Friday, September 28, 2007

PhotoHunt: Original

My sister, Jill, is an amazing designer & custom seamstress. These are some of the label tags I had made up for her last year. She works so hard & is the amazing mother of 3 beautiful children. She inspires me!

We're working on a site for's partially up & running...go to Jill Audrey Creations.

Here's some more of her work:
Beautiful plush baby blocks...for decoration or for play!

3 purses she made for me & my friends...We all love 'em & get compliments wherever we go!

A few more styles of bags she's designed for weekend getaways & girls on the go!

The cottage cushions on the left are SO pretty; the custom slipcover on the right is so amazing it looks like upholstery. The sweet girl in the middle is my niece, with a ladybug pillow made just for her!

Tune in after the weekend to see her latest project (it's under wraps until then)...something she made for my JANES Expo!

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Roo Devotional

My (very talented writer) friend, Alisa, publishes the Granola Bar Devotional - a book of devotionals, from women, for women - that has been going out quarterly. She's currently compiling enough devos for a year to go in one big book! She's also begun publishing these devos online as part of our JANES (women's ministry at BAF) outreach in order to reach women EVERYWHERE for Christ!

Alisa's been bugging me FOREVER to write a devo of my own. I've had one in my head & on my heart, & have yet to write it. I did, however, have a recent experience that I felt lead to share get the word out about it & also to show how God played a big part in it. You can see my devo on the Granola Bar Devotional site as it was published. Understandably, Alisa had to edit it down just a bit for length (to fit in the booklet). So, I've decided to share with you all my original, unedited devo here... You can see how wordy I am! haha

____________________________________________________________ Roo on surgery day ______________________________________________________


For as long as I can remember, I’ve been OCD about my routine when I leave the house. This is for many reasons: paranoia about fire (instilled by my Father), being a single woman, & mostly because that’s just my nature. One of the many things in my routine is to pray over my home & my puppies before I leave each day. Not anything huge, just a quick request that God watch over them & keep them safe, healthy, & happy while I’m gone & that He place a hedge of protection over my home. In the past few months, I’ve heard Him speaking to me LOUDLY that He IS watching over me…not anything I can hear, but in signs He gives me. One of the largest & most poignant signs of that came recently…

While leaving for work one day, my oldest dog (nicknamed Roo) was sick. Nothing major, she had just thrown up. I thought nothing of it, cleaned it up & left. When I came home that night, she had again been sick, several times in fact. I had a vet appointment the next morning for another of my dogs, & made a mental decision to bring Roo as well.
When they worked her up, I mentioned that I’d felt a lump in one of her mammaes (breasts) a few months ago, but thought due to its nature it was probably just a cyst. They said they’d check it out. Later that afternoon, I received a call from the vet. Dr Stacy told me that Roo was feeling better & blood work was fine, but she had come back with markers for breast cancer! I was devastated! Roo has been with me for 6½ years, my closest companion through lots of changes while living so far from home. Dr Stacey recommended radical surgery which included removing that breast, the adjoining one, & her adjacent lymph node, as well as spaying her. I agreed immediately & the surgery was soon done. Roo bounced back wonderfully following her MAJOR surgery & has been blossoming under the added attention she’s been receiving.

I, on the other hand, was having such a “why” attitude towards the whole affair…why Roo? Why me? Then, I called my best friend. Someone who’s been a big part of my Christian walk in the past several years, & someone who I miss greatly, as she lives far away. Tiffany said, “Sister, that’s amazing!” Amazing??? She went on to remind me that if Roo hadn’t been sick the night before, I wouldn’t have brought her in that day & remembered to mention the lump I’d felt so many weeks before. It may not have been diagnosed until her next bi-annual check-up. She said, “It’s so God!”
I felt God WINK at me just then. I heard a song in my head that I hadn’t heard since being in the Catholic Church years before: “I Will Never Forget You” by Carey Landry. I looked it up, & it was from Isaiah 49:14-16:

14 But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me."
15 "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? 
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.

He was once again shouting to me, that He is watching over me!

Roo’s pathology results came back as a “carcinoma,” a malignancy, but it also showed NO metastasis to anywhere else, & the prognosis is good! Tiffany was right. It was SO God!

Here are the words to that old song:

I Will Never Forget You (by Carey Landry)

I will never forget you my people,
I have carved you in the palm of my hand.
I will never forget you,
I will not leave you orphaned,
I will never forget my own.

Does a mother forget her baby,
Or a woman the child within her womb?
Yet, even if these forget,
Yes, even if these forget
I will never forget my own.

Some information on Canine Mammary Cancer (CMC):

Canine mammary cancer is very preventable.
Dogs who are spayed before their 1st estrus (heat) have 0.5% chance of developing mammary cancer.
Dogs who are spayed after their 1st but before their 2nd estrus have 8% chance of developing mammary cancer.
After their 2nd estrus, a dog's chances of developing mammary tumors increases to 26% & stays there for the most part.
Estrogen is thought to be the main component, as with humans, so even after their 2nd estrus, it's still advisable to have a dog spayed.

If you notice any lumps or irregularities ANYWHERE on your dog, but especially in the area of their mammaes or testicles (in males - ie: different sizes or swelling) PLEASE seek out your veterinarian immediately. Do NOT wait, as I did. I know better now.
Most importantly, please SPAY or NEUTER your pets! This gives them the best chance at a healthy life...not only to control the pet population (also important). We must all be responsible pet owners. I would have spayed Roo after her 1st (& only) litter had I realized the importance.

I've learned my lesson. Let mine be yours!

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Friday, September 07, 2007

PhotoHunt: Music

What a perfect week for a music theme!

My awesome church, Bay Area Fellowship, along with K-LOVE, threw a free concert for the public featuring BIG DADDY WEAVE Wednesday night!

It exceeded my expectations... BDW had the entire house on their feet, jumping up & down, waving their arms in the air, screaming along to the words, while ALL ALONG every word that left their mouths (whether singing or speaking) was a testament to their faith.

There was standing room only, even having to (unfortunately) turn away people at the door because we had a packed church!

The BDW merchandise booth was jumping, with everyone wanting something to commemorate this great night with!

As you can see (above), I got a couple CDs & my BDW concert tag all autographed.

As well as a couple of super-soft, very cool T-shirts (right)!
Love 'em!

Afterwards, the guys were SO gracious...hanging around for a LONG time to sign autographs, take pictures, & just generally talk with their fans. And as my friend (& fellow JANE), Alisa put it, any praise given them they immediately reflected back to God!

The guys are also HUGE supporters of World Vision, an amazing organization that does humanitarian work all over the world, & is well known for it's child sponsorship program. The band went throughout the crowd acquiring sponsors for children all over the world right in the middle of the concert. We were able to get more than 150 child sponsorships in that one night thanks to BDW!!! Woohoo!

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Sometimes a digg brings unknown treasures...

A friend recently told me about I decided to surf my way on over. I wasn't there long when I came across this amazing story about a flea market find.

The author found an old cosmetics case stuffed with a lifetime of portraits of the same woman, starting as a toddler, progressing up into her 50's. It's quite an amazing collection. Makes me want to know what happened to her... Maybe someone will recognize her...? She'd be about 70 years old now.

Do you know her???

Go to The Boat Lullabies.

I still don't really know what is all about, but I'm glad I checked it out.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

PhotoHunt: Dirty

When I saw this week's PhotoHunt theme, I immediately thought of these two photos of my sweet niece, Miss Q!

Q not only looks a little like me as a babe, she is also a real character, a true little individual...just like her Auntie! You would think she's a first-born. Well, she is also my God-daughter! (What an honour!)

I look forward to the day when I'm living back in Canada, nearer to her & the rest of my family so she can grow up KNOWING me, not just knowing OF me.

I love you, Q!
Titi Robin

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