg will have a prize equivalent, the more eggs, the better. But as we grew up, this activity got lost in the daily grind of life. I think it was more because we matured, we've lost the magic it holds over us as kids.

But I don't want it gone forever. I want my future kids to have the same experience, to go through the same joy and fun of this Easter activity. Their hands getting all colored up while painting the eggs... Me, hiding it in the garden... Them running around everywhere searching for the prized eggs... All of us will be having fun together.

And just like me, they'll look back into that experience and embrace the joy of childhood once more. And so, the process continues for them and their future generations.

Please give me a moment

A big thank-you to Shayne for keeping the JJ blog going while I took a little trip.
I think that she has done an awesome job.
I have some LO's from the team to post and I have some contributions from readers for the end of March challenge. I had over 300 emails to attend to and I promise I will get on to it ASAP.
Thanks to those who submitted, I will try and post a readers round-up later today.
I trust that you all have a Blessed Easter as you spend time with your families, celebrating what Jesus did all those years ago.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Cabbie's Challenge 77

Count Your Blessings


Easter memory is all about celebrating with my family.  There is always a feeling of happiness and joy in our hearts.  Just as Chirst died for us and was resurrected, Easter fun is surely a celebration to anticipate.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Introducing Challenge 77

Challenge No 77 is brought to us by Stefanie:

Create a LO based on an Easter memory.  Traditions from your childhood, who was involved, what happened, why you want to remember it, as well as any new traditions that you have begun.

I have the LO, but not the Journalling for her LO, so will wait to post that one.  Instead you get to see mine :)

 (Egg)tra Special


How blessed you girls were to find all these yummy eggs on Easter Sunday!  And how much fun you both had looking for them!  I loved seeing the delight on your faces upon stumbling on another egg tucked away.  The Sunday Morning Easter Egg Hunt has long been a tradition in our family.  And now that i've got children i get to carry it down the line - which i just love!