Monday, November 30, 2009

Sara Groves & Big Summer News!

I have listened to the music of Sara Groves for years. I appreciate her unique voice, vulnerable and poignant lyrics, and the instrumentals that are common in her albums. Her songs have been a soundtrack for many seasons of my life. Some of my absolute favorites are Painting Pictures of Egypt, He's Always Been Faithful, Going Home, This Journey Is My Own, Maybe There's a Loving God & This Peace. She even has her own playlist on my iTunes.

This morning at our church, we were blessed to have Sara Groves share one of her songs with us during the service. This video played while she sang and is a moving portrayal of her inspiration for the lyrics. I wanted to share it with you because I was so touched by it.

I think that the images especially resonated with me because of some big news that Truman and I are excited to share. This summer, we are headed to Cape Town, South Africa for our summer mission trip with Campus Crusade for Christ! We will be taking a group of students for 4-6 weeks. We are really excited and already anticipating how the Lord will be at work in and through us this summer. I look forward to sharing our experiences in South Africa on my blog this summer!

(Photo Credit: Source Unknown...Let me know if this photo is yours! I saved it on my computer awhile ago.)

(Photo Credit: my friend Leslie Savage,

I will post about our Thanksgiving in the next few days once I have a chance to upload my photos! We visited Truman's family in Houston for the holiday. I hope you had a wonderful celebration with loved ones and lots of delicious food!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Book Cover Journal

I recently created a book cover journal as a gift for my mom. I've seen book covers used for a variety of projects and was inspired to use the cover of a Nancy Drew book to create a journal for my mom.

I chose an old Nancy Drew book because the series holds fun memories of special time with my mom. When I was younger, we used to lay in my four poster bed at night and read chapters of Nancy Drew mysteries aloud to each other. I found a worn copy at a used bookstore to take apart for the journal.

I started by using a box cover to cut the front and back of the book cover away from the spine.

I purchased a spiral bound notebook that included manila page dividers. I tore out the manila pages and folded up the bottom of the manila page, creating a pocket, and securing the 2 sides of the pocket with Tombo adhesive.

Using the measurements of the book pages, I cut the pocket pages to size, to match the pages of the book, and used rubber stamps and black ink to add details to the pocket.

I took the book pages and the spiral bound notebook to Kinkos and asked them to cut the spiral notebook pages to the same size as the book pages. (They use an industrial paper cutter and can cut the whole stack at one time for just a couple of dollars.) I also had them drill 3 holes into both the book pages and notebook pages in one stack.

By rubbing a brown ink pad on the edges of the pages, you can add a worn, vintage character.

I chose a few sections of the book to include in the journal, mixed in with the notebook pages. I used a page that had drilled holes to pencil mark the 3 holes on the manila pockets and the front and back covers of the book.

I used a hole punch to punch holes in the manila pockets and my crop-a-dile to punch holes into the book cover. I was surprised by how easily the crop-a-dile punched right through the book cover! (You can purchase a crop-a-dile at Michaels or any craft or scrapbooking store.)

I stacked the journal pages in the order that I wanted and secured them with 1 3/4 inch looseleaf binder rings through the 3 holes to assemble the journal . (After searching all over and only finding mixed size packs at office supply stores, I found a pack of 12 rings in the 1 3/4 in size at Hobby Lobby.)

I then tied ribbons along each of the binder rings and added embellishments, from tags and brads inside, to a metal key attached to the ribbon on the top binder ring.

I was really happy with how the journal turned out and would love to make others with a variety of book covers. It is an easy project that can be personalized and tailored to your needs, from adding day planner pages to address book inserts. My mom loved her gift and will be reminded of our book reading memories each time she uses it!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Reflections from the Couch...

There is a good reason that I've been absent from blogland for the last 2 weeks! Truman and I were working 12-14 hour days for over a week and a half straight, preparing to host a conference for 38 Campus Crusade for Christ staff here in Denver. Since the conference ended on Wednesday, I've been resting and recovering!

Monday through Wednesday of this week, Campus Crusade staff all over the US participated in Cross 09, a focused time of ministering cross culturally on college campuses. For years, CCC staff have been crossing oceans with the Gospel message. Countless lives have been transformed because of those staff who crossed cultures. But even here in the United States, there are still “oceans” to be crossed. The number of ethnic minorities enrolling in colleges is continuing to exponentially increase. In fact, Latinos are on track to be largest demographic of school age children by 2050.

As staff who work with ethnic minority students full time, Truman and I, with the help of our Denver staff team, planned a 3 day conference for staff from across our region to join us in Denver for a time a cultural learning. On Tuesday morning, Truman and I gave a 2.5 hour seminar on Latino culture, a snapshot of the Latino presence in America, and how to work with Latino students on campus. As we are continuing to learn about the Latino culture ourselves, all of the research and preparation we did for this time was extremely helpful to us as well.

Nearly all of our time and energy in recent weeks has gone into preparing for this conference. I wanted to share some photos with you of all that we got to be a part of during Cross 09:

On Monday and Tuesday afternoon, we spread out to 5 campuses across the city to engage ethnic minority students in a photo survey that allowed us to learn about their cultural experiences and ask about their personal stories.

On Wednesday, we broke into groups and served with a variety of ministries who work in communities throughout Denver. Groups tutored adults who are taking an ESL class, took breakfast burritos to undocumented workers in the labor line and prayed for them and their families, and worked on two homes with the Extreme Community Makeover project.

Below is a photo of part of the group that painted the exterior of a home, with the proud homeowner. Her face absolutely lit up when she saw her home's "new look"!

We loved having this opportunity to serve the staff in our region and we are so thankful for the ways that we saw God work in the hearts and lives of both staff and students during Cross 09! We are praying that God would continue to use the experiences that took place this week as staff head back to the campuses they minister on across Colorado and Kansas.

Since Cross 09 has been the main focus of our time for the last 2 weeks, there has been minimal cooking and no crafting going on in the Lo household! But, I have several projects sketched out in my idea notebook and plans to break out my sewing machine this coming week (after I get caught up on the piles of laundry and cleaning that has been neglected, of course!) I am looking forward to working on some gifts and enjoying some creative time before Thanksgiving. After long hours of research and planning, I am itching for time to create!