Friday, February 26, 2010

Something Wicked this way comes

Yuppers, tonight is the night we go and almost virtuously see Wicked. Almost, because I won't be there to sing at the choir practice with the wedding couple. Ah well. And it has been a long week back at work. Lots of reports and meetings and things - not so much of finding ways to share God's love with people. Maybe, just maybe, what I am doing is enabling others to though!

I also had "fun" at the GCSE options evening last night. Its the third time I have done it and each has been completely different. How many choices and what they are is different too.
example: all three will do three sciences at GSCE
H: did triple science in the lesson time allocated to double science - it didn't count as a option
E: triple science counted as one option out of three
C: triple science takes up two options out of three

Carys wondered what to do for her third option. She really wants to do drama but needed a fall back. She considered full RE (a half GSCE is copulsory. I wonder what a half is - a GC or CE or GCSE?) but that is a "twilight" course. No, not about vampires but after school. Surprisingly she didn't want extra school. She considered History until we heard the syllabus - Russia - 1919-present (rise and fall of communism and WW2); Vietnam and as light relief Britain during the depression 1929-1950. So fall back is Music instead. I am pleased that each of my kids has chosen a creative option at this stage - Graphics, Art, Drama. Makes life much more fun! (although the drama teacher would like me to point out there is a lot of written work too)

This Sunday we are focusing on it being Fairtrade Fortnight and as part of it we are doing a Big Swap. During the service we will be making little tags for fairtrade teabags. I'm still unsure as to how to attach the tags - would staples be OK? If you swap something you normally have for a fairtrade item you can download some wonderful tunes from Cadbury (famous for their music I know) You may have seen the ad featuring Paul Nut (as Radcliffe and Marconi call him). I just love the Big Ghana band versions of top tunes. Best one One Day Like This - Elbow although Unbelievable (one of my most fave songs ever) is pretty fine too. Find out more about the Big Swap here. I think it fits well with Lent themes of reflection and self discipline and taking things on for God as well as giving up what is not right or helpful. I've not found sweets too much of a strain so far but I have a few long car journeys to go which are usually my downfall.

OK and now for something completely different - my Daring card this week. Our challenge segues on from last week - then it was winter, now we are thinking warmer for Daring Cardmakers
Here comes the sun!

Lets see some cards full of reds and oranges and yellows - or with lots of circles on them - or rays - anything that says sunshine to you!
My card is aka spot the new stuff
Oh Lythan have you got some new round the corner Martha Stewart punches? Why yes I have
And is that the new Garden Variety by Cosmo Cricket? You betcha!
Also featured... Crafts U LOve kraft card base; blue ricrac from stash; Christina Cole epoxy sticker; Imagine That stamp (its the big one saying Celebrate your day) and some rather ham fisted Liquid Pearls in Opal

Here are two more cards I did recently for the a card a day challenge which I will never be able to do- but its fun to drop in when I can!

Making Memories; October Afternoon; Papermania and American Crafts papers; QK die and Imagine That stamp

BG Lemonade papers; Nestie dies and Fiskars punch; Tesco felt flowers and Prima pearls

Whatever you do tonight - be good!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Big smiles!

that has made my day - thanks Sketchy gang :)

and is a great excuse to show two more layouts - the last and the first...
the last of my day trip to France layouts
Now this is from a Studio Calico sketch and I was really quite lazy and didn't change it much at all! The papers are Basic Grey Cupcake (that I bought for a song at Alexandra Palace). The scallop trim is a Nestabilities border die. When I bought it I was a bit disappointed with it as there was a lot less die cut in it. But this time I swooshed distress ink in the swirls and I LOVE the effect. I used all my Martha Stewart butterfly dies and a little piece of grungeboard. The letters are white velvety Doodlebug ones.
I can't believe we packed so much into one day (even if it started at 5:30am and ended at 11pm)

And then there is this one

another Studio Calico sketch (find them on their wonderful blog). Papers are October Afternoon County Fair range. I also added a few bits from a KandCo accessories box and some Cosmo Cricket letters.
Its DCM day tomorrow so tune in again then!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Its cold, its raining and I have to work

But working today (which should be my day off - but the I have just had a whole week of nothing!) means more time ot play at the weekend - I hope...
I have had loads of crafting fun over the last few days. I won't share it all at once but try and blog a bit more often this week. Famous last words...

Anyway here is one of the layouts I have done. It is an entry for Sarahs Cards Feb sketch challenge and is one of those day trip to France layouts (actually all of these are)
You may need to see that the poster advertises a place called "Plopsaland" which made us giggle - hence the title "We failed the grown up test" (notwithstanding the fact that I know how to use the word "hence"). It was just a chance to be really silly and grab some of my fave colourful papers - Scenic Route Surprise and Grafton; Love Elsie; Christina Cole and Cherry Arte. Letter stickers are Jenni Bowlin; LYB and Making Memories; Cherryarte chipboard and silly creatures are Paperchase. Oh yes and brads from Queen and Co and Papermania and Bazzill.

This one celebrates the fact that we found a scrap shop on Bergues. Which we had to visit. I pulled out a load of old papers to mimic the display - some are Sassafrass, some Papermania and I think the animal ones are Making Memories. I've had them 5 years and never used them. The pink circle die cut is one I made ages ago on the Craft Robo. (MUST fix that up again). The Sassafrass stickers and Cork word I bought in the shop (it would have been rude not to buy anything), the title was made using Funky Foam and a Sizzx alpha. The backing paper is a sheet of American Crafts.

The papers are Ethan Kate by Scrapworks. I also used my new Martha Stewart punch; Prima and Cosmo Cricket stamps; Ethan Kate and Making Memories letters; Jenni Bowlin chipboard button; Hambly acetate and some cardboard!

OK back to work - looking through psychometric tests that I got some people to do. Veeery interesting (she says stroking her beard thoughtfully)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lent Day 3

In just over four years time my youngest child will leave school and so we won't have to take our hols at the same times as schools do. The biggest problem with the school hols is they always seem to hit important religious festival/event times. This half term being no exception. SO no Shrove Tuesday fun or Ash Wednesday service for me. I don't like that, but I also try to be as hard line on my holidays as I can (except for the MA crashing through half terms for two years in a row as if I drop below 80% attendance it is an automatic fail). I think I might be the biggest Ash Wednesday fan at church as no-one put one on instead. But I love the ceremonial beginning of Lent and the imposition of ashes. It starts the time right for me.

So what am I doing for Lent this year. I haven't really started my take on thing yet - but I do have a "count your blessings" leaflet to work through which I will reach for in a mo'. And I have given up eating sweets for Lent too. I don't always give something up, but I know that I am a little addicted to the sugar buzz from sweets and know I will find it hard and that it will be good for me. Chocolate is not off limits - I'm just too good at managing chocs but sweets when I am driving - ooh it will be tough. But for every twinge it will remind me of Jesus suffering for my sake and spur me on to deeper Lenten reflection. Well that is my hope anyway. Big test today - going to the cinema where sweeties are de rigeur for the Nevards.

Yesterday was swimming and I did some proper lengths. Sadly I exercise so rarely that I then woke up early with cramping muscles this morning and had to get up and watch "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" on 4OD which was actually quite moving in places. And jaw dropping in others... If you are in the UK I highly reccommend a watch. I might tell you what I think another day!

But the early start did mean my Daring Cardmakers card is actually up on time. Gasp! Rein picked a lovely theme this week.
Winter Birthday Cards
Perhaps cards with snowdrops on them, or ice skates, snowflakes, or how about using the Olympic Games currently happening in Vancouver as inspiration for your cards this week?

It took me a while to work through what I wanted to do but in the end came up with I think it is "Winter but Spring is coming" actually! I was inspired by the white rose which is a lovely smoochy felty one from John Lewis. I didn't want the background to be too bare so decided to have another go with the glimmer mist and masks.
It was supposed to be a LIGHT spray and I also made the mistake of thinking I could contain the spraying so could anchor the mask with tape. Guess where the tape was? All that said I am pretty happy with how it turned out and especially pleased with the scallops. You may need a close up to see how lovely and glittered they are. On tidying up my go to box (it has letter stickers, some ribbons, flowers and gems in it) I found a long neglected packet of double sided sticky sheets so decided to make glitter borders. I did need to stick the one side to card first so it didn't stick to the punch (found that out the hard way) but the glamour dust treatment worked a dream.
Everything else: Nesties; Imagine That Write Big stamps; Cuttlebug embossing folder

I managed some more scrapping yesterday - only 2 layouts left for the summer 2008/Day trip to France 2009 scrapbook now yay! I have found that having chosen the photos and put them in the scrapbook ready has really speeded up the process. For the summer 2009 one I think I will print them myself though so that I can have less uniform photo sizes (the others I photoboxed). I have here the layouts from yesterday - i know I have some more to show you for another day.

This church was so beautiful. Looking at the photos makes me yearn to go back and see it. The yellow light was something very special. SO I wanted a fairly simple page to go with it. MME and Papermania papers, Bazzill edger scallop; Toffee Apple Glimmer mist and mask; Chatterbox acetate embellishment; felt flowers and yellow shell buttons from stash and some tiny scraps of ribbon (the brown one is one of the new Dear Lizzy ones)
This next layout was scary - it called for circular photos! Look at brave Lythan.
It uses this weeks Sketchy Thursday sketch. I wanted to add another photo so put it where the journaling was suggested on the sketch.
October Afternoon and Fancy Pants papers; Turquise and Sueded Glimmer Mists; Bazzill Just the Edge scallop; Cosmo Cricket sticker and Chipboard heart; Basic Grey Offbeat arrow; American Crafts Thickers; Distress SticklesDunkirk was the last place we visited and I hadn't expected the beach to be so pretty. Or so warm at 5pm. I still wasn't feeling very well so our slap up meal turned into a panini for Phil. Eaten outside people watching it was delicious though! I'm pleased I was stretched by the sketch as I think the photos look really good as circles.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Aaaaand relax

Boy did I need half term. I am sooooooooo tired. Its not my best time of year really - just loads of work and the slog continues after this oasis but stopping for just a while (and trying not to think of the piles. Of work, the piles of work obviously, fortunately not the other kind) is bliss. Haven't done as much crafting as I would like but I think that is just part of needing to stop.

But I have done some! Firstly, it was a Make and Take Saturday at Imagine That and it would have been rude not to go in. Especially as they had some new stamps. Having just ordered a new American Crafts album and one or two other bits (I have the Dear Lizzy rose ribbon. Is it wrong to be so excited about that? Um, yes it probably is) from Sarahs Cards I couldn't go as mad as I would like to (and March is another month after all and will soon be here!) but couldn't leave the shop without these babies

Oh they are just so fab! My style is (I think) rather unfussy and I don't use that many stamped images (despite owning many stamps) and these stamps mean that the sentiment is the focal point. Just look!
(papers are Basic Grey Lemonade; Martha Stewart punch; Doodlebug button)
(Doodlebug buttons; John Lewis paper string; black pen)
(Cosmo Cricket Get Happy; Papermania gems; black glitter card (looks scrummy in real life) Martha Stewart and EK Success Punches - both available at Imagine That)
(Basic Grey lemonade papers; Nestabilities labels 4; Martha Stewart punch available from Imagine That)

I've also made a few layouts - I'll just share my Salt one today. Julie set a great challenge
My topic today is taken from Colossians 4:2 "Continue in prayer." I have been thinking a lot lately about prayer and it's importance in the life of God's children. As a busy wife and mother it's often difficult to find time for a meaningful conversation with anyone!! And yet, prayer is most important especially when we are busy! I remember hearing this quote from John Wesley, "I have so much to do that I spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it."

I knew what I had to scrap - although it seems a bit strange! It might help to read the journaling first
It is odd how a comedy murder mystery should have such an effect on my prayer life - but then they do say that God works in mysterious ways!
And here is the layoutIsn't he lovely? Apparently Dr Johnson probably had Tourettes as he had lots of strange tics and mannerisms but also this huge intellect (see here for some details)
I used a mixture of papers from the bottom of my stash including some 7 Gypsies. The striped paper is pleated and hand stitched. The journaling is on an old clerical diary page (for this week!). The embossed metal circle I made ages ago and the little wooden frame is from a wooden button stall at the Alexandra Palace craft show. Corner stamp is Stamps away and the ribbon roses are from John Lewis. Other bits - from stash.

We are going swimming today - hurray! (NB that was sarcasm) Still it won't take all day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wicked mother

I was really trying to give Carys a treat.
She had heard some of the songs from Wicked and loves the theatre. This week (up until 5:30 today! there are cut price tickets available to book for London shows from here)
So I duly booked a half term treat for us both - tickets down from £60 to £30. Fabulous!
until I felt a tickle in my head
and looked again at the booking form
and went all cold and hot at the same time.
Because the date I booked was not in half term at all
but the NEXT Thursday.
When both of us had a clash of two events anyway.

Its not just that I am completely stupid - if you don't look carefully it is a fairly easy mistake to make on the grid (she says defending herself but its true!). After agonising and beating myself up about it (I do that kind of thing) I had finally felt ok about it when Carys declared that she really, really needed to go the GSCE options evening (She had said she was all decided at one point) and I felt so, um, wicked about dragging her to the theatre when she wanted to take her future choices seriously.

It took until this morning to have a brainwave (doh! actually only this morning the GSCE thing came up again). Thank the Lord (and I really mean that) there were tickets still available for the Friday so we are going then instead and I feel far more Good now.... And I can go to the GSCE options evening but we still have to miss Youth Praise, Bible Study and Thinking Day services...
to miss them for GCSE's is one thing but for screeching women with green faces...

Aaaaaand, relax.
I must apologise because the last week ran away with me and I didn't look at a single Daring Card for last weeks Dare. So sorry. I promise to come and look at all those who particpate this week (and, per my rules, comment on those who link our card to three or less challenges. I ahve to have that rule or I get RSI!). This week on Daring Cardmakers we went for the compeltely left field challenge of...
Have a Heart
which I did find useful as it meant that I made a card for Phil! (yes I am that romantic. )
So...don't look Phil!
only now I think about it I took it out of hiding to photograph and left it on my crafting table so he has probably seen it anyway!

You make recognise the papers because they are the same ones I used for the recent Docrafts scrap page I made. Just love the way these pinks and reds go together.
Corrugated kraft card blank from Crafts U Love
Papers from Papermania capsule collection (outlined with a Sharpie pen)* one shaped with a Nestie Label 1 and the other cut with pinking scissors.
Heart cut using Sizzix die - dots were coloured in white and then glue pen and glamour dusted.
Cork scallop is from Chatterbox
I sued a Bazzill gem template to place the Papermania gems (you can't really see the swirl in the photo though)
The "u" is from a Fancy Pants white chipboard set which came with a Self Addressed kit yonks ago. It is actually an "h" that I cut the end off and placed a bow over some empty space. I think it works (bow also capsule collection). I am actually prepared re Valentines - but not at all for Sunday. I could talk about love - but it would mean missing out on the Transfiguration.

This is a strange and mystical event where Jesus took some of his mates up a hill. They were puffed out and went to sleep and awoke to a strange light. There was Jesus his face and clothing all lit up somehow talking with two figures that they realised were Moses and Elijah (how they realised this it doesn't say). Peter says "oooh lets make something permanent to stay here so everyone will know what happened here" and then a cloud covers them and God's voice is heard saying "this is my beloved son, listen to him"and when the cloud lifts there is Jesus on his own looking normal and they go back down the hill again

It is so strange and spooky and different and we give it this nobby name (transfiguration - not a word I use every day. Why I use it once a year!) and it is worth thinking about how does this help our faith? So I'll talk about mountain top moments when the love of Jesus shines in our lives and how that helps us in valley times. 'cos I don't think we can ever really understand what was going on when Jesus met Mo and Eli - but we might mull that over too.

And Finally - I have lots of meetings on the 9th floor of Mercury House Romford. One day before the meeting started I was gazing out of the window, wondering what the striking building was that I could see - and then it dawned on me that it was my church. So I actually remembered to take a camera with me to another meeting on Thursday to snap it. Actually it can't be the same angle as it is obviously my church from this one, but the roof still looks pretty cool...
Is it wrong that I have the urge to slide down?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

travels with my blog

actually I'm not going anywhere. I thought that I would be going to Blackpool for some of next week but I'm not. SO we will have to find some "fun days out" instead. Otherwise we will just veg about.

I just used that as a shoe horn in title so I could say "I went to see Travels Round My Aunt at the Queens Theatre Hornchurch yesterday" And then add "it was very good" Phil and I went to see it in London when the boys were small and enjoyed it very much. But that was about 14 years ago (note I said boys not kids, we only had boys then) and I'd forgotten most of it. We took Carys last night - she loves the theatre - and a brilliant time was had by all. There was a different way of doing the play which made the most of the Queen's always excellent staging department. Honestly, sometimes the actors hold their own but sometimes the staging is the best bit of the productions. We now book 4 plays at a time in order to get cheap tickets and wish we had started years ago. We are very privileged to have a rep theatre on our doorstep. And if you are closeish to Hornchurch then come see travels with my aunt too.

I managed a little crafting on Sunday afternoon and only now have time to share it. I still have about 6 layouts to put into my Holland holiday/Day trip to France album and it is beginning to bulge. I may have to take all the France ones out and put them in another - but I don't want to. I shall just have to do some really, really, flat layouts!
Anyway here are the next two. Firstly, "So what"
October Afternoon and K and Co papers; Bazzill cardstock and white strip; felt zigzag ribbon (nearly gone - will have to have more), ancient chipboard that I am trying to use up, inked and embossed; K and Co journal spot; Paperchase mushrooms
here is what it says
And then my fave moment of the day aka "bless"
He was convinced you could see Mont St Michel as we stood at a panoramic view point and it pointed out where things were. WhenI explained that you couldn't really see them Phil was a bit sad. Then we got very silly...
MME and OA papers; Fancy Pants big stamp; Technique Tuesday little one; Doodlebug ribbons and letters; Docrafts buttons; LYS letter stickers; Basic Grey chipboard; Stickles and Liquid Pearls.

Must do some more work as I am hoping for time to play later. But having a play night last night means I can't just do nuttin'. Its the Ministry guilt thing. But I do have time for craft next week!

Friday, February 05, 2010

42 days since Christmas

I only know that as my sidebar tells me it is 43 days since I last updated my Twitter feed on Christmas Eve. I must get round to taking it off here as I don't update and rarely look - I think you need a posh mobile for that! but if you delete your account you can't make a new one so easily so I will stay on Twitter. I only started on there to read Mayo and Kermode.

I have a few cards to share today. Firstly my DCM card for this week
It is the first Friday of the month so it is another colour theme. It does make the blog look nice when we all tone together. This time it is
For the February Birthstone challenge we'd like to see cards with an Amethyst theme, this could be the colour, or maybe something to do with the meaning and mythology around the stone.So off you go, you can use anything you like be it papers, gems, buttons, whatever comes to hand as long as the Amethyst stone is the theme
like Kathy I made an important discovery. I have very, very, few purple patterned papers. And as I had already sprayed the background of the card I can tell you I had NO dark purple at all. Hmmm.
Anyway I instead went very mad with glimmer mists and other similar sprays. The handy thing is that you can turn everything a toning colour!
Apart from the blue/purple flower everything on here was white at one time! I used a Glimmer Mask for the background and sprayed some lace, a felt flower and a paper flower too. I used a Waltzing Mouse Nesties Label 1 stamp and the matching die plus a circle stamp from Personal Impressions. A button, a few prima pearls and some lilac liquid pearls and it was done. NOt the best ever but there you are. We learn and grow, we learn and grow.
Why not have a bash and you could win a fab punch/stamp combo!

Next, 5 days late to both blogs concerned comes my Funky Hand card for this month
the brief was simple
you can create anything you like and as long as it has at least one Funky Hand paper or extra included on it you can be up for the £20.00 prize voucher.
I love acetate cards and so decided to make a fresh one with scraps from my samples for the TV (incidentally Anice is back live on Create and Craft on Saturday at 11am.). So rather than printing on the patterned paper I paper pieced the bird. Why? Because there would have been a tragedy on World of Warcraft if I had dared to suggest using my printer. And then used a sharpie to outline so you can't tell so much. These Dreams Come True papers are so fresh and lovely aren't they?

I forgot to mention that the lovely Sue came round on Monday. We did more talking and eating than crafting but I did put together a few more of my use up papers file (where I have cut and stuck and punched bits randomly ready to use) Sue allowed me to use her stamp for one of them
and the other uses those Nestie label stamps again
Love those Basic Grey Granola papers!

This Sunday's service is kind of taking shape. Well the morning one is. There is an evening one this week too. It is the story of Jesus suggesting to fisherman who failed to catch fish that if they try again they can. And they do. It makes me think about when I lose my crafting mojo and someone shows a new way t do something old and familiar and it works. And then of course Jesus says, ok stop fishing for fish, start fishing for people. And my crafting analogy kind of breaks down there... More work needed I think!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

O Motivation Where Art Thou?

"it's that most sluggish time of the year"

Yes I did have study week last week but no, it didn't really work because I wrote "DO NOT ADD ANYTHING ELSE THIS WEEK" far too late. Plus ended up on the Road Trip to Middlesborough which took some of the time. Seeing the most wonderful Elspeth and family, visiting the awesome Teesside Uni Computer Faculty (motion capture suits! 72 track recording studio! Film set! 3D scanner! a Wii and computer games STUDY room! more up to date computers than you can shake a stick at!) was great but the driving less so. Especially on the way home playing the will-my-windscreen-shatter-at-any-time-thanks-to-the-spiral-crack-in-it-due-to-a-stone-hitting-it-earlier-on game. (We won!)Followed by the Cambridgeshire-has-no-roads-so-any-detours-take-40-minutes game. (We lost) But there you are.
H definitely wants to go to Teesside and we have now heard he has an offer. But not what it is!

But it is by now that the fact we don't really stop over Christmas begins to hit home so I can't wait for half term. When I still have part of my MA course but it is stimulating enough to count as fun! Basically I am just bone weary and need to stop. While at the same time having loads and loads to do. Maybe I should read the book on Getting Things Done I bought. I hoped just having it would do the trick!

Hmmm maybe I should change the blog title to Lythan Moans a Lot.
Or just count my blessings as I have been reflecting on for Salt this week
Hazel chose the theme of
the Beatitudes.
Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes. Sadly, sometimes they are mistakenly seen as a blueprint for how we are to be saved, something for us to strive to attain – but rather, as Spurgeon said, they are ‘the marks and evidences of a work of grace in the soul.’ It is only possible to truly possess the qualities Jesus commends if we experience the salvation He offers. They are the characteristics that should be evident in every Christian.

As Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones said: ‘Happiness is the great question confronting mankind. The whole world is longing for happiness and it is tragic to observe the ways in which people are seeking it.’ In the opening verses of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is saying that if you really want to be happy, to be blessed, then here is the way.

The characteristics identified in the Beatitudes are not ones that come naturally to us, but are produced by grace and the work of the Holy Spirit.

I hope that you enjoy seeing the crafting response of the team - please visit their individual blogs to read what they have to say.

Our challenge: It would be lovely if you could join with us in creating something that is your response to these sayings of Jesus - or perhaps concentrate on just one of them. We would love to see any crafting that is prompted by these words of Jesus - please leave us a comment with a link to where we can come and see your creation.

Here is what I did...
You will see this photo again in a different size on the next layout! I have something called Poladroid on my computer - got the link somewhere and it is such fun. You can drag your photo in and it makes the noise of an old polaroid camera and develops before your eyes! Each picutre has a slight tint and they vary so you can have lots of the same photo looking slightly different. I had printed some up which turned out to be too big for the Docrafts page but I thought would fit here. As it happens the K and Co Urban Rhapsody paper is the exact shade of green as the photo. Result!
I cut bits out from one of the papers and made some faux chipboard layered letters to which I added some opal liquid pearl dots. Couple of chatterbox embellishments, a string of flat backed pearls, some prima pearls and the Message version of the Beatitudes and that was me done.

This week I was asked to play with one of the new Docrafts capsule collections for the Scrapbooking Project of the Week (which has to be sung a la Harry Hill) I got the pink and red one so as it was near to Valentines day guess what theme I chose?
Lots of paper tearing and those photos again! You can find all the details here

And one final layout as I am behind on showing themWhat a lovely title eh? When we went on our day trip I suddenly came over all peculiar and for a while thought I would have to ask to go home again. Eventually I perked up a bit - but didn't really eat anything all day!
Basic Grey Origins paper and chipboard, more chatterbox embellishements and a Scrappy Fairy journalling spot.

I started this blog post in the morning and since then have met a friend for a mutually supportive lunch and held a service in a local residential home. One of the residents is very, very ill and we were asked to pray for her. To my amazement many of the staff and some of the residents were there in the room too (it was quite funny really as I thought there were 5 of us in the room. There were about 15 when I turned around!) The love and the care shown in the tears and hugs of the staff was so moving and humbling. That is the kind of special moment that gives me the motivation I need. that is when I knowthat I am blessed.