Welcome! I'm Melissa Gross, a dynamic and interactive teacher and speaker called to lead and encourage Christian women in their walk with the Lord through classes, workshops and retreats incorporating Bible study, devotionals, illustrated Bible journaling, paper crafting and mixed media projects that merge faith and art bringing God’s Word to life so you can find renewed excitement to dive into the Word, use your creative gifts, and apply the Truth as you draw closer to the Lord and serve Him in your everyday life. This site is where I share my everyday adventures, Bible Journaling pages, scrapbook layouts, handmade cards, and other crafty projects, as well as information on my upcoming workshops and events. I also post photos, ramble about books I'm reading, stuff I'm organizing, and other FUN bits & pieces of my wonderful life.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The book touches on quite a few issues including loyalty, bravery, love, desertion, honesty, hard work and perseverance. The characters in the story are believable and well-developed, and the novel does a fabulous job of integrating historical facts about the war (battles fought, generals in command, casualties, Abraham Lincoln's decisions) into the story being told from the perspective of a southern Illinois farm family and the surrounding community. It portrays how a family living in one of the border states during the Civil War viewed the war and offers others' views through conversations, letters, and discussions of newspaper articles.
I enjoy books like this one that help make history "come alive." Reading about the Civil War from the perspective of an ordinary family helps me better understand the effects of the war on the people of that time.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I'm currently taking the Camp Scrap Workshop that started this week at BigPictureScrapbooking.com. As is often the case, there was a pre-class handout with information about the class and a pre-class layout idea. For this workshop, the teacher, May Flaum, provided us with a color palette from Stacy Julian and challenged us to create a layout using those colors. Stacy's color palette was inspired by a hamburger! Here's the hamburger color palette and the papers I chose from my stash.
I flipped through my storage binders looking for photos that would go with these colors, and then I had an inspiration. What about doing the layout about food? The inspiration came from a food after all. I ended up creating this layout with photos of various foods from our road trip.
If just looking at those photos doesn't make you hungry, here are some of the best meals and restaurants we discovered along our 1,300 mile road trip from North Texas to the Gulf Coast and back up through the Hill Country.
Elite Circle Grill - Waco
Excellent Chicken Club sandwich!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
- dye inks dry the fastest
- distress ink is formulated to create an aged look
- StazOn is permanent ink and is the best to use on transparencies
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Personally I thought the story moved too quickly and that the characters were not fully developed. For example, in chapter 1 the two have a chance meeting which prompts Scott to search for Jennifer and leave a message with her agent. By the end of the chapter, they are talking like they've known each other for years, even though Jennifer will keep some of the secrets of her past to herself for much of the book. Late in the book there is a devastating house fire, daring almost-rescue of an infant by Jennifer, rescue of Jennifer and the infant by Scott and others, Jennifer's recovery time in intensive care and change of heart about marriage - all in only five pages!
However, as I researched a little about the book, I discovered that this was Dee Henderson's first book which was published in 1998. It is also the first of her books that I've read. Over the ensuing years, she has written numerous other books including the O'Mallory series. I will definitely read more of her work as I enjoy Christian fiction and enjoyed the storyline of this book. It will also be interesting to see how her writing has developed since this first book.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
First, my devotional for this past Tuesday, June 8, started with Colossions 3:23-24 which says that we should "work at everything heartily, as for the Lord." Then in the following short discussion, one sentence jumped out at me. It reads: "He wants you to enjoy going to the grocery store." Really! It says that in my devotional. I have used this same devotional book, Starting Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer, for the last five years (although I'm not always good about reading it every day) and have not really felt anything particularly significant about that statement. However, just a short time before I read it this past Tuesday, I had commented to Robbie about dreading going to the grocery store. Wow, what an attitude changer to think of it as going grocery shopping for the Lord instead of a dreaded chore!
Second, today I began a once-a-week volunteer time at our local food pantry. I spent three hours helping stock shelves and assisting the "customers" choose items for their families. I met people who were excited to have the chance to choose from several different items, and everyone who received assistance there today was very appreciative. It certainly reminded me of how blessed we are that I can go to the huge Kroger just down the road from us and pick out all that we need and an awful lot of what we want, too.
Next time I need to go grocery shopping, I will remind myself that all that I do is for the Lord and because of His blessings I can choose the store I shop at and which foods I buy. God is Good!!!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
The two bottom drawers hold new or partially used ribbon still on the roll. I'm excited that I was able to get all these to fit so that I can see what I have when I pull out the drawer. (That nice shiny blue roll near the back of the drawer on the right is the one I would have used on the snow layout!)
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
My parents and younger sister also attended the performance, which we all enjoyed immensely. The two-and-a-half hour production was well done although the sets and acoustics were not the best we've seen. The young lady who portrayed Laura did a wonderful job and had a beautiful voice, but I think we all agreed that the best performance was of Nellie Olsen. The actress did a wonderful job playing Nellie's conceited self, and one of the funniest scenes in the show is when she tries to sit on a fence rail and ends up falling over like someone playing on a jungle gym.
We picked up a copy of Melissa Gilbert's Memoir Prairie Tale at the show and Robbie and I both read it. We agree that it is one of the worst books we've read this year, a real disappointment. First, I guess it's important to remember that sometimes we have a tendency to associate an actress with the role she has played, and it's easy to associate Melissa Gilbert with Laura Ingalls. However, the two individuals are very different and it was disappointing to read about Melissa Gilbert's life. As a child actress, she was somewhat sheltered from many of the immoralities going on around her, however as she reached her later teen years and throughout her adult life, that reality changed drastically. Her book chronicles her ups and downs with alcoholism, smoking, relationships, affairs, acting roles, and motherhood. The profanity alone in the book is reason enough for me not to recommend the book, closely followed by the almost nonchalant way she relates the names of the numerous men she has slept with over the years. There is no mention of God, except occasional times when his name is used in vain, and seemingly no moral or ethical values. I laughed out loud when late in the book, she was miffed that someone was questioning her integrity - my thought was, "what integrity?"
Honestly, it is sad that many of the individuals in Hollywood who are admired are leading this type of a lifestyle. There seems to be no system of right and wrong in a moral sense. Hmmm . . . maybe this is why there's not much worth watching on TV and at the movie theatre these days?