Sunday, December 30, 2007

I lost my counter!

Bummer! I loved seeing those numbers go up. That's what you get when you re-do your blog when you are too tired to think well....

I'll have to add another one. Meanwhile, enjoy the slideshow! (and they're not my pics....still figuring out how to do that!)

Merry Christmas to All!!!!

And to all a good night! Hope your Christmas was as lovely as mine was.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Something I've learned today....

After dealing with 20-some-odd kids ranging in age from 3-8, kids who are loud, needy, clingy, whiney, prone to tantrums, cry at the drop of a hat, whiney, loud, busy, full of convenient hearing, and did I mention whiney and loud? Anyway, after being at work for about eight hours straight, I've learned something very important...

I've learned that my patience well is dry.

And I've little left for the people who deserve it the most: my family.

I'm sorry family. I'll do better tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Manly Gift Idea

My husband decided he needed this for christmas....actually he bought it and then said it was an anniversary present (our anniversary is today) from me.

Go figure.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Gift Idea #3

Blueprint Magazine. While I struggle with the moral issue of putting more money into Martha Stewart's pockets, this really is a terrific magazine. I love it! I wish it was more often. It's always full of wonderul ideas and great articles and pictures.

And once you've gotten over giving something more to MS, wash yourself clean with a little sumpin'sumpin' from The Dirty Soap Co. Lovely stuff there. You won't be disappointed. They also have excellent customer service. No, it's not my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

More Christmas Ideas!

Let's start with what has been my favorite CD for the past 2 years:The Weepies: Say I Am You. Go to their website to hear selections from this album. You won't be disappointed.
If you really don't know what to get someone for Christmas, head to the Paper Source. They have everything! Beautiful papers and cards, Letterpress items, ornaments, stuffed animals, and for the person who has everything (including a healthy sense of humor), this. They have a lot of other quirky books that would make great gifts as well. Plus free shipping when you spend $100--AND you can buy gift cards that people can use online as well as in person! One-stop shopping!
I wish there was one in Oregon. Ah phooey! At least I have the internet.

Monday, December 03, 2007

One the first Day of Christmas...

I wanted to post some gift-giving ideas. Feel free to pass on to any importan gift buyers in your life. Or just order one for your mother-in-law.

Gift #1 (and I did order one for myself...)

I mean if you are going to clean the house anyway, you might as well have some fun while you do it! We had a bottle of the lavender hand soap in our bathroom this past year and were really impressed w/it. Smelled wonderful! (even DH liked it!) Sadly, when I went back to Target to get some more I discovered that the great T no longer carried their products. No on in Albany carries their products. So I'm getting this for Christmas.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

This is pretty neat!

I just found this while blog surfing, and had to share!

It makes me think that I need a coluzzle....even though I have other circle cutting methods. It just looks so easy! I loved the music as well...think I need that now! And everything today deserves an exclamation point! I'm going to check out her video archives on her blog as well.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

DT Application

I applied to the DT (Design Team, for those of you not immersed in the scrappin' world...) for a stamp manufacturer called Inque Boutique. They were specifically looking for scrapbookers who stamp, and I've considered myself a "stampbooker" for most of my paper-lovin' "career", so I applied. No idea if I'm what they are looking for. I enjoyed the challenge anyway. I worked really hard to coalesce my style, represent it well, and still show that I understand a few things about design, like color theory and symmetry, and the visual triangle and stuff like that.
Here are my entries. They wanted 3 layouts, preferably multi-photo, and they wanted their stamps on the layouts. That's pretty much all I used.
I'll find out Monday if I made the cut. I'll let you know....

Monday, November 26, 2007

a few thoughts on friendship...

The prompt for today on 2peas is to blog about your thoughts on friendship. This struck a chord for me.

What I want most from a friendship would best be described as equality and balance, tempered with loyalty. Meaning that you give as good as you get--that you give as much as you take from me. And you speak with me honestly and openly as I will speak with you--without judgement, and that you keep my secrets as well as I keep yours. This hasn't always happened for me; I value it so much more when I find it.

That's really all I have off the top of my head. Seems simple enough---it's basically the "golden rule." 'Nuff said.

Not quite the other side, but close enough.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Hey Look! I made Stuff!

It's been a blurry couple of weeks. I designed a quick make-and-take project for over 100 women for the store's "Designing Desserts" (a customer appreciation event) that was held on November 8th. I also finished up 4 out of the 5 ornaments for my December Christmas Ornaments papercrafting class (also for the store) and made 3 different MiniBooks for my November Paper School class. I then taught a Christmas Card Bar class (for myself--I teach a papercrafting class once a month here in town) on November 10th. I had to have 125 Christmas cards as pre-made as possible so that those taking my class just had to put the cards together. I also made 3 different tote bags for the school craft fair (The craft fair was November 16 and 17...the bags were my own design, for my etsy shop that I'll get up and running before the end of the year) under my Cerulean Blue Goods label, designed my new business cards, designed my own CD Case calendar ('cause I didn't want to sell the Blueprint one at the school craft fair), {TOTAL SIDE NOTE: my good friend printed my cards and calendar for me--so if you live in the area, go to Alphagraphics for all your printing needs. He's done a bunch of things for me, and always does great work!} made 2 reversible aprons (also for the Cerulean Blue line, also for the school craft fair), and did the planner masters for next year's planners--both the portrait orientation (which I prefer) and the landscape orientation (which other people like). And I made the coolest MiniBook I've ever made--for a class I call "A Little Bit Me." (I'll get you a link after I post it to 2peas--there are a lot of pictures!) I've also started rehearsals for our big, annual Christmas Fireside concert for church, which I am the Assistant Director for (and have a solo in this year as well). Whew! Then it was Thanksgiving. And I worked the whole time as well.

Pictures of the goodies to follow--um maybe. Blogger seems to be acting up....

LOOK! It's my first digital scrapbook page! Thanks to PSE 5.0...

And I need to make my class kits for the two classes I'm teaching on Saturday at Stampin'Cat. Which means I really don't have the time to blog right now (shh! don't tell on me!) I'll try one more time, then I'll just have to post it later....Bye!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Some Yummy Thriftiness!

Found these at Goodwill on Saturday. The green/coral/turquoise vintage fabric will probably be an apron for me. The stripey fabric I'm not sure yet. The bowl is just going to sit around my crafting space and look pretty. I LOOOOOOVVVVVVEEEE that bowl! If anyone out there knows what the makers mark "RP" means, let me know! (that's the only mark I could find on the bowl)

Smiles to all!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Found Jill!

Not that she was lost....


I've been having some fun thinking of all the things I could PIF you guys!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

One of the good things...

about having a full-time job is the ability to get this:

Yep...after futzing around with old, used models, this bad boy is on it's way to my house as we speak. I can hardly wait. Sometimes, I'm a little giddy when I think about it.

And lest you think I've lost my frugal ways, I'll be selling off the extra pieces of the older model I have now on eBay. Heck, my mixer base just needs a $40 part. I saw a mixer base that DIDN'T EVEN WORK!!! sell on eBay for over $50 (before shipping!!!) so mine that works (but needs the part that makes the blender spin) should sell just fine. Plus I have an extra dough hook. EVERYONE needs an extra dough hook! That should knock down the price to the $300 I'd budgeted for it. maybe even $250.

I can smell the bread baking already!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

PIF Winners

Here's to Allanna, Aimeslee, and Jill (Jill, I couldn't find your blog) who will get the PIF. I'll be emailing you to get your addys. You could also email me at DianneKNelson (at) yahoo (dot) com with that same info!

Congrats guys! Let me know your favorite colors!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Blog PIF

So I followed a link from Ali's blog to Molly Irwin's blog that led to this: a Blog PIF! I love the idea, and I love the freedom to send out a giftie in the next year. Gives me something to look forward to once the crush of the holiday season is passed. I'll follow the same guidelines--the first 3 commenters will get the PIF, the PIF will be hand-made--but not necessarily paper, and those that comment pledge to send their PIF to people who comment on their blogs. So here goes!

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

Enjoy! I know that I will!

Friday, October 26, 2007

So many thoughts, so little time...

Hello faithful blog readers!

It is the eve of my first free Saturday since sometime in August, and I am taking the time to write a little blog post to anyone out there who's reading. I have so much in my head "write" now, so much that I sincerely hope that it tumbles out with some semblance of order and sense.

I'm working full time. It's a big change for me. I've been at home for the last (about) four and half years. I'm working in a preschool/day care center that is housed in a local elementary school. So we get a lot of siblings, and a lot of what we call "kindergarten wrap-arounds" (which are kids that are in our program half a day and in kindergarten the other half, and usually then after school for about 3 hrs or so until 5:30, when we close). It's really made me re-examine my own parenting, as well as my thoughts/opinions on parenting and families and such.

First let me stress that these are my opinions, not judgements. I personally feel that it's really unfair to judge anyone--and as soon as you (I) do, than you'll be held up to the same measuring stick for some judging of your own. Essentially, what I am seeing as I nurture and parent these 4 and 5 year olds for some 8+ hours a day is that the family is falling apart and it's hurting kids in ways we can't even fathom yet. Most of our kids are coming from single parent families--and a lot of those are just barely getting through traumatic separations. I know that these single moms are doing the best they can with what they've got. I'm glad to help them and support them where I can. But I see the other end of things for those 8+ hours a day. Kids so distracted and agitated that they can't focus on anything for even 10 minutes. Kids who are afraid that we are going to leave them on the playground and leave them behind and silently cry or quake with fear at the drop of a hat. Kids who think nothing of hitting, pushing, shoving, punching in the face, or elbowing to get their way or get the toy they want or to simply assert their control over another person (and let me say that sometimes the one pushing and elbowing is my own child as well....). Kids who are simply defiant. It's tough. I don't have answers. I just know that these kids are reacting more to their home life and home situations than their parents probably realize.

I learn new things every day about improving my parenting. I work with a wonderful gal who's done this job for 15 years (I sometimes think of her in my head as "the child whisperer") and I've learned a lot. If you are looking for help in your parenting, I can recommend some great books---"Positive Discipline" by Jane Nelson (I first read this during a college classroom management class) and "Raising Self-Reliant Children in Self-Indulgent World" by H. Stephen Glenn. These are fabulous books that won't make you feel guilty about your parenting. Plain, honest language that will give you more tools for your parenting toolbox.

This job has humbled me in many ways as well. I'm grateful that I'm not a single mom. I have nothing but respect and admiration for those that are. I see moms every day that are doing the very best with what they have. I also have learned that for me, and for my family, things are better when I am at home. I am planning to work full-time through the rest of the school year, but next year, when C. is in kindergarten, I am only working part-time. I'm going to be home when he's home. I try not to think about the fact that I'm not there when my kids are home from school. It breaks my heart a little.

Lots more thoughts are tumbling around, like "why didn't we avoid the financial choices that put us here in the need for me to work...." and "wow, I always said that I could never do daycare, but yet that's pretty much what I am doing. How Ironic..." to "I have so many books and stories running around in my head and heart---I think it's finally time to discipline myself to write them down like I always wanted to do" to "I am happier when I am in a creative job, or at least have the time weekly to have a creative outlet" to "I love to sing! My concert was fabulous! I need to sing more!" and a really big one that I'd love to talk about, but it's pretty raw: for no reason I can fathom, my very best friend is no longer talking to me. Not in person, not on the phone, and not via email. She never showed for appointments we had, and she just stopped answering the phone one day, and never returned my calls and (and we used to talk several times a day...and get together in person at least once a week) It hurts a lot and I don't know what to do about it.

and so on...

Let me just sum this up like this: I wish all of the moms out there, single or not, working outside the home or inside the home, I wish you all peace of mind. I wish you contentment. I wish you support for your choices. I wish you best friends. I wish you the things you wish for. (and I wish the Dads the same things...)

Good night!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Look at Me!

Sweet Home Gala

This is me! I'm singing here in a couple of weeks. They spelled my name wrong in this press release, but there I am!

Guess I'd better practice....

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hello Little Blog...

I know you've been neglected....

I could go on and on about how busy I've been, but truthfully, in this age of Instant Everything, we are all busy.

I could say that I've been too tired to blog, but again, we are all tired because we are all busy.

I could regale you with tales from my workplace, but since my work revolves around 3, 4, and 5 year olds, it's not pretty. And sometimes it smells.

Just know that I'm writing blog posts in my head and I'm practicing saying "no" to all the extra things in my life that I haven't had to say "no" to for the past 3 years or so (once C was past his first year of life, the year we refer to now as "The Year of Not Sleeping") because I had the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom. And eventually, I'll carve out the time to put them here where they belong.

Or else I'll forget them entirely. And then I'll write something else. Eventually

Sunday, September 16, 2007

You Know You've Been Blogging When....

So I'm working on a mini-album for my class this last Saturday. It was a "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" class, and focused on making an album map for a theme album. Since we didn't really vacation this year, I chose to do my album on the trip that DH and I took to Boston last May. (scroll down for Boston posts).

The point to this post? I'm writing out my journaling, and every time I come to a key place as I wrote, I found myself wanting to put in hyperlinks.....

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Let's Create a Personal Day!

Wouldn't it be great if we could have the power to add another day to the week? Or just stop the world around us long enough to get a little more caught up? I'm so wishing I had a day just for me. A day where I didn't have to meet anyone's deadlines but my own. That way, I'd have clean clothes in my closet (instead of in stinky piles around our family office) and I'd be caught up in projects for my classes at Stampin'Cat. (How nice would THAT be? Instead of trying to do my projects in a semi-lit classroom during "rest time", racing to finish it before my class on Saturday, I'd just turn in a finished sample a month before the class is scheduled. Ah, what quiet bliss!)

Or, instead of rushing around trying to get caught up, I'd just sleep all day....and then I'd sleep some more.

And that's the other side.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Back to the proverbial grindstone

So I've started working full time again. I haven't worked full time in about 4 years. I taught preschool 4 years ago when I was pregnant with C. I'm working again for the same company in almost the same situation--a preschool/care center in a local elementary school. On one hand, I'm glad for a job where I don't have to pay extra for care for C. On the other hand, there are a lot of reasons I liked/chose/wanted to be a SAHM. But little luxuries like food and the power bill got in the way of those.

My plate is extremely full right now. We are going to be in transition for a few weeks while we get used to Mom being gone. And I'm going to have to be extra efficient to get everything done that I need to get done. (If there are other mothers working outside the home, you know exactly what I'm talking about). We have a new dog in our home (not the best time to get a dog, but when you are given a bichon frise--purebred--the very dog you've wanted for years, you say "yes!"). I am managing the music for our church worship services, leading the choir, and leading the music at our main meeting. I'm still teaching 2-3 classes at Stampin'Cat a month, teaching my own class once a month at the community room at Ray's grocery store, and getting the kids to TaeKwonDo a couple of times a week, plus homework for a 7th and 3rd grader, plus Cub Scouts, and so on and so on. I've discovered that I need a little more quick things in my pantry so we can still eat as a family each day. I don't have time to make my own chicken broth, I need it in a can.

Still, I feel strongly that this is the right job for me right now. I've been praying that the right job would come along so that I could make a positive financial impact on my family's finances. I didn't want a job working minimum wage where the government would take, oh let's say $2 of my $7.50 an hour wage (the minimum here in Oregon), childcare would take $4 of it, leaving me with only $1.50 per hour to show for my work. This is definitely the job I was supposed to have. We've set a goal to be free of consumer debt in 5 years (just in time to send J to college!). I created a lot of that consumer debt with my different "jobs" (see here and here) so I really feel like it's only fair to help out. Plus the economy right now is killing us. We re-did our budget recently and found out taht 4 years ago, we paid $50 a paycheck for gas for two weeks for two cars--now, with the SAME cars, we pay close to $200 a paycheck for gas for two weeks. Milk is nearly $3 a gallon--and we drink a lot more of it now. It's just harder to make those elusive ends meet. So I've gone back to work, to a job I had before and like, with people I worked with before and liked, and my only real "perk" is that I don't have to pay a penny for C's care. That's huge! I know that my Heavenly Father is watching out for me right now. And I need the help!

Here's to the Mom's out there who work outside their homes! I know what a juggling act you do each day, and I salute you!

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Power of Paper

I had a wonderful "grandma" aged gal take my "Holiday Memories" book last November at Stampin'Cat tell this story at one of my classes this summer. She made the book for her 15 yo granddaughter. Earlier this year (late spring or early summer) this dgd had a big fight with her parents and decided to leave home. She'd made her grand exit, complete with door slamming and stomping off when she suddenly turned around, slammed her way back inside the house grabbed the scrapbook her grandmother gave her (the small "Holiday Memories" book) and then stomped and slammed out again.

"That's when I knew she'd be back" said her grandmother.

I love that a little paper combined with the time to lovingly create something has so much power.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I don't think that counts....

4 yo DS takes all his clothes off and starts running through the house.

Mom sees him and asks, "Are you nakey?!?!"

4 yo covers up in front and answers, "I not nakey, I have hands!"

(enjoy the laugh for the day!)

Monday, August 27, 2007

LOVE this book!

THIS BOOK is one of the coolest things I've read w/my 4 yo in a long time. It's wonderful on so many developmental levels! You can work on colors, animal names/recognition/sounds, as well as short term memory. On top of all that, it's just plain fun! I know what's going under the tree this Christmas! (We found ours at the library if you wanted to give it a test run...check your local library) Or you can follow the link and support an extraordinary Oregon bookstore.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Thank You Laurel Thatcher Ulrich!

12 yo DD reading a bumper sticker as we drive down I-205:

"Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History. *giggle* *pause* I could make history!"

She didn't realize I heard her. I say, "Go For It!"

Monday, August 20, 2007

Oh Max!

Attention all Max and Ruby devotees! This one's for you!

On the table, a pitcher of Crystal Light Lemonade. Four-year-old C asks in hushed and reverential (but excited) tones, "Is that....Lemonade!?!?"

"Yes," I answer, wondering what all the fuss is about. "Do you want some?"

"OH YES!" He sips his glass and then says, "Is that a hint of mint?"

He drinks again and says, "Delicious!"

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Happy 99!

Here is Dorothea, Great-Grandmother so fine,

Celebrating a birthday---number NINETY-NINE!

Doesn't Joel's grandmother look good! We had a lovely party for her last week. She's still going strong. We joked that at her 100th's birthday, everyone needed to just bring her $100 bills. Her supper club passed on the rubber chicken, so that tradition was preserved.

Many friends and family members came to pay their respects. She's a lovely, gracious woman, and I'm glad that my children have had the chance to know her and be close to her.

Live long and prosper! Happy 99th Dorothea!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

How Embarrassing!

This was my entry for the HELLOmynameisHeather blog candy contest.

I was 18 years old and driving from my Jr. College in Idaho back home to Portland, Oregon. I had bummed a ride with two very nice guys that I didn't know at all, and, in fact, met just before we left for home.

Here's some backstory: my family moved to Portland just after I graduated from high school. I had lived in our new house for about six weeks before I left to go to college.

Well, as we pulled into the downtown area of Portland (I actually lived in a suburb...) I had the sinking realization that I didn't know how to get home. No idea whatsoever where I lived. Of course, it was at that precise moment that the guy driving said, "Okay Dianne, how do we get to your house?" I had to sheepishly admit that I didn't know. Thankfully, they were good sports about it, and decided to just "drive around" until I saw something familiar. A few large circles and a wrong turn later, we made it to my house.

After that, I made sure to have directions.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Still Spinning

July was busy. Really busy. I'm still reeling a bit, and looking for a breather. We had a 4th Celebration, Cub Scout Camp, classes and demos at Stampin'Cat, family reunion in Wenatchee, my 20th High School reunion in Spokane, a small (but miraculous and faith-building) jet-ski/tube accident, Girl's Camp, singing at Girl's Camp, learning to tie-dye and being in charge of the crafts at GC, and finally some out of town company with a few visits w/my parents mixed in to keep things interesting.
We spent yesterday at Splash! after seeing "Shrek the Third" with our visiting friends. Lots of fun. Lots of chlorine. We'll see what the rest of the day brings! Enjoy these pictures of the Stonehenge Memorial we stopped at on the way home from Wenatchee.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Over The River...

I've been dreaming of my Grandmother's house at night. I know that house very well. I know where my father's teenage Chuck Taylor footprint on the sheetrock is hiding under wood paneling, left from when he and my uncle were building the house with my Grandfather. I know the patchwork pattern of the tile my Grandfather used in the downstairs basement shower that became my bathroom shower when I attended Oregon State. I know the heating ductwork where he put his "Hello My Name Is" nametags from the various events he attended as a chemistry professor for Oregon State. I added my own to the collection. I know which rooms my Dad slept in as a teenager. I know the blue room upstairs with its light blue paneling and light blue shag carpet; that was my Aunt Lila's room. I thought it was the most beautiful room in the world when I was a child. I know where Grandma kept her tools. I know the Gardening room, the Wood room, the Bike Room (where I hung my bike on the same bike pulley sysem my Grandfather used to hang his bike--the same bike he once got a speeding ticket on as he raced across the Oregon State Campus), and the tool benches in the garage--left pretty much as my Grandfather left them when he lost his lymphoma battle when I was sixteen.

I'm seeing different parts of the house in my dream. The room divider in the living room where my Grandma stored knickknacks. The drawer that housed all of her Pyrex. The drawer that housed all of the cookie sheets and cake pans. Every thing in the kitchen was custom made by my grandfather to her specifications. I see the knife slots for each individual knife, the sections in the drawers for kitchen utensils separated by size and function, the drawers for her linens and tablecloths, the cupboard with the cookie jar and the corny poster that said "My Grandma is the best by far, for she has got a Cookie Jar!" (I loved that poster!) on the inside of the door, the under cabinet fluorescent lights. I see the double closet that still held many of my Grandfather's clothes and also his filing cabinets in what became the boys room. I see the storeroom under the stairs that held the old games and toys my brother and sisters and cousins played when we came to visit, the shelves with my Grandfather's photo developing chemicals, all labeled neatly and out of reach of most children, the cheerleader megaphone he was gifted with at some point in his collegiate teaching career. And even though they were long gone after his death, I remember the shelves where his duck hunting buoys stood in neat rows. I remember the smell of water and the rubber that hung in the air around them. I remember his little office where he refilled his shotgun casings. I remember that was something scary to me as a child, and I didn't stay in that room for long---just long enough to take a butterscotch candy from the dish on his desk. I liked to think he kept them there just for me.

I remember my Grandmother's sewing closet. I remember the beautiful draperies she made for each room of the house. I remember that I thought there was nothing she couldn't make. I now have one of her ironing boards. I've had it for years now. It's heavy and awkward and most current ironing board covers don't really fit it; it's heavy plywood with heavy metal legs. The original cover had a blanket material as it's padding. Sometimes think a more modern board would be better for my needs, but then I remember that her name is written on the board beneath the cover, so it would be set aside for her at the store she bought it at originally. When I use that ironing board, I feel connected to her. Connected to my past.

We moved a lot during my childhood. My father was in the service, and moving often is a part of that life. My grandmother's address was on our luggage as our permanent address, just in case we were ever sepearated from it. That started when we moved to Germany in 1974. I moved into her house in 1989. I lived there until I got married in 1992 (interrupted only by a VERY brief stint sharing an apartment with a friend). During that time I connected with my Grandmother more than anyone else in my family did. This house held my roots and my history; her house was my roots in a very real way. Everywhere I went in that house, I was surrounded by a part of my history; it was one of those houses where nothing every really changed. I like to pretend that it's still a part of my family, even though it was sold per the instructions left by my Grandfather's trust.

We've lived in our house in Albany for four-and-a-half years now. This is the longest period in my entire life where I had the same address. In the 14 and a half years we've been married, we've had 10 different street addresses. That's a lot of moving! In fact, I think I still have at least one box in the garage that was packed a couple of moves ago. (I'm working through them--I just did a couple of boxes last week). Fortunately, my children have settled in here easily. They are planting the kinds of roots I never was able to. I marvel at that sometimes--and I'm grateful that they are building good friendships and relationships--that they are well-known at their elementary school and well-liked by their teachers. It's good for me too--I'm building my own friendships and relationships. We are all making our own roots.

Where are your roots? Do you have friends that date back to your kindergarten years? Or are you having the chance to build your own roots today. Whether we move all over or stay in the same places, we all have the chance to "bloom where we are planted" (to paraphrase Mary Englebreit). We can make our own roots or we can find a way to be content without them. Either way, I'm grateful for the dreams of my grandmother's house. I was happy there. I like remembering all the bits and pieces that make up my connections and my roots. And when I'm exasperating my children by wanting things just so--like my Grandmother did (I used to have to vacuum the carpet in straight lines--and then spend the rest of the week walking around the edges of the room so that I didn't mess up those lines) I remember that I come by my quirks honestly. I have connections to my roots.

Here's to connections!

And that's the other side.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Happy Independence Day!

Love that we have our freedoms! Take a moment today to be grateful for the freedoms we enjoy here in America!

More later!

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Magic Number

C, my 4 year old is AMAZINGLY savvy at recognizing symbols. He calls McDonalds "Ba-Ba" (sing it to yourself---"Ba ba ba ba ba....I'm Lovin' It!) and has for about 2 years now. It was one of the few things he would say that we could understand when he was just forming words. Once he sang it to us, that is.

Nowadays, he recognizes cars that are like Daddy's (Hondas--w/the big "H" symbol. All Honda's are like Daddy's car, even though the big boxy things are nothing like our 11 year old Accord), spouts off random letters when "reading" signs and can choose between Burger King ("cheeseburger") and McDonalds ("ba-ba") depending on which toy is available at the time. Never mind the fact that all he eats are the french fries.

But every number is "Seventeen." Looking at a clock, he'll tell you "It's Seventeen O'Clock!" If he's tired, he'll say, "It's seventeen o'clock--time for bed!" When he wants to go home, it's..."Seventeen O'Clock." He's the proud owner of a Finding Nemo book from Goodwill; one of those fun books where you push the button that goes with a picture in the story and a sound will play to support the action. This morning he came to us pointing at the price tag and saying, "Seventeen Dollars. Look, it's Seventeen Dollars."

Thank goodness it wasn't! And I hope the batteries run out soon. Well, after he's had Seventeen hours of fun.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Before and After



Still getting used to it. It's the shortest I've had it since I was a Jr. in High School. I've got one uneven chunk on one side I'll be getting fixed this week. So far, I like how easy it is to take care of. I'm still figuring out the rest.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Some of my recent projects

I'm teaching two classes this weekend at Stampin'Cat (well, just one, since no one signed up for one of my classes). Here's some pics:

This is my Coaster Album for my Paper School class this month. Paper School is a year-long series of classes I've developed (well, am developing, since I just had a rough plan for the year after about May) where we combine a mini-lecture about some papercrafting topic (we've done Color Theory, Tools, Storage, and so on) with a MiniBook around that month's theme. In June we're discussing storage/organization of all the papers and stuff our kids bring home at the end of the school year. The MiniBook focuses on some aspect of your child's year at school; in this case this was a Kindergarten field trip for my middle child.

Here's the back:
The other class was an altering class using really ugly coasters from the Dollar Tree. This was fun for me--I punched shapes from product packaging to act as protectors for the photo. I sanded the edges to make them stand out, and then painted them w/my new Ranger Paint Dabber in white. I like things like this; there are a lot of different techniques here--paint, sanding, modge podge, and I used my QK to punch some foam letters. I'm trying to use my QK and Sizzix more to see if I can justify moving up to an electric die-cutter. So far the QK is winning! (and I haven't used either enough to justify the cost. I just don't think of using die-cuts when I work).

That's all for now! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

School's Out!

And now the bickering begins! Whew! They've not been out of school even an hour and I've had to send them to their rooms! Time for a schedule! The fact that my oldest DD has entered the wonderful world of pms doesn't help things either.

I leave you w/a picture of my cutie patootie youngest and what he was last studying at preschool.

Are you sure I just can't lock 'em in a closet for the next 10 weeks? (just kidding!)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Has anyone seen Nemo?

We are having a "Finding Nemo" crisis here. C brought me disc two of the two disc set (he's broken disc one finally) sometime yesterday, and now we can't find it anywhere. He REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY infinity wants to watch it. And we can't find it anywhere. Not the disc two, not the copy we made to watch in the car, nothing. He's been asking for this movie since yesterday morning, and it's getting ugly around here.

Please, if you find Nemo, let me know...asap!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Um, yeah. Catching up.


Yes, I'm still here. Things are busy. Aren't they busy for you? I read an article recently in Domino (at least I think it was Domino) about how we are ALL crazy busy, so quit complaining and thinking you are special. That was the gist of it. Made me think about my complaining about being busy like I was unique in the world about my busyiness. Not so, my friend!

My parents have arrived safely. Spent some nice time w/my Mom this week while my Dad was in Portland for training. Now I'm gearing up for a busy week with 3 classes at Stampin' Cat, 2 school concerts (for two different children) a dress rehearsal for my own concert next week at church, as well as a Girls Camp Kick-off for me and DD on Saturday BEFORE two of my 3 classes. Plus my laundry is overflowing, despite the fact that I've been faithfully doing 1-2 loads daily ala Fly Lady. And I have some dishes left over from yesterday. DH did all the cooking and 95% of the dishes. These are some overflow dishes that wouldn't fit in the dishwasher, and I pretty much promised DH when we got married that he wouldn't have to wash dishes by hand if I could help it (since he hated it so, and it doesn't bother me). Plus I still have pound cake, fresh strawberries and real whipped cream I could have as a treat (if I wanted) when the dishes are done.

Tonight, we take our first foray in to the world of Letterboxing. Kinda looking forward to it. Go to for more information. Should be fun for all! I want to get more active as a family, and this seems like a nice way to ease into it.

Speaking of getting active, I tried out my Mother's Day shoes this morning and easily walked just over 2 and a quarter miles. I've been barely making 2 miles, and suffering from some ankle pain from an old injury. Not so today! Lovely shoes, and I feel like such an athlete! I'm gearing up for a 5K walk that our church will sponsor in August. Plus I consider it my HBP medicine. I started walking on Feburary 7th--barely making a mile and a half. Now I'm easily doing 2.25 miles in the same time frame. Plus I'm off my meds for high blood pressure and loving having more stamina. I'd love to say that I'm melting away the pounds, but that's not so yet. Probably has something to do with the chocolate I can't stop eating....I've got some strong opinions about the weight loss racket, but I'm saving that for another blog post.

More later! Bye for now!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

This is what 37 looks like

Happy birthday to me! (April 30). This is my fav. self portrait for my annual April shoot.


Friday, April 20, 2007

I've been Tagged!

My first tag in the blogosphere! I'm so excited! I was tagged by Lindsay, an online friend of mine who made it pretty far in the recent MMIdol contest (yay Linds!). So in my first official tag, I'm to come up with 7 random facts about me and then tag seven others.

Here goes:

1. We've lived in our house in Albany for just over 4 years now. I'll be 37 later this month, and this is the longest span in my entire life where I've had the same address. Yep, about every two years I get a little restless. No, we have no plans to move anytime soon.

2. I was a contestant on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" in April, 2000, during it's heyday, when it was on 4 nights a week (or something like that). Yes I met Regis Philbin, No, I didn't get into the "hot seat". We had a carryover contestant who took most of our air time. The only other guy who beat me in the practice rounds was in the chair when our filming time ended. He carried over. Statistically speaking, if we'd had the 4 "fastest finger" rounds that were considered "average" for the show, instead of 2, I'd have had a chance at it. Oh well. It was still a cool experience, and one that takes people by surprise when I tell the story.

3. I was on the fencing team at my Junior College. I was the top female fencer on the team. I really loved it, and kinda wished I'd kept up with it.

4. I graduated from highschool 6 weeks after I turned 17. I graduated from Jr. College 3 days BEFORE I turned 19. I ended up going to school for 8 years. I got my AAS, two BS degrees and 9/10ths of a master degree. We won't go into why I didn't finish my masters degree. It's still a little raw.

5. I have 3 kids. Their ages are 12, 8, and 4. I like even numbers.

6. I was once a Mary Kay Sales Director. I lived in a pink bubble and loved it most of the time.

7. I can sing in 5 languages.

Lindsay also added 7 random scrapbooking facts. I liked that idea, so here goes:

1. I started my own online scrabooking store about 3 and a half years ago.

2. I own more Basic Grey patterned paper than any other manufacturer.

3. I was skeptical about how wonderful Bazzill cardstock was. Then I got some. Now I have a lot.

4. I teach scrapbooking and papercrafting classes at Stampin Cat Studio. Lovin' that. I designed a year long series of classes this year called "Paper School" I give a "lecture" on some aspect of scrapbooking and then we make a mini-book using whatever technique or information I taught about. Coming up with 12 different, easy--yet somewhat challenging--MiniBooks that are chock full of products has been a little tricky. Still I really love working there.

5. I've been scrapbooking for about 11 years now.

6. I'm unhappy when I don't get to work on something papercrafty 'cause my life is too busy at the time.

7. I love to empower women through creativity. That's why I teach classes.

Okay....who to tag.....let's try: Tanya, Amy, Kenny, Shell, Karen B. Cami, and Colleen


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm just going to quit making promises....

Every time I talk about blogging more, and making the promise that I will blog more, I don't. So I'm going to quit making promises.

That business of my Dad's I referred to? It was a job interview. He got the job. I found out on Thursday last week. Spent a good part of Thursday and Friday looking at rental opportunities for my parents. Sunday got the assignment (which I gladfully took--wait--is "gladfully even a word? It is now!) to go check out the 2 houses they'd narrowed their search to. These houses are in Lebanon, OR, about a half hour away from where I live. So Monday I went to take pictures. Called 'em up and made my suggestion on which was the "better" house. (both houses are new, so really, it's all subjective). Monday night they asked for more pictures of the house that I suggested. I said gladfully--Sure! Tuesday morning I found out that my best friend dislocated her knee at the beginning of her exercise class and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance Monday night. Could I watch her kids when she found out when her MRI appointment was? Sure! I said (still pretty gladfully, I mean, she is my best friend). Right after I drove through a raging hailstorm and rainstorm on I-5 to get to the house (which is exactly 30 minutes from my house) I get the call that her appointment was in 45 minutes. Um, Gulp! I rush in the house, take 126 pictures in about 15 minutes, realize that I'm not going to make it back in time to pick up the kids at my gf's house, and call to find out where I can get the kids. Make plans to meet them at the hospital. FLY down the freeway back to Albany, and arrive at the hospital just as Grandma is parking the car. GF is in hospital, kids are still in car. Whew! I made it! I keep them for the next 6 hours. Gladfully.

I'm also busy with church meetings this week. Last night was my quarterly Women's group meeting. Tonight is a rehearsal for a special musical presentation I'm singing at. Tomorrow is a meeting for the yearly girls camp (I'm doing the Crafts w/another girlfriend). While I enjoy these activities, and believe in serving my church, I'm doing these things not so gladfully. I'm also teaching at Stampin' Cat this Saturday, which means I need to have my kits packed and ready, a spiffy color handout w/instructions and pictures (this is something I like to do), AND have the projects/samples done for NEXT month's classes. I also have to get my "lecture" (this is for my year-long Paper School class) done. Plus I'm late for two swaps. This is why I don't often swap. Sunday I go out of town for my yearly scrapbook retreat at Seaside, Oregon. I LOVE this retreat, and I LOVE the gals I go with. I really want to be organized though, and not haul all my scrapcrap w/me. The last time I literally took just about everything I own, 'cause I didn't know what I was going to work on, and wanted to have options. I only made one mini-album for my mom. I used something like 6 pieces of patterned paper, and a set of stamps. And for that I hauled EVERYTHING? Not this time. So that means along w/the service to my parents (gladfully done), service to my gf (also gladfully done), service to my church (mostly gladfully done, but less than the other), planning and executing my class, samples, and handouts (love this, I mean, after all it's my job and I'm good at it. It just ALWAYS takes more time than I think it will), I have to go through my pictures and plan what I will actually use for my Sunday/Monday and Tuesday retreats. If I didn't REALLY want to scrap, I'd just take a couple of books and plan to do nothing! (quite gladfully!, too, I might add). And I didn't even mention the fact that I'm on "Baby Watch" for some fabulously dear friends having their first baby. They've invited me to the delivery room to be Mom support. (Her due date was last sunday, so it could be any day now.) I LOVE that. That I'll do VERY gladfully!

Ah well, I'm sure my busy life isn't much different from anyone else's busy life. Just feels like a lot right now.

So I'll keep plugging away. Gladfully. And then it'll be next week, and something else will start the whole busy process again. 'Cause that's how it goes. It just does. And the best thing we can do is try our best to do the whole thing gladfully. As my Mom likes to say, "When you change your attitude, you change your circumstance."

And that's the other side

Monday, April 09, 2007

Some Pics

Here's me and my Dad. It was so great to see him, even if it only was for a couple of hours. Yes, Joel, H, and I are all wearing green. No, it wasn't planned, nor did we have our holidays mixed up. It was just one of those random family things.

And here's my lovelies in their easter finery. I had to laugh at myself when we got to church 'cause there was one other little boy in the EXACT same shirt and vest combination. And then I found out that 2 more moms had purchased the same shirt and vest combo for their sons. What can I say? We all have excellent taste!

Enjoy the day!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Let Me Sum Up

In the last couple of weeks I:

Survived a mostly stay at home Spring Break. I'll post pics later of some of our activities, which included:
  • taking care of 3 guinea pigs and 3 bunny rabbits, now forever known in our family as "The Wonderpets"
  • Seeing "Night at the Museum" for the second time at the $1.50 movie theater
  • Going to Beverly Beach at the Oregon Coast with cousins
  • Multiple Cousin Sleep-overs
  • Nintendo Throwdown w/some of my kid's friends

There's more, but that's a good start.

Also, my Dad showed up unannounced from Flagstaff, AZ on Sunday, April Fool's Day. He had some business in Portland, and just decided to drop by. My Dh and kids were perfecting their AFD jokes so when Joel said, "Your Dad's here!" I decided to prove that I wasn't so gullible and retorted, "No he's not! You're totally Lying!" which was immediately followed by, "Oh! Hi Dad!"

I've also been developing some new classes for Stampin' Cat. I'll show pics of those when they are downloaded as well.

We've also had some pretty successful potty-training days. I'll spare you the gory details, but it sufficeth to say that C is turning four this sunday, and I totally expected that he'd be wearing diapers up until he started Kindergarten. Lots of fights, little interest. But not anymore! Tee-hee!

April is my birthday month. I'll be taking my self-portrait this April like I've done the past 2 years. I'll also do another yearly portrait of my kids. Love April! I've set a goal to post more regularly in April as well--I won't say every day, but I will tell my loyal readers that things should be a little more interesting around here!

That's all for now!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Other Night...

I dreamed about Emily Falconbridge. I've never met her, in person, but I've read about her all over the blogosphere, and I've seen her work in a number of places. She was trying to get to Ali Edwards' house (who lives in Eugene, Oregon, about an hour south of where I live), and she was lost and getting a bit upset, and having the pregnant mommy ferocious hungries. She had her daughter with her. I got her some food, helped her find Ali's address, and even offered to babysit for her, telling her that it was okay that she leave her daughter with me, a total stranger, because we belonged to the same church. She was fine with that. At that point the dream sorta morphed away, with Emily happily on her way, and me babysitting her daughter and feeling all happy to help out someone in need.

I think I've been reading too many blogs.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Hair today, gone tomorrow

My hair is getting really long. I mean really, really, long. I haven't had my hair this long since the birth of my first child. I realized yesterday that I don't know how to have long hair anymore. Now for some backstory.

One of the things on my master list of "Things to do before I die" was to grow out my bangs. I had bangs from the time I was ten years old or thereabouts. The exact timeline is fuzzy, but the fact remains that I had bangs for well over twenty years of my life. I longed for the luscious, free-flowing no bang look. The pull it back in a ponytail ease. The no need for curling to look good, thus avoiding the occasional curling iron burns on the forehead. But alas, every time my bangs got long enough to hit the corners of my eyes, or fly into my eyes when the windows were open as we drove along, I said "Enough!" and cut my bangs again. Finally, after my third child was born, I decided to let my bangs grow at least to my jawline, not matter what. If I couldn't stand them when they hit my jawline, if I hadn't adapted to liking them at all, I'd cut 'em again. But at least I would have grown them out enough to satisfy my list.

Now, about three years later, I have no bangs. My hair is down to the middle of my back. I like it most days. I cut it myself. Partly because I can and partly because I don't want to pay $30 to get an inch trimmed off then ends when they get all yucky. I'm kinda daring myself to see how long I can get it. Sorta of like the end of Thelma and Lousie when they drive off that cliff, I'm heading into the gray area between nice-looking long hair and hair that's just Too Long. I'm thinking of letting it go a few more inches and then donating it to Locks of Love.

But back to my first paragraph: I no longer know how to have long hair. I don't style it. I don't even really own the battery of styling products I used to have. For a long time I didn't even have a hair dryer--I just let it air dry. The longer it got, the more of a problem this was. One Sunday morning, while facing the reality that I was going to church with wet hair and not being happy about it, I seriously considered using the reverse switch on my vacuum cleaner to dry my hair. Seriously. I ended up steaming it mostly dry with my flat iron. When I told this story to my best girlfriend as she dropped off her kids for a little service daycare, she laughed with me. And brought me a new hairdryer when she came back from her Dr's. appointment. And I was grateful.

So I don't know how to have long hair anymore. I'm usually putting it up with a hand-carved wooden hairpick I bought at a craft show or it's in the universally acceptable pony tail (which Entertainment Weekly tells me is now "out", so I'm not sure if I should keep wearing one or just stick with my hairpick). When it's down it's in my way. It's hot and sweaty. It doesn't feel right.

What it all comes down to is that I am craving change in my life. My hair is a metaphor. I love where I am and who I am but I'm ready to build on that and have something else. I'm subscribing to Domino instead of Better Homes and Gardens (although I still sneak peeks at that one when I'm at the library). I'm looking at short haircuts online. I'm going to see how long my hair has to be before I donate it. I'm walking close to two miles every day and looking to carve out time for a daily Pilates routine. I'm going to bed earlier and sleeping better. I'm actually having some success avoiding my much loved sugary/fatty foods. I've been 99% caffeine free for about 3 weeks. I want new CD's to listen to. I'm ready to let go of all of the books I've been hoarding over the years (that's what the Library is for, isn't it!?) so that I can have less clutter around me. I've done the initial purge of my closet and am ready for more. I've given away the baby crib and most of my baby stuff. I had a big clearance sale for all my local friends who wanted cheap scrapbooking supplies. I'm learning all I can about photography so I can start that as another stream of income. We are ripping out the dingy carpet in favor of new hardwood floors. I bought the big Scotch ATG 714 tape gun to replace my beloved Tombow adhesive. IKEA is coming to Portland this summer (which means it'll be about an hour and a half away instead of 4 hours! Hooray! My van has seats that fold flat!) and I am ready to chuck all my furniture and embrace a more Swedish way of life with funky cool stylish (but cheap!) things I can buy flat-packed and put together myself. It's almost as if, at 36-almost-37-years-of-age I'm ready to grow up and have the confidence in myself to back that growing. Going back to my word of the year: I'm ready to DO.

I'm ready for a change. I'm just not sure how to bring it about. Yet. But the fact remains that I am DO-ing, and am ready to DO MORE.

And that's the other side.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Feeling rather blah blecky right now.

I sent out about 25 emails to all of my friends that like to scrap/papercraft to invite them to a super clearance sale (mostly I'm just SICK of looking at certain papers and stuff) clean my house (w/my hubby's late night help) and no one came. I also invited the same 25 people to come to a crop at my house tonight. These are the same people that have been asking about a crop for a long time now (I used to have them monthly, but people moved, had conflicts, etc., so I stopped). I think two people will show up tonight. I'm pretty much wallowing in self-pity right now.

It's a good thing we cleaned up our Family Office (we don't have a family room, we have a family office) because DH is going to be ripping out the nasty carpet in our living room over the course of the next two weeks. This will culminate in the install of new hardwood floors in our main living area, the entry way, the eating area, and the kitchen. I'm very excited about this! (the old carpet was truly nasty, and on days where the house was closed up for too long, made the house smell like a combination of old dirt and someone else's sweat. Not pleasant). All of the furniture (piano, antique German armoire {or der Schrank}, 10 ft couch, dining table, chairs, bookcases, tv, etc.) will have to be piled into the office area for a short time while the floor is installed. The plan is for this to happen during spring break, when I'll take the kids and go away for about 5 days. We bought enough flooring (at 97 cent a sq. ft, I might add) to hopefully do the office area too, but that will wait for a bit.

But back to the blahs---after a couple weeks of C working hard to get negative attention (and he does get PLENTY of positive attention, so we aren't sure where this mischievous, PITA streak is coming from ) I was really looking forward to some fun with my friends. I was really hoping to move some of this scrapbooking stuff! Ah well, you've heard the sayings of "the best laid plans...." and what night. When I set this up, I wanted it to be something fun for my friends---I don't want anyone to feel obligated to come. I can't have it both ways.

Still, if you want some Bazzill and SEI buttons for $1.00, or some Urban Lily or Pixel Decor papers for 25 cents a sheet, or a few Bazzill Mono Mini Albums for $1.00, let me know!

And that's the other side.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Love Monkey Stamp

The monkey stamp is made by Rubber Soul. I have the "Monkey Birthday" clear set (so I can make "Monkeyed Around and Missed the Date" belated birthday cards) which I found online HERE. Of course, I bought mine at Stampin' Cat. After years of resisting the lure of stamps, I was quickly sucked back in. Oh well!


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Here's to simple Love Monkeys

I like to make my children's Valentine's cards each year. This year, I only have one in elementary school, and I sort of forgot that V-Day was coming up. I remembered in the nick of time and made these at about 7:00 the night before. YAY for simple! (and lovin' the fact that 8yo boys really aren't that least mine isn't....).

I was having so much fun that I decided to make some Love Monkey Valentines as well. Last year, I decided at the last minute to have a Valentine's Day potluck dinner with some of my friends and their families. We all had small children, and it was a school night, so there was no going out. This year we decided to make it a tradition. Again, it was a lot of fun!

I hope that you enjoyed your Valentine's Day. Have a Love Monkey on me!

Monday, February 12, 2007

on blogging and witty cleverness

I had the grandest of plans for my blog in this new year. I would be witty, clever, wise and entertaining. People would flock to my blog in droves and put links to my blog all over the 'Net. Ah well. Such is the realites of life. When I have time to blog, all I can think to write are the more banal details of my life. Things like: "Today I did the dishes. Again. And changed diapers. Again. And went to McD's/BK for french fries for my 3 yo who won't eat much else. Again. And.....yadda yadda yadda. Just not very interesting, I'm afraid. My life revolves around being a Mom.

That's not to say that there aren't some amazing moments about being a Mom. Like when your nearly teenage daughter comes to you for hugs and wants to just talk about her life. Or when your 8yo reads to you instead of the other way around. Or when your 3 year old's whole world lights up just because you walked in the door. When only Mommy will make things better and restore justice and balance to the universe. When your three year old who has struggled with expressive language for more than a year suddenly starts talking out of the blue and you understand what he is saying and can acutally have a conversation about things that are important to three year olds. When your twelve year old daughter wants you to arrange it so she can dance with the boy she has a crush on at the church "Let's learn to Swing Dance" youth activity. When everything is mostly picked up and quiet and peaceful and happy. When you are playing games and laughing and creating family inside jokes. Those are good times.

But are they clever and witty enough for a blog? Does that even matter? My blog first and foremost should be for me, right? I'm learning that just taking the time to write, to write anything really, helps me grow and practice my skills and to remember the moments that were breathtaking, frustrating, infuriating, tiring, beautiful, precious and wonderful. Just writing something can make a difference somewhere, somewhen. Writing something simply has to be enough.

And that's the other side.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Layout

Remember my post last November about "the Busy Season"? Well, here is a layout from that day. (And, as soon as I change some settings, I'll link you to that post....)

That's all for now!

Monday, January 29, 2007

some new pictures from the park

playing around w/my new camera and the 50mm 1.8 lens.....I took 195 pictures in about an hour. What a burst feature this camera has! It was fun!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Kits for Sale!

If anyone out there would like a kit for my "A Year in the Life Mini Book," please leave a comment and let me know. Kits include a handmade blank mini book (16 pages, made with Bazzill), 8 6"x12" sheets of patterned paper (the black and white Junkitz paper), 15 inches of ribbon, a "graphics sheet" of pre-printed titles and such, a customized Dymo Label saying "The ___ Family", and a VERY detailed instruction sheet (with pictures! and sketches!). Cost is $10.00 plus actual shipping. I don't have a large corner rounder right now, so the corners of your books won't be rounded. Sorry. I take paypal at {These are only a few of the pages in the album.}

Friday, January 19, 2007


So I can't really think of anything to say.

I'm busy today preparing for my classes at Stampin'Cat on Saturday. Seems like I'm crazybuzy....I need to create a couple of more handouts, and finish two mini-albums for my Feburary Paper School class. And when I mean finish, well, one of them isn't really started.

I had this fallacy that when I was a stay-at-home-mom, I'd have all of this time. I'd have a clean house. I'd have time for my hobbies. I'd have time to work out every day. I'd take lots of naps because I had all of this free time. Well, I've been a SAHM (well, 'cause of the store more of a Work-at-home-mom) for about four years now, and I've yet to see much of this elusive free time. I know I'm not the only woman in this situation either. Where did all of the time go?

For me, I know that a lot of my time has been slowly chewed up by lots of volunteer work. I work with the youth group at Church specfically the 14 and 15 yo girls. This takes the bulk of my Thursday nights and some of my Sunday as well. Plus there are various planning/presidency/organizing meetings scattered here and there. And quarterly, I chaperone a youth dance. And now I'm helping out with the annual summer Girls Camp, so that's another meeting. I do a lot with my church. I lead choirs, sing, help out whereever I'm needed. It's all good work, but it does take a lot of my time.

I'm also on the design team for the ScrappersChallenge yahoo group. This is a very large group that will be moving to it's own website in the next few months. While I am thrilled with this honer, it does come with specific responsibilities, like writing articles and working with monthly kits, and so forth. I moderate or help moderate a couple of other scrapbooking groups, specifically ScrapbookTalk and ScrappingReflections. More time. Small bits of time here and there can add up to a lot at the end of the day.

I also teach 3-4 classes a month for Stampin' Cat. I'm learning that this realistically needs 10-15 hrs a month prep time, as well as the 6-8 hours of teaching, as each class is 2 hours each. Plus the store is about 25 minutes away from my house, one way, so if I am dropping off samples, etc., that's an hour of drive time alone. If you total it all up, that's about twenty to twenty-five hours each month or 4-5 hours each week of work (or with me, it's 10 hours of prep time the week of my classes or about 15 hours that one week 'cause I didn't spread out my work) not counting any drive time.

Speaking of drive time, my youngest ds has been diagnosed with a Speech Communication Disorder. This is really not much more than a fancy way of saying, "he's a little behind in his speech." Not enough to be very worrisome (especially when you are looking at the long run of things) but enough to qualify for free preschool through the county (Yes! A nice side benefit of paying taxes). Well, his preschool is 25 minutes away from my house as well (the OTHER direction, so not really easy to combine trips) so every Tuesday and Thursday, I get to spend an hour in the car dropping him off. He takes the bus home.

Throw in a little volunteer work teaching music at the elementary school (I'm teaching one Kindergarten class this year), driving for taekwondo classes, scouts, grocery shopping, library trips, and so on, and then add on the demands of keeping house for and feeding five people, and you can see where the time goes. It's also important to me to have time for myself, for reading and scripture study. And for naps. Naps are good.

So where does your time go? Personally I hate the phrase "waste time." Time is too precious to waste. Sometimes we spend it too frivolously as well. I think as part of my challenge to "DO" this year, I'm going to pay attention to how I am spending my time. Maybe through careful budgeting, I can find some more of it.

And that's the other side.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

I thought of a few more....

DO take more pictures
DO make financial decisions from a place of wisdom
DO improve my relationship with my Heavenly Father
DO send handmade birthday cards to my family and extended family and friends
DO sleep when I'm tired and give my body the rest it needs
DO spend less time on the computer
DO sew more and beautify my home
DO support my friends and their hobbies and interests
DO start some kind of "girlfriends" club

more later!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


So Ali challenged the world at large to think of a word to sum up their year. She talked about how her last year's word was "play" and how it really blessed her life last year, and that this year, she was going for "peace." She's expecting us to have layouts and stuff talking about our word. I don't have a layout yet, but I do have a word.

I started first thinking about things like "balance," "action," "self," and things like that, to go with my resolution for self-improvement this year. For awhile, I was seriously considering "wisdom," since I want many of my choices this year to come from a place of wisdom. Finally, I decided on "Do."

"Do" is a very good word. It can be used to give permission, like "Do enjoy some refreshments." It can be almost a command, like in Nike's famous "Just Do It" ad campaign. It can be an action word--"What do you do?" "Go do something!" For me, as my word of the year it's a frame of mind, a motivation. What it boils down to is this: I want to DO things I have previously only talked about doing. I want to stop talking about things. I want to do.

Do start a lifelong exercise program
Do learn new skills
Do pursue my scrapbooking goals
Do yell at my children less
Do take them more places
Do make food choices from a place of wisdom
Do love my hubby more
Do work for long-held goals
Do start writing stories and books and essays
Do have more regular blog posts
Do sleep more
Do keep a tidier house
Do remember the wonder of it all
Do put action behind my dreams

I hope that all of my readers will give themselves a wonderful new year. With permission to do.

And that's the other side.