This blog was formerly titled "Sentiments and Scrapbooks."

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Leisure Time: Life Assessment {HeartStrings~RV’ing}


September 8, 2017 - Out to celebrate our 52nd anniversary. Time to assess and review, again. We often, of late, have discussions about how we want to spend our days. Notice I didn’t say, “how to live out our days,” or “how to spend the days we have left,” or any other morbid way of stating what may be the unavoidable truth and yet can be controlled by us, in terms of how we actually view it, and how we “speak it.”

And, in reality, anyone who is retired should be having these evaluative discussions. Time moves quickly. Days fly by. A year passes before you know it. Our time is limited. So, once the requirements of jobs and work are no longer, it really is wise to think about it. How do we want to spend our days?

We stay busy. In addition to keeping up communication with our children and grandchildren and activities with our siblings/spouses (our best friends), hubby works outside on our place, clearing brush, cutting wood, and checking over the property on his Side by Side.


I keep very occupied with my hobbies of scrapbooking and art. I also enjoy playing my baby grand piano and working on music for the praise band at our church (keyboard).


new keyboard

But we are realizing that what we don’t want to do is to spend every day the same way, even if the things we are doing are fun and far from boring. We like to add a little more excitement into the mix, a little more of the unexpected, a little more serendipity.

So one of the results of our recent “review” was that we fondly recalled how much we always loved camping and cross-country travel (just for the heck of it). Russell has wanted a motorhome for a long time (although we had tabled active discussions on the subject for the last few years), and he deserves to have it. Besides, I happen to share his feelings about it. My requirement: must “reside” at our place—no storing it off-site.

We decided to look for something very small that would be easy to drive, easy to get down our driveway lane, and could be parked on the driveway next to the house.



Found it! A Thor Compass, she is 23.5’ long and has everything we need, including a slide that allows for a queen-sized bed. And love that automatic awning!!

We have taken her out for a one-night camping trip so far. We will certainly use it for camping but also plan to totally enjoy it for cross-country travel (pretty much sick of hotels, frankly).





So, one of my blog categories is now “RV’ing.”

Oh, and another result of the review and assessment: I’m pretty sick of Facebook (especially with the recent change that means if I follow someone I see everything they like, who they have become friends with, and whatever else Facebook deems I would want to see). I am considering blogging more, using Instagram more and Facebook less (or maybe not at all). I’m in charge of me. Remember, I get to decide how I spend my days, and in the end, in the end, I don’t want to spend so many hours of those precious days allowing someone else to set my mood and tell me how to think and feel. So, that’s what I have to say about that!

#HeartStrings #RVing #Thor #Compass #Motorhome

Friday, September 8, 2017

Fifty-two Years Ago {HeartStrings}

Bride and Groom

I have always loved memories. But as time passes (I like the way that sounds better than “the older I get”), sometimes the memories evoke such a flood of emotions that I cannot even express my feelings. Such a day is today, as my husband and I celebrate 52 years of marriage. I can hardly even write about the wealth of blessings and memories. But I want to “mark” the day.

So, I’ll just share some of our wedding pictures. (Note: the pictures are black and white—not because it was the “cool” choice like today, but because the price difference between b/w and color was an insurmountable obstacle. We did have a professional photographer, and my parents paid for the pictures: $50. That was the deal. I paid for the cake.).

The wedding took place at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, where I met Russell when Daddy came there to be the pastor, on June 28, 1959.

Attendants Assist Bride

CandlelightersHere Comes the Bride

My Grandad walked me down the aisle, as Daddy was the  officiating minister.

The Ceremony

The Kiss


Yeah, sweat (not just glistening). It was 92 degrees that evening, no a/c in the church.

Russell and Barbara's Wedding 9-8-1965

The Rings

The photographer suggested our “rings” photo be taken with our hands on Daddy’s Bible—as a last-second thought, I opened it to 1Corinthians 13, the Love Chapter.

While prof photo of rings being taken sept 8 1965

Snapshot taken (color—yay!) while the photographer was taking the “rings” shot.

The Wedding Party

Our entire wedding party was our siblings, except for the ring bearer. The cousin who was supposed to be the ring bearer got sick at the last minute, so the son of a friend filled in. The bridal party was my sisters; the groom’s party was his brothers. The candlelighters were his sister and my brother. My mother made all the dresses, including my bridal gown and my going-away suit, in six weeks.

Frosted Lime Punch made by Mother Our Wedding sept 8 1965The Cake

Snapshot - Reception in the basement of the church.

Going Away

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Sing a New Song {Bible Art} {Around Peaceful Acres}

Bible Art New Song

In my 40-day prayer challenge book, Draw a Circle by Mark Batterson, one of the days emphasized the point that God likes to hear a new song—He likes it when we get out of our rut and vary our ways of communicating with Him—maybe a new place for the prayer time, or maybe a new song.

Psalm 96:1 says, “Sing a new song to the Lord.” I love that.

So, as I was focusing on that verse for a Bible art journaling page, what came to my mind was an image of a bird. Maybe that’s because a “new” hobby for my husband and myself is setting up bird feeders and watching the birds from our bedroom windows (high above the feeders and our woods). As we were watching the birds a couple of mornings ago, I remarked to my husband that another manifestation (there are so many) of the miraculous hand of the Creator is the fact that each individual bird has its own song. Obviously, the markings on each bird are unique. But, even the song is unique. Each has its own song. I just think that’s amazing.


Male and female goldfinch


Wood Thrush


Downy Woodpecker (female)




Cardinal (male)


Tufted Titmouse




Juvenile Cardinal


Black-capped Chickadee


Young Grosbeak




Bible Art New Song

#BibleArtJournaling #IllustratedFaith #SingaNewSong #BirdsofMO #ScriptureArt #FaithArt #AcrylicPaint #DistressInk

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Little Things {Bible Art Journaling}

08-18-17 Bible Art Luke 16-10 Little Things

Yesterday a thought came into my head, unsolicited and without reading it anywhere—God just sort of led me to realize that He expects me to be faithful in the little things. This verse from Luke 16:10 came to my mind, and I decided I should camp out there a bit and perhaps do a Bible Art Journal page on the passage.

There have been times in my life, actually many times, and for most of my life to this point, where there were “big things” that filled my head and my heart, and my days. Sometimes I miss those times, those areas of service that seemed so meaningful, those reasons for being so busy. Perhaps those times will come again, but for now, I think perhaps God is asking me to be faithful in the little things, the “areas” He has given me right now. Sometimes it is difficult to be content with where I am in the present. But I think God expects that of me, maybe even requires that of me before “more” opportunity is given.

Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much… Luke 16:10

Also, see Matthew 25:23
His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master!'

Not necessarily putting these thoughts forward as a “theological dissertation”—just saying this is the way God is speaking to me through this concept right now.

(The images here are rubber stamps from gorjuss. I stamped with Archival Ink and then used Inktense Blocks to paint the images.)

#BibleArtJournaling #ScriptureArt #FaithArt #IllustratedFaith #gorjussrubberstamps #watercolor

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Rest in God’s Presence {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Gen 18 Rest

As I have mentioned many times, I love the word “rest.” It is almost onomatopoetic to me. Just hearing it sounds restful to my ears.

This Bible passage in Genesis 18 is a familiar story, as Abraham entertains spiritual visitors. This time I am focusing on the part of the passage where Abraham invites the guests to rest under the tree. As we come to realize, Abraham was actually entertaining God. Abraham “hung out” in the shade of the tree while the visitors ate the food he had prepared for them.

I love the idea of resting in God’s presence. I need to hang out there more often.

Genesis 18 (KJV)

18 And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;

2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,

3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:

4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:

5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.

6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.

7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.

8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

#BibleArtJournaling #BibleArt #FaithArt #ScriptureArt #Inktense #SketchandPaint #Rest #InHisPresence

Friday, August 11, 2017

Love Each Other {Bible Art Journaling}

I’ve been away from my art projects for a few weeks. Today I convinced myself to “put one foot in front of the other” and just “do something” that would make me feel like I have at least some of the mojo back!

I’m working on the fruits of the Spirit, and trying to be more filled with those qualities. Today’s Bible Art Journaling page is about LOVE.

Bible Art John 15-17 Love One Another

“Love one another.” – John 15:17

The art here is inspired by the work of K Dornacher. I sketched and then used Inktense Blocks to watercolor.

#BibleArtJournaling #FaithArt #BibleArt #ScriptureArt #Inktense #SketchandPaint

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Wait—and TRUST {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Ps 62 5-8 Wait

"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us." Psalm 62:5-8 (KJV)

It seems like we are always waiting for God’s answer to something. That’s actually not a bad thing, as it implies that we are not rushing ahead with our own answer, but truly desiring God’s plan. Our family is very close, and so when there is a “need” for God’s direction, we all know it, and we are all praying.

We know that He gives good gifts to His children, and we know that He wants us to keep on asking, seeking, and knocking. And we know that He will open (and close) doors according to His plan.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
Matthew 7:7-11 (NIV)

My crudely-sketched hourglass is symbolic of the truth that sometimes God’s timeline is not the same as ours. We cannot even hope to understand God’s timing. But this we do know: God’s timing is the best timing for us.

We just have to be willing to be tuned in—to wait for the time when He acts, and then to go through the open doors (even when they lead to unexpected places) and to not push our way through closed doors.

But, in real life, we all know that is more difficult than it sounds. That’s where the TRUST part comes in. This passage is a reminder not only to WAIT, but to TRUST in the waiting. Yes. Faith. And it doesn’t just say “trust.” It says, “Trust in all times.”

  • Trust when the door we thought was open, closes (maybe even slams shut).
  • Trust when an open door is not what we had envisioned.
  • Trust when there do not appear to be ANY doors that could possibly open OR shut!
  • Trust when bad things are happening to good people.

Trust. In whom? According to Psalm 62:5-8:

in my rock

in my salvation

in my defense

in my salvation

in my glory

in the rock of my strength

in my refuge

Uh, yeah, I think that might describe someone worthy of my trust. In the end, it’s all about God. It’s His plan, for His kingdom, and we just want to fit into that plan in whatever way He chooses and directs.

I “pour out my heart before Him, as He is my refuge.”

(Side note: I’ve been away from my Bible art for a few weeks while we settle into our Missouri home again, this time as our ONLY home, as we are not keeping our Washington home. Feels good to be back—in both ways.)

#HeartStrings #BibleArtJournaling #BibleArtJournalingChallenge #WaitandTrust #DistressInk #Sketch #IllustratedFaith #FaithArt #ScriptureArt

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Day 2017–Cemetery Visits {HeartStrings}


Russell’s mom and dad are buried at Pleasant Hill Cemetery,
Jefferson City, MO.


My mother and daddy are buried at Enloe Cemetery, Russellville, MO. I love it that at this cemetery, for Memorial Day, they place American flags on the graves of all veterans (Daddy served in the Army Air Corps in World War II.)

From the time I was a little girl, I remember hearing my Mamo Wilson (my father’s mother) talk about "taking flowers to the cemeteries." Then, in recent years, my Aunt Wanda told me about how she remembered her mother (Mamo Wilson) "loading up the wagon, pulled by horses, to take fresh flowers all around to all the cemeteries where her family members were buried."

My mother always made sure Daddy's grave (and later, Melody’s) was decorated with flowers for Memorial Day. He passed away 25 years before she did. My baby sister Melody passed in 2001, and her marker is beside theirs.

I didn't pay so much attention to the Memorial Day tradition until after Mother died. But now that my husband and I are both orphans, we try to take flowers every Memorial Day if we are close enough to get to the cemeteries (about 2 hours away from our MO home). We just got back a while ago from our trip there today.

From my "old" memories, I remember it was called Decoration Day. And to add to the confusion, some people think Memorial Day is the same as Veteran's Day (a day to honor veterans). So I looked it up (again) at "Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season."

Of course, we know that the grave is only an earthly representation, and that our folks are in their heavenly home. We decorate their graves as a show of respect for their lives, and to keep their memories alive in our hearts.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

God is Sovereign {Bible Journaling}

Bible Art He is Sovereign

Just received my new “She Reads Truth” (CSB) Bible a couple of days ago (ordered from Lifeway). I got the Navy imitation leather one. I love it. Whereas my other Bibles are either personal notetaking OR Bible Art Journaling, I will be using this one to write my own notes AND to do some Bible Art Journaling.

This concept of God's sovereignty has been on my heart a lot lately. I love this quote from Beth Moore ("Breaking Free"): "Peace comes in situations completely surrendered to the sovereign authority of Christ." That truth is so profoundly simple.

Psalm 103:19 says "The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all." (CSB)

#SheReadsTruthBible #SovereigntyofGod #BibleArtJournaling #IllustratedFaith #FaithArt #ScriptureArt #PrismaPremiereColoredPencils

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Make Music in Your Heart {Bible Art Journaling}

Bible Art Eph 5-19 Make Music in Your Heart

Since I started Bible Art Journaling a few years ago, I have been amazed at how the process focuses my attention in new ways. For example, I had not previously realized how many passages deal with music, singing, praising God with music, all in the heart.

Often, when considering a passage to illustrate in my Journaling Bible, I am drawn to these passages because I have such a HEART for MUSIC and LOVE to PRAISE GOD in that way. Coming across this topic so often makes me understand that it is important to God that I praise Him with music.

Today’s passage is one of those. From Ephesians 5 (NIV):

19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

#BibleArtJournaling #BibleArt #IllustratedFaith #FaithArt #ScriptureArt #MusicInMyHeart #PraiseHimWithMusic #InktenseBlocks

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

From My Daughter to Single Moms {Heartstrings}

Shar's Fam at Chr 2016 1

Our daughter has been a single mom for many years. For 3 1/2 of those years, that has been her offical and legal designation. She knows whereof she speaks. A few months ago she posted this on Facebook, and she posted it again today, in honor of #NationalSingleParentDay.

Begin Quoted Material

In honor of Single Parents Day today, I thought I'd RE-share something I wrote a while back…
I hate storms. No really. I do. I really, really hate them. Why? Honestly? They make me realize that something bad could happen. Some time, something bad COULD actually happen. And if it did - if something DID happen - what would I do? I should be prepared, shouldn't I? I'm a mom - I'm the sole source of strength and support and knowledge and ability. OK then, soooo I should be prepared. But I'm not. Oh boy. I am SO not prepared. Why am I not? What is wrong with me? I'm a TERRIBLE mother!! I don't know if the batteries in the flashlight are working. I don't know if the flashlight even HAS batteries. Wait...I don't know WHERE THE FLASHLIGHT IS!!! Do I even have a flashlight?????

But - then it hits me. I'm not a terrible mother. I'm just a single mother. I'm an alone mother. I'm a one-too-many-things-to-do mother. And me, just me personally? I'm ACTUALLY a bake-the-best cookies mother and give-the-best hugs and kisses mother. I'm a plant-the-garden and create wonderful, comforting meals mother. I'm a make our home beautiful and comfortable and PEACEFUL and just...HOME...mother. I am not a take charge, take over, fix it up, take care of everything, practical mother. I'm not a spiritual leader, I'm not a rock, I'm not strong, I'm not confident. I'm not a financial wizard. I'm not a ladder climber or a light-bulb changer. I'm not any of those things. But I am a single mother. So...I guess I'll have to be...

Know what? That's okay. Know why? Joshua 1:9. That's why. "Haven't I commanded you: Be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." Wherever you go, whatever you do, whenever something bad DOES happen. Wherever you go. WHEREVER!
Praise Jesus...I'm not a single mother after all.

End Quoted Material

#NationalSingleParentDay #MyChildrenAreGreatWriters #NeverAlone #BeStrongAndCourageous #Heartstrings

Monday, March 20, 2017

March Madness {Family Times}

We love March Madness. If possible, we try to get together with our son/wife for some of the games, especially the opening round games. (We like to share in the fun with our grandson, too, but for now, we are separated by a lot of miles—we are in our Washington home right now, and our grandson/wife are in Missouri.)


Tacos for Supper (really missing our granddaughter Tory, her favorite meal!)



Homemade Cinnamon Rolls and
Fresh Berries for Breakfast



#MarchMadness #FamilyTimes #CinnamonRolls #WAHome