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Monday, May 31, 2010

Cassidy

There he is, superman. He was my best (and first) friend for the first five years of my life. Cassidy. My cousin, the son of my mother's, then, closest sister, born eight days after me. We did everything together. He gave me my beloved truck as a bday present, and pushed me around on anything that had wheels...I entertained him (as a baby) and bossed him around as we grew older. He called me "rah-rah," and I would scream "My name is SARAH ELIZABETH TORO!" and he would reply, "ok, rah-rah."

I rarely see Cassidy anymore, when he shipped off to boot-camp, we shipped off for a job in Denver...he served two tours of duty, and now we are on opposite ends of the country...our free and safe country...thanks to people like my cousin, who selflessly serve and protect us. Thank you for your sacrifices, Cassidy. Thank you Misty and Kayla for sacrificing your husband and daddy. Thank you to everyone who serves our country, for putting your lives on the line to protect us.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Featured Designer: kellybeth



Let me introduce you to one of my favorite lines of jewelry...kellybeth! I LOVE my kellybeth pieces and always get comments on them every time I wear them out. Kelly is my friend from Denver, who started designing these one of a kind pieces of green jewelry out of recycled credit cards a couple of years ago and since starting she has just taken off!! I am so proud of Kelly and proud to share her site with you this morning...please take a moment to check her designs out!

Monday, May 17, 2010

YouTube - How He Loves lyrics by David Crowder Band

I have always loved to sing. I was a member of the school choir, I took voice and piano lessons, and worship is a favorite part of church for me...

but, lately, I have really been trying to read and mean the words that I sing during worship...
since I love to sing, it's so easy for me to get lost in singing along...

anyhow, the words of this song are so powerful, we were singing it recently and it just hit me HOW much He loves us...
so, here it is for your listening and reading enjoyment...
focus on the meaning of these words in your life today. xoxo

YouTube - How He Loves lyrics by David Crowder Band

Friday, May 14, 2010


this cologne used to take me back to one of the first weekends that Matt and I spent together...

we laughed SO much that weekend...

Matt still has the same bottle of cologne that he had a decade ago and generally only wears it on special occasions...whenever he used to put it on, I always smiled remembering a weekend of laughter...

now...

we are all beginning to dislike the smell...it almost gives us a headache lol

you see, Tate, too, has grown fond of this smell...more out of his desire to be just like his daddy...

and this little guy will search high and low for this bottle and cover himself in its contents...


last night, after the kids had bathed and were picking out their bedtime stories we smelled something...the smell became stronger and stronger...until out from the bathroom wafted a cloud of hugo followed by a dripping in cologne, Tate. His clothes STILL smell, after being left outside overnight...a quilt draped over our sofa seems to have picked up the fragrance...in fact, I think I kind of smell like it...


It's so cute how much Tate wants to be like his dad...it's also neat to see other little boys who look up to Matt as well. He is such an amazing example of love, and he melts my heart in how he so readily gives his love away to others...including his children and their friends. How cool that Tate has an example of what a man should be, and Claire has an example of what she should look for in a future husband. They just adore him...it is SO cute...I adore him too.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

you might as well just go ahead and buy Donald Miller's latest book

so, here I go again...attaching another link to his site...actually, I wanted to make sure I remembered this one, so, the link is REALLY here for MY benefit ;o) you should read it too.

http://donmilleris.com/2010/05/13/what-kind-of-worker-are-you/

recess...




what if we all approached life as a little child?



I was thinking about this yesterday when I picked the kids up from school...I had been helping out on the playground earlier in the day and my daughter wanted to know how it was, she asked "did you try out the swings?"



"The swings? did I try them?"



"Yes, did you try them? they are really fun,"



"Oooh, no, I did not,"



"Oh, you should sometime, they are really fun, they go really high."




And, what if I did? what if I dropped my playground duties and just hopped on a swing with the kids? I mean, seriously, don't you remember swinging?? it really was fun. what happened to us grown-ups? when did we stop enjoying life? and didn't Jesus come so that we could have and enjoy life? why do we have to walk around being all serious?


I heard a sermon recently that was all about joy...we find our strength in joy and Satan will do everything he can to steal that joy...b/c it IS our strength.
I wonder if we'd all be a little more joyful if we followed our kids examples? I could follow any of those little kindergartners around on the playground, and, I bet you, my attitude would be entirely different. I could sit on the dirty pebbles and dig a great big hole in the ground, chase a butterfly, chase my classmate, chase a bird AND squawk at it, climb the monkey bars BACKWARDS, hold a roly poly, and laugh A LOT. I bet you that I wouldn't care that my fingernails are coated in dirt, or that my hair is a serious rat's nest or that my shirt is covered in stains from playing so hard!! It's funny, maybe if we all took time out to be a little bit more like children, we might notice God a little bit more too...we would see the beauty in the details of all of the amazing things he has created...and, as I mentioned before, I am pretty sure we would find more joy. I dare you to imitate a child today and then tell me how much fun it is!!
"But Jesus called the little children to him and said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Luke 18:16-17


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

a good read

so, here I go again posting more Donald Miller links/quotes/etc etc!! his blog today is great...if you get a minute, give it a read

http://donmilleris.com/2010/05/11/art-as-a-spiritual-discipline/

Sunday, May 9, 2010

madre






happy mother's day to all of the beautiful mothers in my life! and to all of the beautiful mothers who have helped to shape the lives of myself and my beautiful family.



I dedicate this to my own beautiful mother...thank you for your strength, courage, unconditional love, endurance, patience, constant generosity, setting an amazing example of God's love for me, and for loving my three as though they were your own. you are the epitome of proverbs 31. I learned to be a mother from you, I learned to love from you...I remember all of the nights you stayed up taking care of me when I was ill, I remember the tears you shed for me, and the joys you shared with me...you were my best cheerleader (and still are!!)...thank you for teaching me about the Lord through your actions and words and for giving me such a wonderful childhood. You are now not only my sister in Christ, but, one of closest most cherished friends, I love you so much!!


and happy mother's day to the mother of one of the most beautiful men I've ever met: my precious husband. I wouldn't be a mother w/o my sweet husband, but, I also wouldn't be who I am w/o his amazing strength, love, faithfulness...you name it...he IS such a beautiful example of God's love and I thank you for giving him that foundation.


thank you to grandma Joyce for raising my absolutely wonderful, kind, giving and loving father. to my great grandma for leaving an amazing legacy. and to all of the women who have played a role, be it large or small, for a season in my life. all of you planted seeds. thank you to each of you for contributing to the lives of my family and me.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dan Toro...favorite artist


Oh, I just love this artist's work! He is one of my absolute favorite artists...he has a way of taking something that society says isn't so lovely and making it lovely...like God does in our lives. He inserts clever little "messages (images)" into each piece...he truly is so talented. This artist just so happens to be my brother...check out his latest "press release" and the images that will be on display at the I-20 gallery in NYC.

I-20 Gallery :: Dan Toro :: Selected Images

to kill a mockingbird



"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2
I was first introduced to mockingbirds when our family moved to Southlake, Texas a few years back. There was this outdoor cafe that was FILLED with them...as one ate and tried to hold a conversation the birds would fly in, surround them, and interrupt them with their loud noises. I remember laughing at the crazy sounds they made and I experienced firsthand why they were dubbed "mockingbirds."
One Saturday Tate and I sat on our patio and watched a mockingbird in the distance. Every time this bird opened its mouth a completely different sound came out: cell phone ring, car alarm, squealing brakes, construction beeping, high-pitched squeals, and then this funny hissing-cat sound...all from ONE bird!! It was as if this bird hadn't been told yet that it was a bird, or it had made up its mind to be something else.
I guess, in life, we're little mockingbirds too! We either fail to recognize that we are birds, or we decide that being the type of bird we were created to be must've been a mistake on the Creator's part and we try with all of our might to imitate someone or something else and end up just making a lot of noise.
I often liken humans to birds in my art because birds were created to be free and to fly...but, it seems (or at least from what I remember in my Texas backyard) that mockingbirds spent an awful lot of time walking around on the ground squawking, imitating the things that stand out around them...and a lot less time flying.
Aren't we sort of like that? It's super easy to get caught up in imitating the others that stand out around us...we go through life trying to be like this person, to win the approval of that person, trying to be like everyone else and we end up living our lives on the ground, squawking out sounds that don't sound very natural...we don't spend anytime flying...we end up not being who we were created to be.
We've each been created with our own special gifts and talents, each of our unique personalities was chosen especially for us, who we are is no accident...even if we don't exactly fit in with the squawkers on the ground.
You were created to fly, given the ability to fly...now, go and do so!
"Ask not what the world needs; ask what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." (Dr. Howard Thurman).
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you b/c I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth. your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Psalm 139:13-16
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5
" 'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' " Jeremiah 29:11
"We have different gifts according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving , let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully." Romans 12:6-8
dedicated to my beautiful children, Claire and Tate...and to all of my other "adopted" children...God has BIG plans for you. love you.
photo NOT taken by me! found by googling "photos of mockingbirds." Credit given to a guy named Jim Gaston :o)


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

home is where the heart is...where is that? lol


so, on my profile under "location" I've answered "changes frequently," and it does. We are on house number twelve since getting married...i think...i have to actually go back through the addresses in order to remember them all....I've considered creating a canvas with all of our addresses on it...but, then, I never do because, in my mind, our address could change again and the canvas would have to be re-created! Hopefully that's not the case...but, ever what...Matt and I have learned to roll with whatever happens...even the kids say things like "Next time we move, can we live by_______"


Of the twelve homes we've had:


2 out of 12 times Claire and Tate have shared a room


3 out of 12 times we've had a pool


1 out of 12 times our garage felt bigger than our house!


1 out of 12 times our roof touched the neighbor's roof


7 out of 12 times we had a back yard


10 out of 12 times we had a garage (but only 3 times have we been able to park in it!)


2 out of 12 times Matt and I have slept in the living room (ha ha, and we loved it...but, really when you move as much as we do, stuff like that stops mattering)


3 out of 12 times our house was w/in walking distance to EVERYTHING


2 apmts, 1 condo, 4 ranch styles, 4 2-stories, 1 3-story.


1 of the 12 houses was over 100 years old...a couple were close to 70 yo, 1 was brand new and the rest were in between.


1 out of 12 houses was owned by us...or at least the mortgage bill was addressed to us :o)




Anyhow, all of this moving houses business makes me think a little bit about how this world is not my home, and, how often it's easy for me to not get too attached to one place b/c I have been conditioned to pack up and leave. Moving a lot certainly makes a girl hold onto things a lot less...makes her purge of her vintage bowling lockers, refrigerators, dressers, four sofas (lol), and ALMOST a piano...one thing moving a lot does do, is teach us not to hold onto earthly things because moving them is NOT fun and because, really, that's just what they are: earthly...I can't take them with me. Yes, moving definitely brings stress and pain, but, for our family, it has also brought lessons in storing up for treasures in heaven.




Saturday, May 1, 2010

collection of memories











when I come to the end of my days, what will reallly have mattered to me?
will I care, in my last moments, whether my peers accepted and approved of me?
will I go through the list of material possessions that I spent years wishing to have and striving to acquire and check off what I did and did not end up getting?
will I work, one last time, on that business deal that I've spent the past month stressing over?
will I let my child wear that horrible mismatched outfit...or better yet, will I wear the yellow tights I love with those bright purple wellies even though my friends raise their eyebrows at me?
or
will I spend a few extra moments gazing at the people who mean the most to me? really listening to their words, to the sound of their voices? will I memorize their features and their laughs?
and
how will they remember me? will they remember clean floors and spotless homes? how I was always on time (or never on time, lol)? how my children behaved perfectly in public...nearly robot-like? or will they remember laughter? food? messes? listening? hearing? relationship?
have I taught love...have I taught grace...kindness....
what would the stranger on the street see me as? better yet, what would those closest to me see me as?
sadly, I realize, if today were my last, I would live so differently. these thoughts have occurred to me alot lately, and I've tried to challenge myself to live more like my days are numbered (and they are...I tend to forget that, though), to embrace beauty, to spend more time really listening to my sweet babies and to the stranger on the street, to enjoy each and every moment b/c they are a gift, and to really focus on what's important.



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