DIY- Snowman (463 pins and counting on Pinterest)

DIY- Snowman (Photo credit: Julie A. Smith)

DIY- Snowman (Photo credit: Julie A. Smith)

My most popular post on my Pinterest account by far has been an original pin that I posted of a Do It Yourself Snowman project. There have been 463 re-pins and 70 likes on Pinterest since I posted the DIY- Snowman pin a year ago. The project is really cute and easy to make. You use a bar of soap as a base and wrap it with a white hand towel. Next, you use black felt for a hat, add a scarf, and add buttons on the snowman’s body (which you can’t see in the picture) and add buttons for his eyes and nose. My co-worker made this Snowman for me last Christmas as a Christmas gift using the idea she saw at a local craft show.

Here is the Pinterest pin original link:
http://pinterest.com/pin/526850856377914788/

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I Bought a Goat!!! (World Vision Gifts that Make a Difference)

World Vision logo (www.worldvision.org)

World Vision logo (www.worldvision.org)

Traditions are cool.  They are something you look forward to experiencing every year.  They make life more interesting and exciting.

For many years I was blessed to be able to sponsor a little boy, Hussen, in Ethiopia with two of my friends through World Vision.  It was one of the best things that I have ever done in my life.  One tradition that I have also done for several years at Christmas time is to pick out a gift through the World Vision Gift catalog to help those in need.  I’ve given to the clean water fund, given emergency food and aid to children in Africa, and given seeds for a family.  However, the one gift that I have longed to purchase for several years is a goat, which I planned to buy once I got married and had children.  I desire to show my (future) children the importance of giving and helping those in need.  My heart especially goes out to people and children in third world countries, especially after my mission trip to Haiti.  This year I decided instead of waiting for the future (i.e. marriage and children), I want to make a difference as a single woman and buy a goat now.  While not prosperous by any stretch of the imagination by American standards, I would rather stretch my income and bless a family in another country with a goat for $75 than use that money in a more self-centered way.

If you would also like to help people in need through Word Vision but you are looking for more affordable gift options, several affordable options are 3 ducks for $21, art and music instruction for $20, and a share of a donkey to take produce, firewood, and goods to market for $25.  You can also help children specifically in America by feeding a family of 5 for a day for $18 or buying $250 worth of necessities for urgently needed clothes and shoes for kids in America for only $25.

You can go online 24 hours a day to check out +/or purchase a gift for someone in need.  Go to www.worldvisiongifts.org.  They also have a mailing option to send checks, or you can call 1-888-511-6511 (Monday-Friday 6 AM- 9 PM and Saturday 6 AM- 6 PM PST).

Facts about World Vision: “World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.”  They serve nearly 100 countries and “provide emergency assistance to children and families affected by natural disasters and civil conflict, work with communities to develop long-term solutions to alleviate poverty, and advocate for justice on behalf of the poor.” (http://www.worldvision.org/about-us/who-we-are).

Here is a video link about how goats helped one poor woman with AIDS and her three children:

The Positivity of Pooh and a Personality Profile

Have you ever wanted to write, various ideas would pop into your head, but then your motivation would lag?  Has your real life ever encroached on your creative side, stifling it with endless “to do” lists and practical matters so your writer’s inspirations get the boot?  Yeah, me too.  In the last 6 weeks, I have had many blog ideas excite me: a post about my enthusiasm for a class that I am taking online in March, a post exploring my musical side by writing a cd review for my favorite new cd, and a blog post about my recent birthday this past Monday.  However, my inspiration did not transfer from pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard.  My rough working title for my birthday reflections post (“Another one bites the dust and Valentine’s Day looms on the horizon”) seemed too negative about my getting another year older (a.k.a. another year bit the dust) and about  facing another Valentine’s Day as a single in a couple’s world.

Which leads me to today.  Some of the blog ideas mentioned above I may write in the future, but for now I am glad to at least be writing something.  Sickness and personal discouragement, as well as an onslaught of problems and financial issues have been my reality these last few months.  Actually, a surprising topic fueled my desire to write and inspired this blog post:  Winnie the Pooh, the classic children’s book and show.  While I am a kid at heart, this inspiration is likely tied to the time that I perused my local library at Christmas time searching for all my favorite Christmas movies.  My favorites were all checked out : “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (animated version), “Rudolph” (I love the island of misfit toys, Rudolph is cute, and it’s important to find your identity and to not be afraid to be different), and “Mickey’s Christmas Carol”.  So, my confession is that I ended up renting “Winnie the Pooh: a Very Merry Pooh Year.”  Please don’t judge me.  Yes, I realize that I may secretly be five-years-old.  Sometimes that idea seems far better than being an adult, in my opinion (re: kids get to play and adults pay bills and deal with car repairs).

A Very Merry Pooh Year

A Very Merry Pooh Year (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why am I writing about Christmas movies in February, you ask?  The peak time for  Christmas related blog posts are over, you say?  Perhaps, but I am leading up to my inspiration.  There is no time limit on inspiration.  My inspiration is the positivity of Pooh.   My mind keeps wandering to three of the primary characters in the Winnie the Pooh books and movies:  Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, and Tigger.  I think most people fall into the personality types that these three main characters represent.

1. Pooh– He is very loyal and stable.  He is the glue that holds things together, a leader, and he has many friends.  Sometimes he can have laser sharp focus (a.k.a. “where is my honey”?), but he is one of the best friends that you can ask for.  His disposition is sunny and positive.  Pooh is who I want to be and who I am most of the time, (although I also have a fondness for Tigger), but sometimes life’s hardships and disappointments can bring out my Eeyore side.

2. Eeyore- He is sad and discouraged.  He sees life in black or shades of gray.  The glass is ALWAYS half-empty for Eeyore.  “Woe is me” could be his motto.  This type of person can take a toll on others that they are around because they are constantly being negative and wallowing in the mud, so to speak. This can be emotonally tiring for their friends and family, and may feeling draining and like a deficit in the relationship. Often Eeyore people are creative souls who are talented with art, theatre, or writing. They can struggle with depression or discouragement, and the darkness and pain of life can be challenging for them to deal with in a positive way.

3. Tigger– He is bouncy and fun!  Tigger loves life and life is full of possibility.  He is the epitome of sunshine and joy.  He is so full of energy that he bounces literally.  People like Tigger are full of vigor, but at times can seem easily distracted or intensely focused.  A Tigger person is very fun to be around.  However, Tigger people can move fast literally, but others who want to walk beside them may find themselves being left behind. Tigger people can also have ideas that are progressive and forward-thnking. While I have elements of Tigger in my personality, and certain friends and activities bring out Tigger’s vitality and the Tigger side of me, I am more like Winnie the Pooh overall.

Which Pooh character are you most like?  Feel free to add your thoughts!  Feedback is appreciated with my unofficial Pooh personality profile.

Also, if you like personality profiles, here is a really FUN synopsis of Dr. Gary Smalley’s and Dr. John Trent’s animal personality profile (Lion-Otter-Golden Retriever-Beaver). My friend Melissa who is in the counseling and ministry field first told me about this personality profile assessment last fall, and it has been enlightening for me personally and with my friendships. Check it out!
http://weirdblog.wordpress.com/2007/02/22/personality-types-lion-beaver-otter-and-golden-retriever/

Here is a second link that is a great in-depth blog about the golden retriever personality type:
http://charactertherapist.blogspot.com/2010/01/t3-golden-retrieverphlegmatic.html

The Tigger Movie, a film based on the Disney a...

The Tigger Movie, a film based on the Disney adaptation of Tigger. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Disney's adaptation of Stephen Slesinger, Inc....

Cover of Winnie the Pooh and Friends