Studio 52

Studio 52
My little piece of Texas that restores my soul!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Remembering....



Today as I pulled up in front of my sons home, my current, temporary office the American flag flying in the front lawn caught my eye.  The day had been really overcast and no bright blue skies to be seen. The flag was such a pop of color, but much more.  A reminder that we remember 911 and the horrific events that took place in our nation that day.

I snapped a quick pic or two and ran it through my Rhonna app. I should have known I would not take just a few minutes to create a quick picture. As this came together so many thoughts popped through my mind.  When I think about my homeland and all we have experienced and going through today I can be overwhelmed. And suddenly I have a ahh-ahh moment ....... 


When this earth passes away and we have a new heavens and new earth, God will be the light for the holy city of the new Jerusalem: “there shall be no night there … for the Lord God gives them light” (Revelation 22:5).

I am thankful that I still enjoy the freedom to worship my God and I am grateful that many people have fought for that freedom and continue to do so...... Many have gone before us...... 

"All gave some, some gave all."

In closing this short entry and I think about all of the emotions that flooded my heart as I looked at the solemn reminder of all ...... I pause; I pray; I celebrate; and I press on......


Go and make some melodies!

Till next time my coffee cup and mouse meet.....

Teresa

Monday, September 1, 2014

Raising Sane Children In A Insane Society



Note: This blogpost should have a warning label, a disclosure statement, not for the faint of heart, etc. attached to it. Please do not read this post if you are opposed to homeschooling! 

The year was 1992 and I decided to "homeschool" my then five-year old son. Blogging, Pinterest, texting and social media was yet to be discovered.  My circles of friends, family and influence did not include much support either.  Can I look back today and count it as good? Was it the right thing to do? Would I do it again? Would I encourage others to consider the options? Yes, would be my answer to all of the preceding questions!

I would like to be able to tell you that my husband and I had this great big God-dream and we were on the same page as this little part of our journey began! Years later as we pursued science experiments in the kitchen, not limited to dissecting a fetal pig on the kitchen table, social gatherings, sports events, support group meetings, the constant ringing of the telephone, and the endless field trips, I began to be shaped by a new-emerging thought process. Education in America was in the infant stages of being reformed.  How did we survive? 

In order not to digress into a history lesson I will allow you to do your own research about the early Pilgrims, their plight, their hardships and their success in coming to America! As I was driving down the highway one day, on the way to another event the Holy Spirit spoke to me in almost an audible voice. He showed me that we were Pilgrims in this thing they called "homeschool". It was not my job ever to recruit, persuade entice others to join.  It would need to be a personal conviction and one That He would take care of. In other words I was not to be Holy Ghost Jr! However, He graciously allowed me to share my journey and tid-bits  of encouragement to those that were following behind me. 

Twenty-Two years ago this weekend, Labor-Day weekend, I anxiously awaited the start of my newly established one room, school room with my two students. My five year-old was entering Kindergarten and my two-year old was entering Pre-school. What was a woman to do? What should you do if you are just beginning this journey or maybe on the last leg of this journey? Pray! That is my best answer still. 

I would love to tell you that our journey through raising children was smooth sailing. Wait let me tell you something you may be interested in knowing! This was not our first round with children! My husband and I had the honor to help contribute to the raising of his 15-year old sister.  Her education landed on my shoulders; I took that on and was most serious about it! Some of those moments will simply have to wait for another blog post. She was a public-school prodigy. Our two babies, now eighth and ninth grade are currently attending public school. That too, will become topics for more blogs! 

Labor Day ....... Yes, but as I close this brief post I am reminded that raising children is a labor of love and the real challenge to parents is to love their children! How does one tired, over committed mom do that? Love yourself first! Pray, pray, and pray some more........

P.S. In honor of our family tradition I must sign-off and apprentice my third generation of teenagers the meaning of Labor Day ...... Some old fashion perseverance in housekeeping! Look out closets here we come!!!

Go and make some melodies!

Till next time my coffee cup and mouse meet.....

Teresa


As I gaze upon my withering grass, that lacks moisture from the long hot, dry summer days that are passing I anticipate the new season that is approaching..... Autumn is on our heals and no matter your choice of education for this semester I cling tight to these words.....

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins. A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All people are like grass, and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and he rules with a mighty arm. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him. He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance? Who can fathom the Spirit of the Lord, or instruct the Lord as his counselor? Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge, or showed him the path of understanding? Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Lebanon is not sufficient for altar fires, nor its animals enough for burnt offerings. Before him all the nations are as nothing; they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing. With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him? As for an idol, a metalworker casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it. A person too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot; they look for a skilled worker to set up an idol that will not topple. Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:1-31 NIV)



A most rare picture taken recently of our four children...... Was I allowed more than two chances at taking a great pic?! No, but a tiny moment of this journey is recorded.  

Are You Raising a Dreamer?

Are you raising a dreamer or two??

Raising sane children in an insane society is not for the faint of heart!


Talk about some self-discipline for this here creative person;
I have to set a timer when I start playing with this app! 


Yes, I suppose I am a dreamer of sorts or at least as I read through this article I found I could identify with almost all of the twenty-two items listed!  I try not to re-post other links to my blog and maintain original stuff, but this is a good article to consider if you are having a hard time understanding a child that you may be raising that is a dreamer! Consider helping them to understand and celebrate that they do think different from their peers and it is more than OK!


a quick outline ......

 1.    They get inspired at the least expected moment
 2.    They daydream. A lot.
 3.    They get easily bored.
 4.    They watch the world with the eyes of a child.
 5.    They will fail, and you can be sure they will try again.
 6.    They are told to get a real job.
 7.    They will follow their heart even if often their mind thinks otherwise.
 8.    They get lost in time.
 9.    They work when you sleep and they sleep when you work.
10.   Where most people see a difficulty, they see an opportunity.
11.   They fall in love with their pieces of work, and hate them the day after.
12.   They hate what they've just created, but will totally love it 12 hours later.
13.   They are humble and proud at the same time.
14.   They are always looking to new ways to express themselves. 
15.   They procrastinate.
16.   They see the other side of the coin.
17.   They don't like boundaries.
18.   They often don't like numbers.
19.   They are great observers.
20.   They always make new experiences.
21.   They do it all over again.
22.   They love.

I think perhaps I could write a blog post about each one of these items....... another day perhaps! 

Till next time my coffee cup and mouse meet.....
Teresa










Saturday, May 31, 2014

more Artful Words by Teresa


Sometimes an app is fun and then there are those times that an app just adds a new dimension to your creative side. The Rhonna Designs is so never ending! I may be stuck here for awhile! So much easier than other software programs and I love the fact that I do not need an internet connexion to create! I am uplifted and inspired with the ease of it!!  

My girls have been singing "Let it Go" from Frozen. I finally sat down to watch the movie last night with them and fell asleep at the end! Guess I will have to finish watching it tonight ..... Sometimes I need to be reminded by Papa God when I am worrying about too many things! Hence this inspiration came forth! 



THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. [Ps. 110:1.] Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your [own] blood. (Hebrews 12:1-4 AMP)


Yesterday was the last day of school and I find myself with bittersweet emotions! It was fun having both of my babies in Jr. High. Damita goes off to high school next year and the schedule will be crazy! Not even sure I will get any kind of break! Alas, the time goes too fast. I took this pic yesterday afternoon while we were waiting on my car to have a minor repair made. Can you believe my door handle broke on a Cadillac?! Well it did and it became a pain in the past month not being able to open that door! We are such creatures of habit. And we take too many things for granted. You cannot believe how many times we all reached for that door handle only to be disappointed again because it was not going to allow entrance into the car!!!! I feel relieved that I finally took time to get it replaced. So thankful that I can access my Heavenly Father 24/7! 

And summer starts now! 

Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire! (Hebrews 12:28, 29 MSG)

Ahhhhh I guess I should go and do something!

Go and make some melodies!

Till next time my coffee cup and mouse meet.....

Teresa




Monday, May 26, 2014

Artful Words by Teresa

Sometimes, well make that most of the time when you live in the creative side you just don't stop looking, learning, and creating! I wanted to share a few creations I have been putting together with my Rhonna Designs iPad App. I think you can waste create for hours and hours and wonder where the time evaporated to! As with all techie stuff there is a learning curve. This app is worth the investment if you like the look of mixed media and I do! I just cannot always drag around my wonderful art supplies and play so this app seems to curb that desire a tad bit.

This is a creation I did during worship yesterday! I felt Abba Father speaking to me about traveling far, the requirements? Stand STILL and Do NOT BE Moved by ALL of the things that surround my little world. Sounds pretty easy; not so much! As our pastor was sharing yesterday our society has become very toxic. Many, many things are vying for our attention. We have to find that time, that secret place to be alone, really alone with Him. 



Yesterday all of our children "came home" to enjoy some chicken enchiladas, rice and beans.....
Damita is such a great help in the kitchen! I tell her and Olivia all the time that they are going to be wonderful cooks one day. Not sure if they can grasp the bigger picture, but never the less I insist on their help! Indeed Damita is Special to me and she makes me smile! I call her my 

FASHION GURU


ANOTHER NEW CREATION PROJECT.....
Prima Marketing has a wonderful collection of rubber stamps by Julie Nutting
See her blog here: 


Sooooo many to choose from; Julie and Natalie and Shay and Lorena and Tasha and Mindy and Priscilla and Mia and Kate and Olive and Sunshine and well you get the general idea! Soooo many and soooo little time!!!

I always loved playing with paper dolls when I was a little girl. My mother would mix up some flour and water and make a gooey substance she called paste. She would let me have the expired Montgomery Wards catalog and a big cardboard box and a pair of scissors! I would cut and paste and create for hours on end. I am excited about the endless possibilities of mixing these in with my mixed media......... you will have to visit my blog again to see the ongoing story! P.S. Thank you Miss Ann L. for introducing me to these adorable little ladies and allowing me to "play" with your dolls!


NO Matter HOW I feel These words spoke, 

well breathed a breath of fresh air into my weary soul! 
JESUS 
has and will always BELIEVE in me! 

I am the 
APPLE of His eye

I am special to HIM. I am his little princess!



AND SO ARE YOU! Now go and create something that inspires you and reminds you of the beauty all around ......


Till next time my coffee cup and mouse meet.....
Teresa







Falling for Fall 2013


So, here we are in the Spring of 2014 and I discovered today a set of pictures I had taken to write a blog post about my new We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board! Timely blogs do not seem to be in my grid, but I continue to try because there is just something about blogging that intrigues me!


My dear friend, and fellow cropping buddy, Valerie surprised me with this as a gift and certainly a new cropping tool is always an adventure. I finally gave myself permission to play for a couple of days and experiment with this new gadget. I have always had a liking for having my envelopes be hand-designed to go with my one of a kind cards. I confess that I have been using old fashioned templates and cutting them by hand...... I admit I wasn't too keen on this idea, but am hooked on a new system for making envelopes!


Once I caught on to "How To" do it I was hooked! I love the ease and the perfection in which my envelopes are coming together! Professional, I must say! The score lines make flawless folding of the edges!


See the three sides folded into the shape of an envelope? No lining! 


Thank you, Marilyn for introducing me to Washi Tape...... I will be hopelessly devoted to rolls and rolls of the yummy forgiving tape..... loving the trim accents on my envelopes!


I rarely buy scrapbooking stuff at the dollar store, but stumbled upon these cute little owls and insipiration took me away!


Yes, I even planted some fall flowers in my flower pots. Don't you think they made a nice back drop for my cards?


Another new tip I have discovered is lining my envelopes with colorful magazine pages! See the red poppy behind the card? That my dear is out of a magazine!


Pink, of course pink goes with everything!


A little rubber stamping on the outside of my envelopes always makes me happy too!


Enjoying the "banner" thing...... they too are super easy to make! And such a great way to use up all of those tiny scraps that otherwise would fall into the trash bin!


See the lipstick? You gotta it, another magazine page. What do you think?


Really liking those little moving eyes on the owls!


Yes, It is finally fall and the temps will prove to be slow to fall!


I love fresh flowers and pumpkins on my porch......


Card Making is Fun Stuff; well at least in my opinion!


A close up of my banners, note the distressed ink on the edges? A little Tim Holtz always adds a nice finishing touch!


A twisting of twine adds a final touch!


This set of cards would't be complete without a tag thrown in! Shhh! I made these cards as a little token of my thanks, I hope they enjoy sending them out as much as I enjoyed creating them!


I even rounded out this crafting time with a two page layout, with out the pictures! 


I am ready for the season to change..... it was a long, hot summer!


The Colors of Autumn always speaks to my soul........
What are some of the things you love about Fall?


Apples
Colorful, Cruncy Leaves
Crisp Evenings
Bright Mornings
New School Shoes
Pansies
Oversize Sweaters
Foggy Mornings
Hayrides
Weeny Roasts
Smores
Shorter Days
Baking
Fried Turkey
Breezy Days
Pumpkin Pie
Thanksgiving
Hot Coffee



I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.
 -Nathaniel Hawthorne






Go and make some melodies!

Till next time my coffee cup and mouse meet.....

Teresa








Saturday, January 11, 2014

Posole in the Making


Posole 
An Old Mexico Family Tradition

When I married into this family I realized pretty quickly I would have an entire new way of cooking to learn and I was up for the task. Growing up and surrounded by many great cooks I had already mastered a number of meals that I enjoyed serving family and friends. That was 33 years ago! Today I can pretty much hold my own ground in the kitchen and absolutely enjoy cooking! In raising our children it was important to me that they embrace both my husband's Mexico cuisine and my southern cuisine! Its kind of funny where we merged and adapted some recipes to both of our likings. For the most part we have managed to raise four kids and none of them are too picky. The adult children will come back home for certain meals with just a phone call that says guess what we are having for dinner tonight. And our son, Preston, well lets just say when I call and say I am cooking Posole I might as well set out several extra bowls because he is going to invite a few friends to come home for dinner! 

Shopping List:
Pork Tenderloin
Dry New Mexico Peppers   3 oz bag
White hominy

Garlic
salt
pepper
oreagno

Cabbage 
Onions
Limes
Cilantro

Corn tortillas
Oil


Step #1 
Brown pork tenderloins and cover generously with garlic, (about 2-3 Tbsp. of minced garlic) salt and pepper. I sometimes use my waterless cookware and sometimes I use my crockpot. Depends on how much time I have to cook my meat. You will need to add several cups of water to make broth. This broth will become part of your soup base later.

Step #2
Sometimes I take time to "roast" or blacken my peppers on a cast iron griddle and then proceed with the  next step. Kind of depends on how much time I have and honestly I am not sure that my family can really tell the difference. In a separate pan add the red peppers and cover with water and a lid. Allow them to simmer until they soften up and shrivel up a bit. I included a picture for you so you would know what they should look like! Usually takes 10-15 minutes and I just turn the burner off and let them set until they cool down a bit. Now comes my least favorite part of this job and if you can recruit a kitchen helper it will be less time consuming. After-all it is a family tradition to gather in the kitchen and many hands makes for lighter work.  Cut off the stem end and split open the pepper and scrape out all of the seeds. Yes, I said this was my least favorite part of the job! [it is very important to remove all of the seeds-they are hard and do not dissolve plus if you bite into one they have a bitter taste]



Step #3
Pork tenderloins cooking...... note: in my most humble opinion you cannot put too much minced garlic during the cooking process of the meat


Step #4
Place the stemless and seedless remains of the red peppers in your blender or Vita-Mix and add about a cup of water - and yes I use the water the peppers were cooked in! Blend very well. The goal is not to have pieces of skin showing. If your blender does not completely blend all of the skin you can pour it through a collander to remove any pieces.   


Step #5
Add pepper mixture to simmering broth and add water to consistency of thin soup broth. Add chopped meat, hominy, and oreagno. I usually add about 1-2 Tablespoons of dried Oreagno. This is one of the unusual spices used in this soup! Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring soup back to simmer and serve with the following garnishes!



Step #6
Chopped cabbage
Limes
Cilantro
Onions



Step #7
Not mandatory, but my family thinks I am cheating if I try to serve store-bought chips, so to the chip factory we go! I use store-bought corn tortillas and cut them into strips and fry them in a cast-iron skillet. Use about 1/2 inch of oil and make sure it is really hot before you begin placing them in the skillet! Keep your layer single for best results. Drain on paper towels and add salt immediately.




Finished Soup...... (note the big pot is full...... the red chilis are strong which enables you to add a lot of water for making the soup broth)


At Last: The bowl of garnished soup; ready to enjoy!



“If you knew how to cook, maybe I would eat," Jace muttered.

Isabelle froze, her spoon poised dangerously. "What did you say?"

Jace edged toward the fridge. "I said I'm going to look for a snack to eat."

That's what I thought you said." Isabelle turned her attention to the soup.” 


Till next time my coffee cup and mouse meet.....
Teresa