Simply... Create

9:28 AM Posted In , , Edit This

The pic to the left is my old scrap office.Here are some pics of what my room used to be like. I loved it because it was my little space devoted to my hobby. But boy oh boy was it hard to get anything done in there because it took me forever to find anything and there was no space to keep anything out. Not fun, so needless to say, I didn't get much done.

My new room is larger and everything is just the way I want it so I'm just starting to enjoy it. The pic on the bottom the new space it's where my daughter and I create. I am so happy with the desks, they are the perfect height for me because I always stand when I scrap. I am only 5'2" so I can barely see the page when I sit. I used to use a pillow when I drove my old Crown Vic so I could see over the dashboard. Fun being short, wow! It's the best when there is a second hand yard sale at a scrapbook store. I can just sneak between the other ladies and snafoo the best deals and they didn't even see me coming!

All kidding aside, the place where you create your scrapbook pages or card creations needs to work for you. You need a space where everything is easily accessible for you and stored in a way you like. If it's not you will find it annoying every time you want to be creative and have to search to find anything and struggle through boxes.

I have a busy day today so I will post pics of the organization of the scrap office tomorrow for Simply Simplify Saturday. You'll see how I did just that, simplified my space for scrapping. Until then. Simply.Marie

Simply...Where Is The Love?

8:30 AM Posted In , , Edit This
A song by the Black Eyed Peas came out a few years ago. An instant big hit, awesome recording. It says it all. The disease of our society.

"Where Is The Love?"

What's wrong with the world mama?
People living like aint got no mamas
I think the whole worlds addicted to the drama
Only attracted to the things that bring you trauma
Overseas yeah we tryin to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin
In the USA the big CIA the Bloodz and the Crips and the KKK
But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate
And to discriminate only generates hate
And if you hatin you're bound to get irate
Yeah madness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how anger works and operates
You gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love y'all

People killing people dying
Children hurtin you hear them crying
Can you practice what you preach
Would you turn the other cheek?
Father Father Father help us
Send some guidance from above
Cause people got me got me questioning
Where is the love?(where is the lovex3)(the love2x)

It just ain't the same all ways have changed
New days are strange is the world the insane?
If love and peace so strong
Why are there pieces of love that don't belong
Nations dropping bombs
Chemical gases filling lungs of little ones
With ongoing suffering
As the youth die young
So ask yourself is the loving really strong?
So I can ask myself really what is going wrong
With this world that we living in
People keep on giving in
Makin wrong decisions
Only visions of them livin and
Not respecting each other
Deny thy brother
The wars' going on but the reasons' undercover
The truth is kept secret
Swept under the rug
If you never know truth
Then you never know love
Where's the love y'all?(I don't know)
Where's the truth y'all?(I don't know)
Where's the love y'all?

People killing people dying
Children hurtin you hear them crying
Can practice what you preach
Would you turn the other cheek?
Father father father help us
Send some guidance from above
Cause people got me got me questioning
Where is the love?(where is the lovex3)(the lovex2)

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm getting older y'all people get colder
Most of us only care about money makin
Selfishness got us followin the wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting their young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what the see in the cinema
Whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness and equality
Instead of spreading love, we're spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feeling under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feeling down
It's no wonder why sometimes I'm feeling under
I gotta keep my faith alive, until love is found

People killing people dying
Children hurtin you hear them crying
Can you practice what you preach
Would you turn the other cheek?
Father Father Father help us
Send some guidance from above
Cause people got me got me questioning
Where is the love?(fade)

Low self-esteem is prevalant, if not the norm in our society nowadays. It is truly a lack of love in people that manifests itself in different ways. It doesn't happen the same way to everyone. It is hard to recover from but if you make a choice to heal it can happen. When you love yourself and love God and choose to let go, you can heal. You see it's effects everywhere. Maybe it's the child too afraid to raise his hand in class because he's learned that speaking his mind ends with him being hit. Or, maybe it's the teen who has turned to under aged drinking because thinking of all the hurts that they've had said to them just feels better thinking about it this way, or not thinking about it at all. Or, maybe the one you don't even think of. The young adult who has a great social life, parties and drinks every weekend and may add the chaser of drugs, is the life of the party, wears all the best clothes, jewellery, whatever money or credit can buy. They may not realize until years later, or may never will, that they too have hurts so deep from their childhood that they are scarred forever. They try their best to cover it up, but one day it will rear it's ugly head. At times, in the form of an abusive parent, doing to their children what was done to them. Will the cycle ever end? Perhaps in the form of a mental illness, shutting out the world and escaping to another one because those memories are just too painful to recall, they don't go away. Or perhaps in the popular life of that young partier. The one with the best of everything money can buy. The stronger ones who can bury it deep within themselves and live falsely in a world that looks perfect to onlookers. No one knows the turmoil the boils deep down. The hurts they have suffered, the pain inflicted by the tongue of a narcissistic parent. This continues on into adulthood. The drinking and partying continue. After all, 'what else is there to do' is the common thought of most adults who don't have the love of God in their lives. These hurts may stay buried for years but they never die. Sometimes healing can occur, with a lot of love and a lot of work. Sometimes healing will never happen for them. There are those few who cannot live with it and who cannot heal it. We read about it in the news almost daily now. The children who bully other children. The teens who torture and murder. And, the adults who surprise everyone and begin to repay the hurts they feel to society by crime and taking the innocent lives of others. How many times in your life do you hear that the person who just tortured and murdered one or more people was a nasty person, had a violent temper, one who everyone who knew them expected them to take a life one day? You don't. You hear how they were well liked by everyone, intelligent and all round nice person. No one ever expects those people to do the unspeakable, and, so often they are the ones who do the very worst things we read about. The one thing that Psychiatrists have learned and told us is that many of our society's ills today stem from the painful childhood these people experienced. There is a common thread among the unfortunate ones with this disease throughout our society. It's starts with our children and the way we parent or the lack of loving parenting they have had. Simply said, they didn't feel enough love.

Suffice to say that I believe and acknowledge that every parent does the best they can in the circumstances they are in with the faculties they have available to them. I cannot judge another man until I have walked a mile in his moccasins. I did not live their lives and I'm not living it now. I can only speak for myself as a parent and I am only able to live the one life God blessed me with and love and teach the children He entrusted me with to the best of my ability through Him. I have done the best I can. I would not change one thing. I am happy with that and I am at peace, I am well. Most of all I love myself and I am loved by God.

I am not perfect, not one man is. All I know is that I have chosen to live a life of love and to teach that to my children and show the people whose lives I touch that love is the way, love is the answer. God does tell us to 'not be conformed in the ways of the world'. Love is a conscience choice, every moment of every day. You can choose love or you can choose the world. The way the world lives entails everything else but God's love. The way people live is an example of the lack of love in their hearts and the lack of God in their souls. Ignorance, disrespect, inconsideration, lack of simple manners, choosing self over others, the list goes on. Go anywhere and you will see it, open your ears and you will hear it, read the news and you will feel it. Are you going to live like the world lives or are you going to choose to love yourself and love others? When you make the choice to love you are changing the world one person at a time. The virtues you live by show others in your everyday interactions the way of love, the way of God. It may be a word or a smile. You will never know what small gesture has changed the life of another for the better, and in turn the world. Sometimes, in the simple way of showing them how they are not that way. Some people won't see it this way because they are too far gone, disassociated from that love within or absorbed in the ways of the world. They will even go so far as to think you're strange, or not normal because you're too kind. The only thing you can do for those people is pray for them. Pray that someday they will open their eyes and their hearts to love. They will not be changed until they make the choice for themselves to choose love. Some will notice, some will care, some will think about that one thing that set you apart from the rest of the world in a good way and want to be more like that. Those are the ones that I hope will be changed by the love our family shows the world.

My blog is here to help you make that choice easier. I hope you join me weekly to see what a difference love has made in the lives of one family who moved to the country and homeschooled their children as a choice of choosing love over the world. Until next time. Simply. Marie

Simply Well

9:15 AM Posted In , Edit This
Wellness. Not just the absence of illness. I have included a link to a very helpful site. The definition of It gives you the following definition of Wellness and breaks it down for you in smaller pieces. The definition can vary slightly from different sources. The main components are all included below. I have taken this directly from a wonderful site that says it all for you in case for some reason you have difficulty accessing it. Below, within the asterisks ** is the definition of wellness and sub-categories that I could not improve upon so I thought it best to include it in it's entirety for you so nothing gets lost in my translation. I recommend you check out the site thoroughly if you are truly interested in wellness and becoming 'well'.

**Charles B. Corbin of Arizona State University who gives this definition of wellness: “Wellness is a multidimensional state of being describing the existence of positive health in an individual as exemplified by quality of life and a sense of well-being.”

Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a more successful existence.

  • Process means that improvement is always possible
  • Aware means that we are continuously seeking more information about how we can improve.
  • Choices means that we consider a variety of options and select those in our best interest.
  • Success is determined by each individual to be their collection of life accomplishments.

Dimensions of Wellness

If wellness is multidimensional, what are the dimensions of wellness? The most commonly described sub-dimensions are the following:

  1. Social Wellness
  2. Occupational Wellness
  3. Spiritual Wellness
  4. Physical Wellness
  5. Intellectual Wellness
  6. Emotional Wellness
  7. Environmental Wellness
  8. Financial Wellness
  9. Mental Wellness
  10. Medical Wellness

Vocational Wellness and Environmental Wellness are not personal in nature, but a person's working and physical environments are factors that influence personal wellness. Research is necessary to clearly establish the relationship among the sub-dimensions. While the exact dimensions of wellness could be debated, we believe the ones listed here make up a good list.

Ultimately, the dimensions of wellness all fall into two broader categories, being mental and physical. This is critical to note, as the mental or emotional component is often overlooked as focus on such main staples as physical fitness and chronic disease risk factors. In order to achieve a state of wellness in our own lives or try to guide others to it, we must pay due diligence to each of the dimensions. We may not all be physically fit or free from disease; we can, however, strive for increased wellness by working with what we’ve been dealt.**

Back to my thoughts here. Because it can be such a lengthy process for one to travel the journey to Wellness, we need a starting point. I gave this a great deal of thought. Here's what I came up with that I personally believe is a perfect place to start. You can take the Wellness assessment and see where your level of wellness lines up. The link for that is right here for you to try out Then, after you have determined what aspects can use some work. draw up a plan to follow.

There is a book called "The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness" by Greg Anderson. He is a long term cancer survivor and has captured some incredibly simple ways to live well. As he said and I completely agree with. Wellness is not just eating well and exercising, that is only a small fraction of what we need to be truly well in our body, mind and spirit. His first law is the "Law Of Esprit" simply put "the ability to generate a joyful stance towards life on a daily basis". He also tells us "each day is a miraculous gift and it is our job to untie the ribbons". Very wise man, don't you think? I will be reading this book once again, I have owned it for many years, and sharing it with you on a weekly basis. I hope you can derive from it some value and apply it to your life on a daily basis.

As far as your personal wellness for now, take the wellness assessment and see what areas of wellness you need to work on. You can use the site I've listed to assist you in finding ways to improve that particular facet of your own wellness. I could bore you with mine, but I won't. I will be on my personal journey and let you know how I am doing periodically. I did set up the majority of my personal wellness plan, but I need to work on it a little more. It's not something that can be thrown together quickly or haphazardly for me. I am somewhat of a perfectionist (weakness) and like to do things a certain way. Because of this, things take a little longer for me to complete sometimes. I am integrating the time management I spoke of the other day and making a 'pie' out of my life to assist me in attaining balance. I have been able to see where I am spending too much time and what areas I am neglecting altogether, tisk, tisk. Here's a cute pic I found, but I doubt I'll ever find that street. Especially when changing some lifestyle habits that have been with me for a very long time. Easy nope, worth the effort, yep, absolutely!

If you stumbled across this blog and find it interesting and at all useful, please let me know. If you need any assistance I will do what I can to direct you to the right place to help you on your journey.

So, next week we will "untie" Greg Anderson's first gift of Wellness to us, "The Law of Esprit". Until then. Be Well. Simply.Marie

Simply Thankful

9:05 AM Posted In , Edit This
Are you thankful? Have you ever given it much thought? Do you live a life of gratitude or a life of regret? Here is one of my very favourite reminders of precisely why we need to remind ourselves to be grateful on a daily basis. Doing so will keep you in a state of peace and acceptance of whatever might roll into your life. Think about it.

Whenever you're discontented with the life you lead,
Just take the time to look around and to my phrases heed.

You'll find that you are better off than many others who
must struggle up the road of life, the self-same way as you.

Which reminds me of a story, part of which I'll now repeat.
About the man who had no shoes and the man that had no feet.

And so I bid you look around, and here's the reason why,
you'll say "But for the grace of God, that person could be I".

On a more personal note. You may have heard the news about the two women being murdered by the Commander of the Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario Canada. That is the town next to where I live. The two young women Marie Comeau and Jessica Lloyd were single and had no children as far as the news tells us. Marie Comeau was murdered on the street my daughter's two friends live on. I have been concerned for my daughter and her friends' safety since November. Now my thoughts have turned to gratitude that has left tears in my eyes since I heard the news yesterday. I am grateful that they caught the man who took these two beautiful young women away from their families and the rest of their lives. For me, I will recall this tragic incident for the rest of my life. Every time it pays me a visit I will feel overwhelmed with gratitude. I will be reminded of how both these young women were single, the news tells us one had a boyfriend and the other was on a date the last time she was heard from. For the love of my life I am grateful. I have loved a wonderful man since I was 21 years old and had the joy of unconditional love from him for over half my life. For my children I am grateful. I have two very healthy, intelligent, wonderful children. I experienced the joy of a life growing inside of me and the wonder of giving birth not just once, but twice. I am saddened that these two women will never experience the bliss of being a wife and a mother. I have a cup that runneth over with a wonderful life filled with love. For that I am truly grateful. Until next time. Simply.Marie

Simply Me 3,2,1 go

6:09 PM Posted In , Edit This
Time is on my side... Perhaps it's on Mick Jagger's side but not anyone else's. Time waits for no man.

True. I am not getting any younger. I can't just hope my health will return to a state of wellness and I will be well. I can pray, I do have faith and I do trust God to answer my prayers. He has been a faithful God and always answers my prayers. Maybe not the way that I hoped but always the way that I needed because I trust Him. Yes, He can do miracles. But, really, do I even want to pray for Him to just give me something in the form of divine intervention that he has given me the resources to get or achieve myself? He's not just handing it to me on a platter as some people may believe God works. The bodies He blessed us with have healthy limits for what we do on the outside with them and what we put on the inside of them. If we go beyond those boundaries we must pay the consequences. Ill health will surely follow, then attention must be paid in order to not become unwell to the point of disease that we may not be able to help ourselves with. He has given me the tools to make those positive changes and attain that which I'm praying for and that which I need. He's given me three things to make it happen. The place to start is here~ the place to begin is now~ and I'm the one that can make these changes happen when I trust God and make best use of the gifts He has given me. I have faith... so, 3, 2, I GO!

Since time is the one thing that waits for no one, I have to MAKE it be on my side. The only way to do that is time management. I need to organize my plan for wellness and break it down into manageable parts. Otherwise known as identifying values, writing a mission statement and creating a plan of action with an attainable completion date.

There's a book I've been reading called "Learn to Manage Your Time" by Lucy MacDonald. She suggests that the starting place for managing our time is to learn to set limits for ourselves and learn to say no to ourselves and others. If you add something to your schedule you need to remove something that consumes the same time and energy. This is also a great stress management technique.

She also says that if you don't know where you are going how will you know when you arrive. Thus the need for a mission statement and goal setting. We need to get beyond the 'first generation' time management approach where there is no specific time allotted for specific tasks and no priorities indicated on 'to-do lists' and reminders. So, if things don't get done today, you put it on tomorrow's list. The second generation of time management plans and prepares. Meetings, appointments are the only things that are scheduled in their calendars and agendas. The third generation adds controlling and prioritizing and misses spending time on what is most important. Steven Covey, author of "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" added a fourth generation of management. It includes managing your time and your life. It helps us not only in doing what matters most, but that we are doing it well. This is value based time management. Our time use choices are based on our personal and professional priorities. I learned about the four categories of time use. (taken directly from the book) They are;
1. Important and Not Urgent Priority Principle: *managing your time as an extension of your values and priorities *being able to focus on what you are doing without the fear that you should be doing something else *including time for relationships ie: balancing work and personal time; scheduling time for relaxation, physical fitness, personal growth and development
2. Important and Urgent: *giving your immediate attention and dropping everything else ie: medical emergencies, deadlines, family or relationship crises
3. Not Important and Urgent-Distractions as Denial: *responding immediately to all distractions and emergencies, attending all meetings ie: answering all emails and phone calls as they come in, regardless of who they are from, going out to dinner 3-4 times a week with friends/colleagues
4. Not Important and Not Urgent- Busy with the "Trivial Many": * spending time on things that make little or no contribution to your quality of life ie: playing games on your computer, doing activities that don't help you attain your goals

The category one principles are what we should use to create our life. We need to be an effective category two crisis manager and avoid useless distractions. This will help us to create order and balance between different areas of our lives and will help us accomplish our life goals. We will be managing our time effectively and be more in control of our lives with the benefit of fewer crises to deal with.

Next, it's time to determine my values so I can live with my priorities in mind. My values are the beliefs that reflect my definition of a meaningful life and drive my behaviour. Once I have done that allocating my time will become easier. I will also experience physiological discomfort when I spend time on unimportant tasks. I will become sensitized to the good feelings that emerge as a result.

A mission statement is my life purpose that is my passion and its benefit to others. Once I have determined this I will be inspired and reminded of what's important in my life.

After making my list of values and my mission statement I can work on my 'plan'. For me, my plan for wellness. This seems like a daunting task but I have given myself until my Wellness Wednesday to put it together so I can be like Finegan and begin again.

My list of values, mission statement and attainable plan with a completion date are next on my list of 'to-do's' so, I'll be off to do that now and let you know next week how I made out. Until then.. Simply.Marie

Simply God

1:27 PM Posted In , Edit This
God is Love...

What was that song by the Beatles? You know the one. Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, da da da da da da da...All you need is love, so simply put, all you need is____.


Simply Simplify

8:17 AM Posted In , , Edit This
I missed Saturday, it turned out to be a driving day for me. Family first, and it was. So here's my simple take on Simplicity. It's different for everyone. For David Henry Thoreau it was abstinence from the of mainstream rigors of society. For me it's organization of everything we use for a designated purpose~(almost have that one mastered), and designating a time to everything else, time management~ (working on this one). To sum that up, "A place for everything and everything in it's place" as well as, "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven". Ecc 3; 1-8.

Organizing the scrapbook room has been very enjoyable. I'm still able to get in there and organize. It's truly a passion. I get really 'happy' when I've found a new, more efficient way to arrange my supplies. I was on cloud nine when I found that white cart at Canadian Tire. No, you're not missing it. It's the black one with a stainless top. I was so excited to use it, my husband tried to paint it outside in -8 weather, the paint froze! That's impatience for you, and a really amazing husband who enables my weakness sometimes. This time was one of those "I couldn't wait" times. Now I have to wait for Spring so he can sand it down and paint it again. That goes to show that both patience and timing play a big part in what you do. "Good things come to those who wait" Hmm, I've heard that one before, oh, that's what it means again!

The art of simplifying for someone who has 'a lot of stuff' is simple, organization and limits. You need to choose the place you will be organizing and what you will be organizing in this place, as well as the type of container you will organize your belongings in. I have chosen to keep everything in the same type of container (in my case rectangular, or square) and the same colour. In my case I chose black leather and lacquer and stainless or pewter accessories to accent. You will see a little colour added with the seasonal flowers I have on my desk, some papercrafted flowers my daughter made, containers with buttons or paper flowers in them, a display rack of glitter~bling~ooh! The other place you will see colour is on the pages that I display in the room. One on the door and two on the filing cabinets. I also have two frames with favourite cards my daughter or I have made. That's it. The only other colours are outside the two windows in the room. I look outside the one and see a beautiful farm with big fields and rolling hills that seem to go on forever. I never tire of taking pictures of the snow, fog, rain or flowers on the same landscape. If I add any more colour it will become cluttered feeling for me. I have seen some beautiful rooms with two colours; black/pink, red/black, blue/green, black/white, pink/white. When you add too many coloured or varied shape containers the room starts to look too colourful and can be distracting to the creative energy for some. I am no expert in learning styles, however, I have noticed that people like myself who are predominantly left brain logical types have difficulty being creative in rooms with too much visual stimulation. Other people who are predominantly right brain creative types have rooms surrounded with visually stimulating items and colour. I feel very claustrophobic in those surroundings. I find it difficult to think or concentrate. They, on the other hand are creatively free and able to flourish in this atmosphere. So, the other day when I mentioned that if I had the space I'd have everything out in the open to access more easily, I don't think I would. Everything would be spaced out more~ wow, that would be incredible, but, I couldn't have too many things 'displayed' for it would clutter my creative flow of energy. A great place to see both types of these rooms is the magazine "Where Women Create" a Somerset Studio publication. You can view some of it online on their website. I buy this publication every month. I love to peruse the photos of other womens' creative spaces. A couple of other great websites to see other peoples' creative spaces are "Two Peas in a Bucket" and "Splitcoast Stampers". When you find their site just do a search for 'scrapbook rooms' or 'scrapbook studios'. You will see hundreds, scratch that, thousands of pics of crafty peoples' rooms.

As I said, I used to have everything in the office off my bedroom. It had a gorgeous view and a covered porch. I loved to sit and watch the sunsets from my comfy chair surrounded by my plastic containers and stacked up cardboard boxes with my teddy bear collection looking down on me. It took me so long to find anything because, although it was organized in containers they weren't uniform in colour and type and very distracting. The room was very full and very cluttered. I was rarely able to pull out stuff and put a card together quickly. It took too much effort. By the time I found what I was looking for my creative energy was gone and I didn't want to do anything. That is what happens in the rest of our home if we aren't careful. Again, simplicity in the home is all individual. People's styles, choice of colours and furniture display our personality as well as our belongings. We must assure that it's conducive to our personal sense of peace just being in it. Some people are very peaceful in homes filled with antiques and although I love visiting museums of yesteryear homes I could not live in those surroundings. So, it's very important to find your style (hopefully one that your family equally enjoys) and stick with it throughout the home. That's why model homes are appealing to so many people. The colours and contents have been professionally chosen to convey a certain feeling and lifestyle to the buyers and it is consistent throughout the home.

That was one of the great rewards we reaped by 'staging' our home for sale. I have considered becoming a home stager, it comes naturally to me. However, I am a person that does have a lot of stuff and it was difficult for me to 'cold turkey' de-clutter. It was done within 7 days (one of the requirements of our contract with the seller of the home we wanted was to have it listed and showing within that time). Everything was boxed, painted, rearranged and 'staged' to model home standards. We had an offer from the first showing! My kitchen cubbie was one of the most attractive things in the home that pulled in that first offer. My husband was working outside and heard the people talking about the glass jars in the pantry. The woman said it reminded her of her mother's pantry she had as a young girl. We have a pantry that has an upper cubbie with 5 shelves of 25 glass jars with stainless, see through lids with everything in them. Baking ingredients such as, flour, sugar, nuts etc. As well as a lower cabinet with two shelves filled with the same jars with granola bars, and snack stuff. This organization allows me to bake or cook on a more consistent basis because the kitchen is so much more organized that it was before. We used to eat out far more often than we do now. I try to keep the same consistency in the kitchen as the scrap room and office, attractive, organized storage. If it won't fit I won't buy it. I use that same philosophy in my scrap room. I have certain types of containers for embellishments. If I can't store it neatly in my containers it can't be part of my room, lol! If the space for that particular item is full, I won't buy any more. I have a filing cabinet drawer of chipboard. It is full. Now when I go to stores and see chipboard, I pass it by and I have no regrets. If it is something that is truly awesome that I 'have to have' then I re-do that part of my space and get rid of something. Like stamps for example. I wanted some more updated stamps so I took some of the older sets that I really didn't fancy anymore and sold them. Presto-chango, room for the good stuff and no regrets! The lady at the lss commented to another customer one day, "Marie won't buy those type of stamps because they won't fit in a box, if she can't organize it, she won't buy it!"Getting back to this home staging business. I couldn't sleep at first, the bedroom felt so empty all of the sudden. With all but four picture frames on my dresser and only two left on the walls, my room felt cold and un-natural to me. My husband loved it! Perhaps because he wasn't attached to the pictures like I was. Still over a year later I have kept the same four frames on my dresser and only two pictures on the walls. The others are neatly packed away in boxes in the basement. I cannot part with them yet. I have been going through things once a week and eliminating those things that no longer have a place. I have taken some pics out of the smaller frames and put them in the scrap room to be transformed into pages that will hopefully be passed on through the generations. I haven't moved my teddy bear collection back onto the hutch in the office because I like the clutter free look we have now. So, they were moved into a rubbermaid box in our storage room, sniff, sniff I can't part with them yet, and I don't want to! Simplicity doesn't have to mean living with the bare minimum for everyone. As long as your belongings are stored in containers that you can easily access when you want them and you don't have to rent a storage unit to keep them, is there anything really wrong with having a collection of something that brings you joy?

I am in the process of organizing my photos on one computer instead of 3 and from about 12 media cards. Then I will be able to retrieve photos easier for scrapping and posting. Then I will post photos of my 'spaces' on a more regular basis. For now I'll leave you with one of my favourites. Talk about 'out of place'! Until next time. Simply.Marie

Simply the Fun Place

10:57 AM Posted In , , Edit This
This is my fun place! My small 9'x11' room that used to be our children's school room. There is a lot of fun packed into this little room. It all came together quite easily one weekend. After we had staged our home for sale and packed up virtually all of our lives in boxes it left this pretty little room with black leather filing cabinets and one of these desks. Our plans to move back into the city didn't work out as we had hoped and we're grateful they didn't. The home staging was annoying, nerve wracking and simply scary to say the very least. We were left with some happy, necessary changes that refreshed our home. We de-cluttered and redecorated. Wow, our home was even nicer than it was before! Isn't it amazing how some simple changes (that take a lot of time and effort) can give you a whole new perspective of life. So here we are back to the little room that no longer has to pose as an office on the second floor with great view. Very simple room. Very empty room. So, my wheels started spinning. Ooh! the possibilities for my scrap habit weren't really endless. They had to fit in the 9'x11' space available now that our little girl was off to highschool and we didn't need the learning room anymore. Everything I had in my office off my bedroom fit into this little room like a glove. I have come across some awesome carts and storage items since claiming this room as my 'sanctuary'. Here are a few more pics of the main storage units in my room. Some papercrafters like all of their stash out where it can be accessed easily and that would be ideal for me if my room were twice this size. However, you do what you can with what you have. I have been blessed with this wonderful little room and I love it! I love the uniformity of all of the containers and storage units being black leather, black lacquer, pewter and stainless. To me it shows the room as a very neat (albeit full) crafting area. A place for everything and everything in it's place I always say. The lack of clutter makes it easy for me to think creatively. I know where everything is and I keep a photo book of the insides of each drawer and box. That way I can flip through the album and locate items easily. It saves me from opening every drawer and going through every box when I'm looking for something. So although it looks like it would take a long time to locate something it really doesn't with this organizing method. On the Simply Simplify home organizing Saturday I will continue to share more about the organizing of this room with you. I'll tell you how I fit a ton of smiles in drawers and boxes (hope the floors of this little old farmhouse in the country hold out!) in this happy place of mine. until next time. Simply.Marie

Simply Teach It...

10:08 AM Posted In , , Edit This
Have you ever wondered why people choose to homeschool their children? Some people have very evident reasons. The main group of people who choose to hometeach their children are those who are affiliated to 'religious' or 'faith-based' groups. To simplify that, I'm referring to one you may think of right away. People of "Christian" faith. We are Christians (so if you're faith-phobic you'd better grab your gear and run far from here, change the page, before you read something that might challenge your thoughts and beliefs-or lack thereof).

However, our initial reasons for making the decision to 'homeschool' was not based upon religious or faith beliefs way back 17 years ago. Nope, it was based on love. Or lack, of it in the school system. Not to mention some pretty inconsiderate power tripping teacher that made up our minds one day to homeschool. The rest as they say, is history. I'll share some of that history with you. When our son was just knee high to a grasshopper-nope, oak was more like it (he is now 6'3") he started kindergarten for all of a couple of weeks. He was pulled from my arms kicking and screaming (great first memory of school-and they wonder why adults have anxiety and separation issues that stem from early childhood memories, hmm). He adjusted and had a great time with the sandbox, paints and duplos. Just what the doctor ordered. Fun. Still a healthy thing to do at eighty might I remind you. Lawn bowling, well, not exactly my speed right now but some day who knows? Then grade one, uh-oh. The respiratory issues began. Smart, yes, he could multiply when the other kiddies were just beginning to add. He was and still is above average in intelligence and is light years ahead of his peers when it comes to the 'spirit'. That genuine part of ones' self that makes up the true person that starts in the womb. Well, when we were onto our second bottle of dimetapp (you know the one pulled off the shelf maybe 8 yrs ago because of it's damaging effects on children, yep that one) in a week we knew there was a problem. He couldn't sleep at night because he coughed and coughed until he threw up. The doctor wasn't all that helpful. When our young boy developed pneumonia in grade one and missed over a week of schoolwork we decided to let him go back to school with the doctors' recommendation of 'no physical activity' and 'plenty of rest in between'. If he overdid it the coughing would worsen and he would be hospitalized. We let him go back because we caved from the pressure of the teacher telling us he was going to have to miss his lunches for a while to catch up. The sitting still part was good, but the over working the mind of a young boy of 7 with pneumonia was not healthy. Even with a healthy child it's not healthy! But, he had to catch up, I mean college would be starting next week, he couldn't be left behind because of getting sick. We couldn't have that. Like I said, we caved. We sent him back to grade one with a note from the doctor that said "he was to refrain from all physical activity" so as not to worsen his healing respiratory system. It was our daughters meet the teacher day and we strolled in to meet with the junior kindergarten teacher. We walked by the gym and peeked what to our wonderous eyes did appear but our young, not well little boy running around the gym with 25 other kiddies. Well, that night the coughing returned, this time codeine cough syrup from the doctor and no more school until he was completely well. Oh, my, he will miss his college entry exam next week! This is life or death, or was it? We were very upset with the teacher for playing doctor or God, not sure which one she was trying out for by flatly refusing to listen to the real Doctor's instructions. He has to go and catch up, he has to be in school with all the other children. This what society told us to do. We had to listen. There was no other choice. Not if we didn't want to fall out of the 'normal' category there wasn't. What were we to do? We weren't Christian, we couldn't homeschool our children. After all, at that point we thought they were the only people who did. Then the 'clincher' came. When our little boy told us "there's not enough love in school". It all fell into place. That was the missing part of the puzzle we were looking for. Love. After all, anything is possible with Love.

I shifted my gears from "I'm going to have my career when these children are both in school full time and make lots of money!" after all, isn't that what life is about? Money, stuff, travel and a 'name' for yourself, letters after your name, or is it? To, I'm --hmm, we (hubby wasn't on board right away until I read him the book "Dumbing Us Down" while he was installing an engine in his Camaro.) are going to give our children just what they need, what our little boy was able to verbalize for us at such a young age---LOVE.

So, that journey began. One of living life to the fullest, laughing at ourselves (so we wouldn't get mad when other people did it), and loving- to the max. When something is done with Love and out of Love it becomes easier. Our hometeaching journey certainly hasn't been 'easy' but is anything nowadays? The correct answer is...'anything worthwhile does take effort and hardwork' It was definitely worthwhile when we saw it through the eyes of love.

Here we sit 17 years later. Our daughter just started highschool and has found the next piece in her puzzle. She was well prepared for life and the school system. Armed with an Omnipotent God, the faith of a mustard seed, a family who loves her and the ability to Live, Love, and Laugh she was ready for the world and is doing marvellously. She is off to a fantastic start on her way to becoming a Speech and Language Pathologist. Our son is marching to a different drum, actually shredding one of his many guitars while he marches. He has a heart of gold and a soul for God. He has no desire to join the highschool institution. He is preparing himself for a great career in Psychology. He has another year or so of home highschool. Then it's off to join the ranks of higher education of his choosing with others of like mind. That's okay for him and it's okay for us. Above all, it's okay for God. Both our children are listening to their leader. They are both exactly where God needs them to be at this time in their lives. Huh, I guess that means we are too. "Right where we need to be, at this exact moment in time".

So, as I said in my first post, hometeaching is a labour of love that begins when our children take their first breath, it ends for us when we take our last breath and is filled with moments in between that take our breath away. I am talking about teaching to love. It is the most wonderful vocation because all the while you are teaching, you are actually learning. until next time Simply.Marie

Simply Time

8:36 AM Posted In , Edit This
Let's face it. Time is a big commodity although there are only 24 hours given to each person, each day. We all choose to use it in different ways. Some are very astute in managing their time. Not me, I go with the flow. I have become less and less structured as a result of suffering from debilitating migraines that have worsened with my age. That is part of the reason I have started this blog. So that I may apply one of the most important aspects of wellness (and lessen the migraines I get) stress management. Therefore, I will do two things for others who might choose to drop by and peruse my ramblings. Whether it be to check out my 'sweet scrapbook space and organizing methods' or 'my journey back to wellness' or 'my hometeaching journey of 17 years' or 'simply me' my ramblings on blessings, gratitude and all that is good in this world of ours. I will do my best to keep all of these blog entries separate for you. That way if you are only interested in reading about organization or wellness tips you don't have to clutter up your time wading through all the boring words that I couldn't wait to put down on paper-uh, on my online journal. I will keep them labelled so you can find those entries easily, also I will keep the certain entries on designated days of the week. Sounds simple enough doesn't it? I think. So here we go.

Simply The First.

12:42 PM Posted In , , , , , , , Edit This
Here is my very first post, it feels strange. Knowing that what I am writing can be viewed by people I don't know from all over the world. My thoughts are random, unorganized (yes) and completely real. Some of what I say will ring true to you, as a woman, a mom and a human being. Some of what I say will be completely lacking in usefulness to you. That's ok. We are all on a different walk and some people will gravitate towards my ramblings for reasons unknown. There will be a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I hope you will leave here with a smile. Something I might say one time will change your day, I'm hoping for the better. Whether it's because you realize that other people have it worse than you do and you should count your blessings or perhaps you will see how others view blessings in their lives, however small, meaningless or insignificant they may seem and you will appreciate your blessings even more as a result. My hope is that you will leave this blog having been touched by a word, a thought (poetry) or a sight (I will post many pictures) that will enrich your life and perhaps simplify the way you live in this great big world of ours. My posts will be sporadic at first until I organize this new part of my day and my life. You will always see a thread of organization running throughout them. You will see my personal favourite a lot, my scrapbooking room. I have a passion for scrapbooking. Anyone who scrapbooks knows that the supplies are sometimes difficult to organize. I have a great deal of stuff organized in a very small space. Or, general organization of the household. Here will be the place to drop by to see very useful, simple ways to organize your surroundings, your home and your life. I will keep adding a weekly wellness tip for you to apply to your life if you choose to do so. My goal is to become as healthy and well as I can possibly be in my mind, body, spirit and surroundings. On a personal note to women. You know raising your children is a labour of love that begins that very moment they take their first breath and ends when you take your last breath. It is filled with moments that take your breath away. Hometeaching is a wee bit different than your children entering the daycare and school system before they are out of diapers and before they can walk or even talk. You see every moment of every day with them. Your days are filled with joy that is often never experienced by those who haven't home taught, especially for 17 years of their childrens' lives. So, yep, the joys of being a mom and hometeaching parent will also be thrown in here for good measure. So to sum up this blog you will find, wellness of body, mind, and spirit, organizing of the home and surrounding areas (especially papercrafting stuff), hometeaching help, family and all the joys and laughter that come with living a full but simple life... I hope you will take the time out of your busy day to join me if just for a moment. Simply.Marie