Friday, September 29, 2017

A Rainbow

The beauty and wonder of a rainbow.
A rainbow is a beautiful expression of God's love for us.

Genesis 9:12-13

And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations:I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth."

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What are you going to do now?

Lately the question everyone is asking me is, "What are you going to do now?"
My answer continues to be, "I'm going to take care of me."  How I envision taking care of me isn't exactly the way it's going. That vision is so much easier said than done.  But I have been doing little things every day, like my silly shower workout and my stability ball exercises.  The weather is so crazy for September it's just too hot to go for a walk.

Truthfully though to answer the question.  I am doing the things that I didn't have time to do during the day when I was subbing.  I am washing breakfast dishes before lunch. I am doing laundry before it piles up. I am doing the checkbook and paying bills.  I am staying home most of the day and not feeling like I need to go some place.  I am writing.  I am playing piano.  And do you know what...I am loving it.  I am so much more less stressed.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The roles we play

What are your roles in life? Are some more important than others?  How do your roles define who you are?  My roles in order of how they happened are daughter, sister, friend, wife and mother.  For me the order they go in are wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend.  But I have many roles that define me.  I am a child of God, a niece, an aunt, Eagle Scout Mom, Girl Scout leader, neighbor, American citizen and host mother.  I used to also be a den leader, substitute teacher,  PTA board president, vice president and secretary over the years.  When my husband and my sister threw me a surprise 40th birthday party a few years ago, my sister made me this collage.  She made me feel very valued for of the roles that define me.  My blog profile I define myself as "Happy to BE an artsy wife and mother, sister, daughter and friend."  I think that by giving up subbing and PTA I have become happier.  I am really enjoying my time at home, not running around trying to make everyone else happy but making me happy.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Time To Push the Reset Button Again

Time To Push the Reset Button Again

I was doing so good and then I had to prepare for the Girl Scout Trip to Beach Jam at Morey's Piers and I got sucked in to other things and away from my daily day 1 habits I was trying to do.  So today I'm starting over again, I'm pushing the reset button.

I have to be honest, for the last 2 weeks, the week leading up and the week after the trip, I was off.  I actually didn't get too off in my eating but I did stop my little exercise routine.  As silly as my little routine is I noticed a difference this past week so I'm starting over today.  Ever since sleeping on the ground my body has been aching.  My husband says I need to stretch.  I tried and it was very PAINFUL.  So this morning I tried a heating pad and it seems to have loosened up my pain hopefully enough to now do the stretches and my silly exercises.

I listened to my motivational song just now and it made me think of this picture that I took a few years ago while camping at Caroga Lake State Park.  The sun was coming up and peaking through the trees and the morning fog.  I call it "God's Eyelashes" because he's always looking down on us and the sun rays make me think of heaven.  This is one of my favorite photos.  If you haven't watched the music video for Mathew West, "Day One" here's the link.

Every morning
Every morning
Sun's coming up
The beginning has begun
It's day one of the rest of my life. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

One Leaders Guide to Scouting

For years my husband had been telling me I should find a way to share what I do as a Girl Scout Leader.  In 2017 I started another blog called "One Leaders Guide to Scouting," today I am transfering it over to my artsyBE blog and will be labeled "Scouting."  I will continue sharing my scouting experiences and ideas, Girl Scout, Cub Scout and Boy Scout.  As a parent of both girls and boys and being involved in both organizations I felt that I couldn't just say Girl Scout even though my days in Boy Scouts have ended since my son is an Eagle Scout now.  I am always drawing on my knowledge and experiences from Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts when I am doing things for Girl Scouts.  I believe that's how it should be.  Robert Baden-Powell and Juliette Gordon Low were friends and shared ideas, that's how Girl Scouts was started here in the United States.  I hope that people will find my other blog useful.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

My children, my world, watching them grow

My children, my world, watching them grow and then someday watching them walk away. I have always lived by two sayings as a mother...

The 1st is:
Give your children roots and wings.  Roots to grow from and wings to fly.

& the 2nd is:

Cleaning and scrubbing
Can wait till tomorrow...
For babies grow up
We've learned to our sorrow...
So quiet down cobwebs...
Dust go to sleep...
I'm rocking my baby
And babies don't keep!!
--by Unknown Author

I was given this saying framed when I had my first child. I have treasured it.  Even though the frame broke I put it on my bulletin board and it has moved with me 3 times.  

My children are growing up. Sometimes it doesn't seem possible. How can I have an almost 19 year old son, an almost 16 year old daughter and a almost 12 year old daughter.  My babies aren't babies anymore.

We can only hope that we are giving them all that they need to succeed in today's world.  When I say that I don't mean the newest phone and the hottest style clothes.  We are teaching our children the value of money.  If they want something more expensive than what we are willing to spend then they need to pay at least half.  Hopefully we have shown them how to have a successful marriage and that its not at 50/50 relationship, it's 100/100.  We have taught them to believe in a greater power and have faith in God.  We tell them to always do their best in everything they do and with faith and prayer God will do the rest.  They know how to cook, do laundry, and sew a button, not because of FACS class in middle school but because we showed them how.  It's all part of being in a family, everyone has to help each other out.  You might not like each other all the time but you love each other.  You aren't going to live together forever but your siblings are your siblings and you don't know how long is forever.  It always amazes me how my girls can be fighting one minute and then helping each other the next.  An amazing thing to see was this summer at the ocean in Rhode Island the girls jumping waves together and even holding each others hand for the big waves.  I love just watching them.  It also shows how much my son has grown into a man when he is standing next to my husband, his father.  I can't believe he's taller than both of us.  My babies are really growing up.

My hope for my children as they continue to grow is that they are healthy, happy, have love and keep their faith. I pray,

"May the Lord bless you and keep you; May the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; May the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and give you peace."  Numbers 6:24-26

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Life is an adventure, enjoy the ride

Life is an adventure, enjoy the ride.  Take chances and try new things.  This past weekend I did just that.  I took my daughters and other girls from their Girl Scout Troop to Beach Jam at Morey's Piers for the first time.  I have to say it I was nervous the week coming up to the trip.  Morey's Piers is in Wildwood, NJ a 6 hour drive from here.  We slept on the beach in tents. Which is fine as I am a camper, but I took a lot less than usual as I knew we would have far to carry our supplies.  Normally I sleep on an air mattress when I camp but this time I used a bed roll or camp pad.  UGH - needless to say I didn't sleep well.  This body of mine is not made for sleeping on the ground.  I can get past the sleeping arrangements as it was only for 2 nights, I went there for my girls, not for me.  Nothing makes me happier than when my girls are happy.

I will admit there were moments of unhappiness on the trip.  Everyone was sore and tired.  And I will speak only for myself saying that my anxiety goes on over load around amusement parks.  My younger daughter isn't afraid of anything and I am a worrier.  So at one point I went a little crazy in public and that is not me at all.  So even though it is my right to get mad I was embarrassed since it happened in public.  But all is good now.

So many great parts to the weekend.  My favorites are when I went shopping with my daughters and had lunch just the 3 of us.  When our troop won the Saturday Stake out Flag contest.  AWESOME!
When my older daughter searched for a sweatshirt she had seen and wanted that says, "My lifeguard walks on water. Matthew 14:22-32".  She is proud of her faith not afraid to show it.  That made me so proud.  My last favorite moment was when my youngest got her hermit crabs to bring home.  She had the biggest smile.  Which made all the soreness and tiredness worth it.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Full Circle Moments

 "Sometimes life brings you full circle to a place you have been before just to show you how much you have grown." - unknown

This is one of my favorite photo collages.  It shows my little boy as a Tiger Cub saluting the flag as it is lowered at the Elks Lodge 101 Flag Day Ceremony.  No one told him to salute he just did it.  Then as a Life Scout he was in charge of the flag folding and passing the old flag to the Jr. ROTC. In the blink of an eye my little boy has grown into a man, who will forever be an Eagle Scout. 

I am so glad that our family took the road less traveled and became a scouting family.  My husband was Den Leader and Cub Master.  My son worked up the ranks from Tiger to Eagle Scout. My girls have both been in Girl Scouts from the start of Daisies.  My older daughter is now a Senior Girl Scout and my younger daughter is now a Cadette Girl Scout.  I started as a Den Mother in Cub Scouts and then became a Girl Scout Leader of 2 troops.  I have been a GS Leader for 10 years.  

come full circle

Monday, September 18, 2017

They say a picture speaks a thousand words.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words. In this case it speaks more than a thousand. This picture is one of my favorite pictures from my childhood.  It speaks to me of love, family, safety and security.  Small town family visits the BIG city.  It looks like such a cold day, but it warms my heart when I look at it.  I am wearing my favorite coat.  It was a London Fog, I think we got it at Macy's, which was a big deal.  When we were kids we usually shopped at KMart, Nichols or BigN, discount department stores.  But I remember getting that blue London Fog with a red scarf.  I had matching mittens and a beret.  I don't know what it was about it but it made me feel so special when I would wear it.  I also remember feeling like my Uncle Robert was larger than life.  I was so little then and he was so tall.  I think he was 6'3" tall.

Uncle Robert lived in Greenwich Village in New York City.  I remember when he would come home to Amsterdam to visit, I would be impatiently waiting for him to arrive.  As soon as I would see his rental car pull into my Granny's driveway I would run out the door and up the street yelling his name with so much love and excitement to see him.  Some times he would bring his dogs, Amos and Andy.  He always said that Andy looked like the dog Sandy in "Annie."  Funny I was always a little afraid of Andy and thought Amos was the nicer dog.

I have so many fun memories of my Uncle Robert, like when he bought me my roller skates.  They had orange wheels.  The best part about roller skating was that Uncle Robert had roller skated too, which made him even taller.  His skates looked like sneakers with wheels.  I can remember roller skating in circles in front of my house with my brother, sister, a friend or 2 and Uncle Robert.  He was the coolest Uncle!

My Uncle Robert died when he was just 34.  He would have been 65 this year.  September 17, 2017 marks the 31st anniversary of his death.  He died 2 weeks after his 34th birthday.  He loved singing and dancing.  He loved his family with all of his heart, especially his mother, my Granny. I found these pictures of him and Granny and his picture for his auditions, turned it into a postcard. Back then video cameras were a new thing and he would always film us on his visits home.  He would interview Granny, us kids, sing and dance with us in the living room or outside.  I am so glad we have those tapes now. 


I was 15 when my Uncle Robert died.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with.  The grief was unbearable at times, that some people couldn't understand.  To this day I get a lump in my throat, tears in my eyes and an ache in my heart when I think of him.  He died too young.

In high school he was in the drama club, and was in many of the school productions.  After he graduated from high school he joined a touring theater group and traveled the country.  He was Tom, in "No No Nanette," with Andrea Walters.  I can still here him singing the song "Tea for Two" in my granny's kitchen. I remember him taking me to see Andrea in a play at Pasadena Playhouse.   The month before he died he took my brother and I to California.  I still can't believe my parents let him take my brother and I across the country.  I remember being so nervous before we left and I was crying.  It was my first time on a plane.  I am so grateful to have the memories we made on that trip.  

When he died he was working the the promo department at NBC in New York City. I had red hair like "Annie" so he taught me all the songs from "Annie."   In 1979, I went on my first trip to NYC by train with my Granny to stay with Uncle Robert.  I remember being scared in the big city but he took my hand and I all my nerves went away.  He was larger than life.  On that trip to NYC he took me to see "Annie" on Broadway, and to the circus at Madison Square Garden. 

When you have a traumatic experience you either block out the memories or you remember every detail.  I remember the day he died.  It was a Wednesday.  His friend Jeff called our house because no one was answering my Granny's phone.  I just remember my mom screaming NO.  I'm not sure if she told me he died or if I over heard the conversation because she was so upset.  I was in shock. While my mom was on the phone we could see my Uncle James get home and I ran up the street to get him.  I never ran so fast.  I really couldn't believe it was true.  I don't think anyone could.  I remember being at the wake and thinking he was going to sit up.  How was it true?  He was always a funny guy, joking around, was this a joke?  I wanted it to be a joke.  I remember going to my Granny's house after the funeral and wanting to watch the videos he had made so I could see him.  When I put it in it was on him singing, "It's Alright to Cry," from Free To Be You and Me.  It was so weird and so right at the same time.

This has been something I have wanted to write for a long time.  I know that it's all over the place but so are my thoughts and feeling when I remember him.  

I believe in heaven and I know I will see him again someday.  I still feel his love everyday. 

Friday, September 15, 2017

A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.

I just want to say thanks to all of my friends.  I am so grateful for all of you.  I am so blessed to have all of you and all of your support, thru the ups and downs of the journey called life.  There is no special reason for this post accept to let you know I appreciate you ALL.  I have different circles of friends and some don't even know each other.  That's ok.  That's what I'm trying to teach my daughters and Girl Scouts.  It's ok to have different friends that aren't friends with each other.  Love you ALL.  Don't wait to tell you friends how much you appreciate them.

"A sweet friendship refreshes the soul." Proverbs 27:9

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Love is All Around

How many of you would notice these hearts as you walked or drove by? Just a reminder to always keep your eyes open. I might not have been posting for the past 6 years but I have continued taking pictures of the hearts I see in around me, in rocks, shells, bark, holes in tires, my children's hands, tree stumps, the sky, leaves, and even a hole in the sidewalk.  See the beauty it it all, see the love and remember his love today and everyday. 

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16

Love is ALL Around ~ Heart Photos by Me ~ Laura Brittain




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