Monday, 29 September 2014

31 Days of Blogging - Can I do it?

I kept noticing bloggers who were talking about 31 days of blogging in October.

That's one post a day!
So I thought maybe I could do that.
I post 3 times every week and some other weeks I add in another post so not too much of an increase then.

But no!
In the 31 Days Challenge we have to write on a theme for the whole time.
Hence if I want to continue with my 3 series, which has been my goal for the rest of this year, and join in the 31 Days Challenge then it means in October I need to write those 31 posts as well as my 3 series.

So I had to rethink if I could do this.

And Yes I'm going to give it a go

                                                                           with my theme of  "Things I Love"

See Index of the links to the 31 Days at the bottom of this post

I'm hoping that some of my posts will be humourous and some will be more serious and maybe a few will be a bit soppy but I'm not an overly soppy person so there will not be many of those.

But one thing I can assure you is that with so many posts to write none of them will be very long, no I think short and sweet is the plan.

So why not drop in each day and have a read - it shouldn't take too long.

You will be able to get to the posts easily by either

1.   signing up on the side bar for an email reminder of my blog posts and you can get straight to the relevant one from the email
2.   bookmarking my blog and then once in my blog clicking on the Challenge Button on the side bar (same as picture above) 
3.   just remembering to come in each day and then once in my blog clicking on the Challenge Button on the side bar (same as picture above) 

But if you are like me you will probably forget 

So if you do want to follow my 
31 Days of "Things I Love" 
then you would be safer doing number 1 (just go sign up now) 

Whatever way you come in you will be very welcome to join me for

Index of the 31 Days

1.  I Love Arks

2.  I Love Bargains
3.  I Love Baskets, Bags & Boxes
4.  I Love Bears
5.  I Love the Bible
6.  I Love Blogging
7.  I love the Colour Blue
8.  I Love Butterflies
9.  I Love Chocolate, Coffee & Crisps
10.  I Love Crafts
11.  I Love My Family
12.  I love God
13.  I Love Good Friends
14.  I Love Graphics
15.  I Love my Husband
16.  I Love my IPad
17.  I Love Kids Work
18.  I Love Marriage
19.  I Love the Name of Jesus
20.  I Love Northern Ireland
21.  I Love Old Photos & Memories
22.  I Love not so Organised Days
23.  I Love Poirot
24.  I Love Quirky Cards & Gifts
25.  I Love Reading
26.  I Love Salvation
27.  I Love My Saviour's Promises
28.  I Love Silly Things that Make me Laugh
29.  I Love Unusual Fountains
30.  I Love Worship
31.  I Love Xtra Special Days

Sunday, 28 September 2014

It's God's Love #13

This Sunday Series is all about God's Love.

A simple, short post each week
consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of
God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would join me each Sunday.

Which man laid down his life

for all his friends?

The man Christ Jesus.


in human form


His Life


you & me.

There is no greater expression of Love than this.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Too Many Places? - Housework/Funwork 34

  Where is it?

    Where did you leave it?

      Where did you last see it?

        Where did you last have it?

          When did you last have it?

            What did you last use it for?

All these questions and more are regularly asked in our house.

So the simple solution to all of this is my favourite quote

A Place for Everything and Everything in it's Place
Tweet: A Place for Everything and EVerything in it's Place at Sandra's Ark

which I have talked about in a previous post called A Place for Everything

But even though I have loved this saying for many years

                              I have never yet got to this ideal position in my home or life.

One of the reasons

                       is simply that there are

I am presently overhauling the Study and even there I pick a place to keep something and then later I change my mind and decide to keep in in a different part of that room and then the next time I want that item I go back to the original place and wonder why I can't find it there!

I have forgotten that I changed my mind!
Tweet: I have forgotten that I changed my mind! at Sandra's Ark

This is especially so with my craft items.

One time I think that one box or container suits my stamps best and then I get some more and decide that the original container was not big enough to hold all that I now have 

or I have my embellishments in segmented containers like these

and then I decide to sort them by a different criterion and find that the sizes of the compartments don't suit or the number of compartments don't suit.

So I rearrange them and then later when I want a certain item I have to go through all my containers again because I can't remember how I rearranged them.

I have forgotten that I changed my mind!

When we lived in America (many years ago) we bought a lovely piece of furniture.

It was a Computer Armoire.

While we were in America and also for some years after we had returned to Northern Ireland, we used it for our computer but then when we all had computers we stopped using it for this purpose and I claimed it as a Craft Armoire.

And this is what it was like when I started this month to overhaul the Study.

Just be thankful that I did not take the picture when the table part was folded down as the shelf behind the table was overflowing.


A.  I started by deciding on all the categories of things I had to store for my crafts.

Stamp Pads
Scrapbook Papers
Paper Embellishments
Other Embellishments
Pens, Pencils
Craft Scissors
Glue Gun & Heater for Embossing

Miscellaneous - to cover coloured sand, woodchips, scraps of paper & card etc.

B.  Then I considered what containers were most suitable for going into the Craft Armoire.

Lidded containers.
Things that would stack.
Things that did not make me waste space within the Armoire.

C.  Then I had to match up these containers with the Craft Materials.

I actually found that most of my previous decisions had been very good but some things did get put into different containers or expanding files.

For example some embellishments were best to stay in the containers shown above but others were better going into Expanding Files especially it they were more flimsy or larger paper and card items.

Hope you like my heart labels.
  I bought these from a girl on ebay last year and I'm using them in lots of different places.

Stickers were best in Expanding Files and so were some of the cards and envelopes that were of different sizes but the majority of my cards and envelopes were a standard size and could go in a lidded box together.

Then I had previously tried out different ways of storing my 12 by 12 scrapbook papers and although a lot of people say to keep them in open trays I just found that they can get dusty so I had given up on that and others say to keep them in vertical plastic files but these are hard to get and very expensive and I did get one type to try but again was not very happy because I felt the corners of the paper could get damaged too easily.

Finally I got a plastic lidded box

and I think this will be the best solution for me (again bought on ebay & I hope I can get another one soon).
It will also be able to sit on one of the shelves in the Armoire with the scrapbooks and I won't need to have the height big enough for a tall vertical file.

Well I'm rather pleased about my crafts now that they have been sorted and rearranged in the Armoire.

Of course this is just one part of the Study completed and lots more work still to do but it was more FUN than WORK because I love craft things and hopefully I'm looking forward to being able to find all those items more easily now.

Linking up with

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

How many times? - A Dose of Encouragement 39

What do you say to your 17 year old son at the airport just before he is flying off on a month's language experience to Germany with 29 other kids from the UK?

Well I bet you would not think it was what I said
 to Jonathan our eldest son.

And all these years later he has never forgotten, and doesn't let me forget it either.

You see as soon as Jonathan would return he was going into his last year at school finishing his A levels and then the following year he was hopefully going to university.

And I felt it was important that all our children would be able to look after themselves before they would be living away from home for any length of time.

The previous summer I had told him that it was time he learned to do his own washing, so we had proceeded to arrange a day each week when I would not use the washing machine and dryer and it was all free for him.

He managed that ok getting used to it as the year went on.

He had understood that he would eventually need to be able to sort his clothes into suitable washing bundles and know how to read labels and wash and dry items without shrinking or dying anything so accepted the task and did it.

However I did continue to do his ironing along with everyone else's.

So no doubt you can guess now what it was that I said to him at the airport

"As soon as you get back 
you will have to start doing your own ironing."

Well you would think I was the cruelest mother ever to walk this earth, not because I was insisting he now learned to iron but because I said it then at that specific time and spoilt the trip for him.

Yes he said this was because he now had a rotten chore to look forward to.

It was a bit of an exaggeration really because it did not spoil the trip for him although he will still to this day try to claim it did.

Of course I didn't just expect him to be able to do the ironing without being taught to do it properly.
I so I showed him how to iron his shirts and T shirts and trousers and watched as he tried and gave advice where it was needed until he was able to do the job.

Since then Jonathan has been to Cambridge University and got his Bachelors Degree in Theology, then to Belgium and got his Masters in Theology and is now living in Leeds UK working on his Phd and pastoring a church part-time.  During all of that he has lived both with us and one his own at various times and has coped with a lot more than just his washing and ironing.

But sometimes he still needs to consult his dad or I on things to do with his appartment like how to fix the timer for his central heating etc.

Just the other day he rang up to check with me about bleaching white items as he wanted to make sure he would not ruin his clothes.

When I answered the phone he said

I laughed and said that yes the weather in NI was very good for the start of autumn but not that good.

But he wasn't talking about weather he was ringing with a washing question.

You see when he was 15 years old Fred & I celebrated our 20th Wedding Anniversary with a trip to Hawaii. My parents came and stayed over in our house with the 3 kids but Jonathan being a very sensible boy thought that he should help with the washing; but not knowing about how to use the machine then he decided to ring me in Hawaii to check it out.

How many times has that story been told to dinner guests!!!

I love the fact that our son, who is well established in his own home and has learned to do so many practical things there and is a very clever lad, is still willing to lift the phone and ask a question of his old mum and dad.

I also love the fact that he will often just lift the phone to tell us when he has done something new as well.

You see this is our son who loves books and reading and learning and has a fantastic memory but has always thought he was useless at practical things.

How many times do we think we are just not good at something?

How many times do we think that we couldn't possibly do something God wants us to do because it is so different to what we have been used to doing?

How many times do we think that we couldn't possibly learn something new to be able to help our church?

How many times do we think that we couldn't offer to help in a situation that could be a blessing to someone simply because we don't know them very well?

We need to take an example from Jonathan and just ask for help

to do those things we don't feel adequate about,

or to learn a new task,

or to change our attitude to certain situations,

or to know what to say to others.

We need to ask God for help in tackling these things that we have been hesitant to do in the past.

We need to come and pray for wisdom, understanding, or even a change of heart in some circumstances.

God is not asking us to do something if He does not intend to help and guide us.
Tweet: God is not asking us to do something if He does not intend to help and guide us. Sandra's Ark

Just as I helped Jonathan to learn to iron, God will help us learn what ever we need to.

When Jonathan was very young he asked a lot of questions about everything.

We would get tired sometimes answering his questions.

God does not get tired answering our request for help.

God is not limited in any way even though we are.

But so often we feel we are more limited than we really are.

How many times can we ask God for help?    
There is no limit.
Tweet: How many times can we ask God for help? There is no limit. Sandra's Ark

Sunday, 21 September 2014

It's God's Love #12

This Sunday Series is all about God's Love.

A simple, short post each week
consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of
God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would join me each Sunday.

(Just go to the sidebar if you would like to sign up for an email reminder of my posts.)

We are in the world

but the Bible tells us that 

we should not be of the world.

God's Love


be in us

if we love

the world;

if we put the things of the world

before God.


God's Love

has nothing to do with

the world;

it is not determined by anything of this world,

but is unique

to God.

You are welcome to copy the Bible Verse Graphic above and any of the others that will be in this Sunday Series on God's Love.  Please use it as it is with no editing for your own personal use including on social media but not in any commercial way. 

With regards to any other pictures or graphics - please contact me. 


Friday, 19 September 2014

Demolishing a Garden Shed - Housework/Funwork 33

Today we are going back to something we had hoped to have done a few months ago but it just was not possible to do so.

The weather stayed good for the first few weeks of this month

and our son was able to get an afternoon off work

when Fred wasn't travelling so

the demolishing of the old wooden garden shed
 was scheduled for Wednesday.

If not too interested in the details then head on to the end of the post
and watch the short video.

I was ready with the camera as well as old clothes and two other items that I was just excited about having the chance to use for the first time


this was going to be some FUNWORK this time!!!

Equipment needed
Crow Bar
Screw Drivers
Sledge Hammer
Safety Glasses
Face Shield
2 Stepladders

The shed had to be replaced because this wooden one was rotting away.  
The trees from our neighbour had been overgrown and hanging badly over into our garden since we bought the house 4 years ago and the lower branches had been lying on the roof of the shed and rubbing along the roof during windy weather.

NI is known for it's rain and so with the wet branches rubbing against the roof of the shed we now had a roof with holes in it and the wood was ruined resulting in everything in the shed getting very moldy and dirty and wet.

Our neighbour finally decided to cut off the offending branches but it was too late to save the shed.

So Fred & Daniel started with the roof, got out all the nails from the tar-covered felt and got it off and the rotten wood removed while I unscrewed the hinges of the doors.

Then came my moment.

Fred allowed me to have a few swings at the front of the shed with 

the axe and then with the sledgehammer 

and then I was happy & left them to do the rest of the knocking down of the shed.

They soon had the front of the shed taken apart and started on the side and this was time for the chainsaw to come into action.

My husband works for a global company who take safety very seriously and so does he so gloves, safety glasses and face protectors were donned from the start.

Another aspect of safety was always to make sure the electric cable of the chainsaw was clear of the saw and other objects and even Daniel knew to keep an eye on this.

With the first side all cut away they started on the other side which was closest to the garden fence .

This picture was taken specifically for me as Fred had to bend over to get right down through the wood with the saw.
(Well there had to be some more FUN in all this WORK for me and not just getting to wield an axe and a sledgehammer.)

With the second side completed they were on to the back of the shed.  Which they lifted off the base in one piece and

then proceeded to cut into narrow strips.   But this was not the end of the shed.

There was still the floor of the shed and they first had to remove all the edging of wood around the base.

I knew that the previous owners had left some things behind the shed where the oil tank sits but I was surprised to find that there were:
3 white plastic planters, 
3 white plastic oil containers,  
a football, 
2 brush heads, 
a brush shaft, 
2 swing seats with ropes 
and a large red sledge 
plus many planks of wood 
and strips of old skirting board.  

Then the first plank from the floor of the shed was removed 

and Fred cut the rest of the floor in two with the chainsaw so that they could lift each half up on it's end and cut it as they had the sides.

You can see from this picture just how much damage had been done to the floor of the shed from the rain getting through the roof.

Well now the shed was all cut up but that wasn't the end of the job.

All the pieces of the shed and the junk found behind it had to be got rid of.

So it was on to the phone to order a skip to be delivered the next morning to take all the rubbish.

All of this was done in 2 and a half hours;
 including two breaks for drinks and fruit and biscuits to keep the workers happy and because they needed it, as we were all getting rather hot 
working in 19 degrees that afternoon.

Now there was another piece of equipment that Fred had used and that was the new time lapse video app on his iPad.   He set up a stand to hold the iPad and videoed the whole event. 

 Thankfully because of the time lapse aspect of it we only had to watch around 4 mins of video which you can also watch below & see me having a few swings at the shed with that axe and sledge hammer.

This even makes it all look like FUNWORK!

Linking Up with

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Do we really need this quote? - A Dose of Encouragement

Everywhere I am these days I see quotes.

Some are by famous writers - often ones whose work I have read.

Some are by famous people like Einstein or other people from recent history.

Some are by singers or songwriters

Some are by people who are in the news frequently.

Some are by people I have never heard of before.

But more and more my question is:

You see I find these quotes on my Facebook newsfeed or on GooglePlus posts.

Some are very artistically written in various fonts and colours and some are on beautiful backgrounds of mountains, rivers or lighthouses.

But again my question is:

My friends on facebook like these quotes and share these posts as do so many other people on facebook.

Acquaintances on GooglePlus  +1 these posts and share them and no-one needs to write anything themselves because it is just a quote.

But again my question is:

Then I see all the likes and shares and comments written on these quote posts and I realize that some of the posts that are shared the most throughout all Social Media are quotes.

People everywhere just seem to love quotes.

Now as I blogger I have even been instructed (by blogging experts and in blogging tips) that I should share quotes on various places because people love quotes.

But again my question is:

If we like them, +1 them, share them, even some of us make our own graphics with these quotes does that suddenly mean that they are the absolute truth?

Are we actually reading them and thinking about what they mean or do we just say

 "that sounds nice" 

and then pass it on for others to see without wondering what the meaning behind it is?

Now I like quotes and actually started my Friday Series off with my favourite quote and also wrote a previous post based on my favourite quote and enjoyed making a graphic for it

so I am not against all quotes.

But a quote is just a quote (or rather the correct word is quotation)

It is simply something that has already been written or said by someone else.

Because to quote is

One of the main concerns I have is that in some cases I see a picture with a nice sounding quote shared for everyone to see but the person sharing it has not realised that they are not just sharing a picture with a quote but actually a link to a website or blog post that is not so wholesome.

We need to actually click on these links ourselves 
and see all that is contained 
before we pass them on to others.

When we like or share something we are in a way endorsing it and that means endorsing all of it.

So we need to see what is under the tip of the iceberg - what does that person making the quote represent?

Today I want to make you think about what we are passing around for everyone to see and read.

Because I think we have a responsibility toward others that we do not pass on things that just sound nice but instead

 we should pass on good uplifting and encouraging words 
that do mean something substantial.

I look after a facebook page for our church and I made the decision that the only quotes we would have on that page would be from our Pastor and the sermons we hear in church.


Because our church has a responsibility not to lead others astray or to misquote others
 (which is another problem sometimes in the passing of quotes - they are not always accurately copied or not always written by the person they are claimed to be from).

So the main things that we actually share on the page are Bible verses.

Bible verses are the word of God so we can trust them and learn from them and we can say

Because this is a Bible Verse it is TRUTH!


much more than I need a quote.

So be encouraged when you see a Bible verse shared by a sound organisation or someone you trust, and know that it is spreading God's word.

And then be helpful towards others and share that verse to encourage them and direct them to the truth.

Let's be enthusiastic to share more Bible Verses 
within Social Media.

There is nothing so truthful, beautiful, enriching and uplifting as the Word of God

If you would like some Bible Verses Pictures that you can use to help you memorize scripture then you are welcome to copy any of the pictures I created for my It's God's Love Series you can print them out or share them on Social Media provided you do not edit them in any way.

And if you want more Bible Verses to be able to share with others on Facebook then you might be interested in following my Blog Facebook Page

Or for sharing on Twitter then follow me on Twitter  for verses I share there too.

If you would like to share this post with others to encourage them to share God's word too then please use the buttons below.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

It's God's Love #11

This Sunday Series is all about God's Love.

A simple, short post each week
consisting of a Bible Verse around the topic of
God's Love and I would be very pleased if you
would join me each Sunday.

(Just go to the sidebar if you would like to sign up for an email reminder of my posts.)

God's Love to us

is such an intimate love.

How do we know this?

Because He calls us His Sons and Daughters.

Do you







You are welcome to copy the Bible Verse Graphic above and any of the others that will be in this Sunday Series on God's Love.  Please use it as it is with no editing for your own personal use including on social media but not in any commercial way. 

With regards to any other pictures or graphics - please contact me.