Monday, November 29, 2010

12 Months of Love

Last week, I decided to take a giant leap, and set up an etsy store.
Right now, I am only selling my monthly frames,
but hope to expand to other creative things.

After reading what Bella's dad, Tim, wrote on his blog last night,
I realized I wanted to do more for Bella.
So, I went back to my store and added that I will be
donating 10% of sales to P.U.C.K.
(Pioneering Unique Cures for Kids).
Looking at the big picture, it's not a lot.
But, it's one way for me to stay connected to Bella...
seems like a good cause to me.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thank you

Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel.
- author unknown
Molly saying her prayer before snack at school.

Praise the bridge that carried you over- George Colman
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. - William Ward
Not what we say about our blessings but how we use them, is the true measure of our Thanksgiving - W.T. Purkiser

Just like last year, I am thankful for so much.
Thank you to my family, my kids, and my friends, for being the blessings that you are.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

a day with Molly

Because of our week off (!), I was able to go to St. Paul's with Molly.
It's fun to watch her experience EVERYTHING on the playground and in the classroom.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Reasons I Love...

Shutterfly, Shutterfly,
How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways...

I seriously have been a fan of Shutterfly since the first second I used it.
It's so easy...and so fun...and so addicting!

Here are some of my favorite "projects" I have done so far:

Molly's First Year album. It's just perfect.
Jack's 5th Birthday album. It was a BIG year for Jack...turning 5, becoming a big brother, and starting Kindergarten. This year deserved it's own book! That year, we shared a party with his friend, Christina. I made the CUTEST invitations for the party!

I've done several invitations with Shutterfly, including Molly's First Birthday!
(and her Thank You notes, too!)

I have made calendars, they are the perfect gift for grandparents...(my projects are no longer available, but it was so cute!)

Another favorite thing to make with Shutterfly are Christmas cards.
There are SOOO many choices!
Here is last year's card.
I already have this year's card started...I was so excited because it has room for LOTS of pictures, making it easier to choose which ones to use!

Shutterfly's customer service is wonderful.
Once you sign up with them, you will always get coupons and offers.
Lots of holiday gifts are on sale right now....
SO, go to shutterfly and start creating!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Bella's Memorial

I was given the honor of speaking at Bella's memorial yesterday.
It was an emotional and inspiring day.
I am working on a slideshow with all my pictures.
In the meantime, here are my words.

I am proud to be here today, to share about Bella, on behalf of our church family at Harbor Christian.

There is little I can say that hasn’t been said already.

I remember getting the email from Dennis, when Bella was born. Just like the blog, I checked the CaringPages website daily. Sometimes several times a day.

I was immediately in awe of this little girl...

I was immediately in awe of her amazing family.

I remember going to their house, to deliver some meals from church and hang out with Angelique and the girls while Tim was working…we took some pictures and painted frames for Tim for Father’s Day. Ali and I watched Madagascar, colored in some coloring books, and, induldged in all things girlie.

I remember watching Bella, who seemed so content to sit and watch us. Those blue eyes seemed so aware and wise. She slept a lot while I was there, but, never seemed in pain. I learned in that short visit, what a fighter Bella was.

At church, Bella was usually content to sit with her family.

Using her “mind melt technique” she was happy to sit and examine the bulletin or the hymnals.

She seemed to “take it all in”, again,

those blue eyes didn’t miss a thing.

Never did she seem to be in any physical discomfort.
Everyday I saw her, she showed me what a fighter she was.

I’ve seen how Bella has made our church family a stronger unit.

We have kept the Ringgolds in our hearts since the day she was born.

We were together at her Dedication.

We celebrated her first birthday together.

We followed them to Minneapolis through notes and prayers.

And now, we miss Bella, together.

I wanted to talk briefly about another “family”.

When Team Bella was formed to walk in the CHOC Walk for Bella,

my heart was full.

As each “stranger” signed up to walk,

I was so inspired.

But, a week before the walk, when Team Bella’s purpose changed and and we were to walk in Bella’s memory…

my heart was broken.

At 5:30 that morning, it began to heal.

It was wonderful to meet and walk with so many people, all of us connected, only because of Bella.

Team Bella had 29 walkers, many of whom

had never even met Bella, Tim, Angelique, or Ali.

We walked arm in arm, down Main Street at Disneyland.

Armed with our team shirts, our butterfly wings, and our fabulous socks, we remembered Bella, sharing our stories of how we had been touched by this little girl. We were strangers, but, The Ringgold Family was the one common denominator. We were all there for the same reason,

because we loved Bella.

But, as we were walking, something else happened.

Strangers came up to us, asking us to stop so they could

read our shirts or our sign.

Strangers came up to us,

to tell that they had been following Bella’s blog.

At the end of the walk, we celebrated and cried together.

Strangers no more.

We were family.

We are all connected.

We are all in awe.

All because of Bella.

Thank you, Tim and Angelique for allowing us

to be a part of your family.

Everyone who knows Bella seems to comment

on her wise and intense blue eyes.

In closing, I wanted to share these lyrics with you.

In my daughter's eyes I am a hero

I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I want to be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hanging on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

If you would like to watch the entire memorial, click here.
I REALLY, REALLY encourage you to watch the whole thing.
It was an incredibly inspiring day.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

fingerprint Friday

There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman that says:
I can see the fingerprints of God
When I look at you
I can see the fingerprints of God
And I know its true
You're a masterpiece
That all creation quietly applauds
And you're covered with the fingerprints of God

So look around you and see where YOU can see God's fingerprints. Is it in nature? Kids? Animals? Where do you see them?

Here's the great thing about our Jack.

See this UNICEF box?
He got it at church, in hopes he would collect money trick or treating.
But, Jack? He filled it almost entirely on his own.
Emptied his own piggy bank, even stuffed his $2 bills in the box.
He won a roll of nickels at Boo at the Zoo, it immediately went in the little orange box.
I already blogged about a lesson learned. But I love the sweet soul he is.
He's also very funny. Here's a section of his Christmas list:

It's wonderful to see fingerprints in our own kids.

Be sure to check The Rusted Chain for more!