Saturday, March 03, 2012

A new green hat


Cozy, warm and colorful.
Will you help to hold good ideas and thoughts close to my brain?
Will your bright colors keep an optimistic perspective close?
Will warm ears help me to listen more and speak less?

Soft, thick and comforting.
Can your woven strands help me keep it together?
Can the fleece lining remind me to be more gentle?
Can your depth remind me not to fall into shallow stuff?

New, thrifty and courageous.
Please help me be aware of the potential opportunities out there.
Please keep me aware that money isn't the answer to everything.
Please me to stand tall and proud on behalf of what really matters.

New, striped, green, hat -
it's amazing what you can find on a clearance rack if you look for it.

T.L. Eastman "March 2012"

Friday, March 02, 2012

Friday Funny: Pittsburgh Dad

My family is from the "Burgh. Even though my parents moved from the area before I was born, some Pittsburgh-isms moved with us. When we'd go home to visit - the accent, speed and intensity of talking would amp up. I would come home from visits with a sprinkle of "Yins" and "Warsh" peppering my vocabulary - as well as increasing my talk speed by a 25% minimum!
Earlier today I came across a Youtube page called "Pittsburgh Dad" - if you are from the "Burgh" - I'm sure you'll appreciate this series. For all my Aunts and Uncles these clips remind me of - thanks for the memories and don't forget to red up the room before your have company over!

Yins best check it out - it's a keeper if you as me!

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Family Friendly Faith Actions for Lent...



The first week of Lent is in full swing. Soda, chocolate and sweets are beginning to pile up!Lent and it's practices are something relatively new to me, as I did not grow up in a Liturgical minded church. When my classmates were excused to attend worship on Ash Wednesday - I recall thinking, "I love God, why can't I have a smudge on my forehead too!"

In my search for practical applications and participation in this season, I came across a great article by Nadia Weber-Boltz . This article give a tour of acts of sacrifice and prayer practices for the Lenten season, but it's very much geared for adults. To visit Nadia's website click here: Nadia Bolz-Weber. (Thanks Nadia for helping to get the idea for this blog going!)

What I was looking for were Lenten ideas that would work for families with children. It is my goal to find and list prayer practices for Lent that parents at my church would be able to do at home with their children! So, after reading Nadia's article, I decided to work on a list to give to all my Sunday school students and parents this coming Sunday that would be a tool box for family Lenten practices. As we are already a week into Lent, feel free to plug in some of the first weeks assignments as Plan B. for Family Devotion time.

How to hold Family Devotions:
1. Any family member calls out "Huddle up for Family Devotions!"
2. Every family member must stop what they are doing and join the group.
3. Work on activity or prayer/reading as a group.
4. End time by praying for each other.
(Some activities require a little leadership and planning by Parents, but please help foster an attitude that all age participants can help with leadership and group time.)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Day 1: Set up a home Altar: Place tools for prayer time/devotions there. (Bible, electric candle, drawing pad, markers, crayons, etc...)This is the space you all can meet when the devotion huddle is called.

Day 2: Choose a cherish item to leave on the home Altar for this first week of Lent as a reminder of refocusing on God during this time. When you walk by, see it or remember it - pray to God about something on your mind/heart.

Day 3: Play a board game as a Family instead of having a Friday Movie Night.

Day 4: Gather up some toys and donate them to a local day care or community center.

(Sunday)Day 5: Read Ecclesiastes 3:11. As a family, go for a walk to listen and look for beauty. Try to keep quiet until you return home. Share what you heard or saw and pray for needs you may have seen.

Day 6: Take your cherished item off the home Alter and place a new item there for the second week of Lent. When you walk by, see it or remember it - pray to God about something on your mind/heart

Day 7: Draw a picture or write a group letter to an elderly friend. Send it to them or deliver it by hand to remind them they are loved and thought of.

Day 8: Read Genesis 1 - talk about how God is still creating in the world.

Day 9:Participate in bubble prayer. Use a bottle of bubbles a prayer tool. "Dear God I want to pray about, for..." and think about your request while you blow the bubble and give it to God.

Day 10: Bake some cookies for a single parent you know - and deliver them.

(Sunday)Day 11: Read Psalm 104: 1-8 and circle all the ways God is described. As a group, write your own Psalm that describes God.

Day 12: Take your cherished item off the home Altar and place a new item there for the second week of Lent. When you walk by, see it or remember it - pray to God about something on your mind/heart.

Day 13: Thank you prayer: Take note of your day and share a prayer. "Thank you God for..."

Day 14: Drink water instead of all other beverages today. Figure out what money you would have spent and donate that to an organization that works to provide clean water to communities that need it. ( For ELCA projects and resources go here: Water)

Day 15: Invite a person that could use some company over to your home and make pizzas together.

Day 16: Have a make something day. Create a gift for someone and give it to them in the week to come.

(Sunday)Day 17: Read Mark 9:33-37 Talk about ways your family can be more welcoming to children. Come up with a way to welcome/encourage a child you all know this week.

Day 18: Take your cherished item off the home Altar and place a new item there for the third week of Lent. When you walk by, see it or remember it - pray to God about something on your mind/heart.

Day 19: Write a note of encouragement or thanks to a school teacher/daycare worker. Have children deliver the note the next day at school/daycare.

Day 20: Unplug from all tv/media/internet for the day. Decide as a group how to spend the evening together without these things.

Day 21: Go to a soup kitchen and eat dinner there. Donate what you would have spent on dinner to the agency.

Day 22: Visit a museum/gallery and look for beauty.

(Sunday)Day 23: Read Mark 10: 17-22 Talk about something you could give to someone in need, choose something and give it away.

Day 24: Take your cherished item off the home Altar and place a new item there for the fourth week of Lent. When you walk by, see it or remember it - pray to God about something on your mind/heart.

Day 25: Look up a favorite Bible story from childhood and read it to your kids. Ask them what their favorite story is and read that too.

Day 26: Call a local nursing home and set up a Friday Night Game night. Take some games and play them with the residents.

Day 27: Invite friends over for a Pot-luck-Dinner. Each person is to create a dish to share that costs less than $10.00 to make. Decide as a group where to donate $10.00 (per each item made) that works to fight hunger or poverty.

Day 28: Create a creative day of rest. Everyone stays in pajamas, only eats very simple things (cold cereal, sandwiches, etc) and spends the day resting and recharging. Choose some creative activities to do: reading, painting, building...

(Sunday)Day 29: Read John 3;16-17 Find a way to "Love the world" on God's behalf and do it as a group.

Day 30: Take your cherished item off the home Altar and place a new item there for the second week of Lent. When you walk by, see it or remember it - pray to God about something on your mind/heart.

Day 31: Sort through your clothing and donate what you don't wear to a thrift store/shelter.

Day 32: Visit Wed. night church programs with a friend's family. Look for what is the same and what is different than your church.

Day 33: Invite a friend to come to Easter Sunday worship with your family.

Day 34: Plan an Easter egg hunt in your yard. Fill eggs with candy and small toys. Invite a few families with small children over to hunt for eggs and have lunch together.

(Sunday)Day 35: Read Mark 11:1-10 Roll out a big paper and as a group draw what happened on Palm Sunday. Hang the poster up by your home alter as a reminder that Easter is almost here!

Day 36: Take your cherished item off the home Altar and place a new item there for the second week of Lent. When you walk by, see it or remember it - pray to God about something on your mind/heart.

Day 37: Brown bag your lunches today and donate what you would have spent on lunch out to a charity.

Day 38: Introduce your family to a person in your neighborhood and offer to help with needed yard work. As a group do the work.

Day 39: As a group, talk about what item was the most difficult to place on the Altar through Lent.

Day 40: Take a look at your home Altar you created for Lent. Would you like to keep this spot set up for regular Family devotions? What would you like to add or change about it? Talk about what you have done as a family throughout Lent and what you would like to keep doing in the future.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Personal Artist Page - Revealed!


"Revealed" Acrylic, Watercolor and Salt Painting 48"X12"

For all the kind people that have asked me for prints, cards or access to my original paintings, the day has arrived!
Go to my Personal Artist Profile with Fine Art America to view current art work that is for sale: Tara's Artist Profile.