Monday, December 31, 2007

Welcome 2008!

Happy New Year!!! I'm hoping to get myself back on track this year - that's my resolution anyway! I've been thinking about my 2008 goals and have decided to make these three things my priorities:
1. I want to take better care of myself - including more exercise, better sleep habits and of course - better eating habits.
2. I intend to entertain more. My goal is to reconnect with old friends by having someone over for dinner at least once a month.
3. I need to spend more time reconnecting with Kim too. We're only a few months away from having an empty nest and I'm feeling the need to rekindle the romance in our marriage.
I've got lots more - but I decided to keep it simple to start with and I can always add more later. I hope everyone has fun seeing the new year in and that all your best wishes come true in 2008!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Goodbye Santa - For Another Year

After all the work leading up to Christmas it's hard to believe how quickly its over. But all the gifts have now been opened and the cookies have been eaten. The radio is back to its regular programing and the neighborhood looks suddenly dark after getting used to seeing all the beautifully lit houses since Thanksgiving. We enjoyed all of it while it lasted, but it seems strangely liberating to have some time to myself once again - something I can't even imagine in the weeks before Christmas. I always miss the twinkling lights when I take down the Christmas decorations, so I think I'll leave them up for a few more days. I need to get all the decorations back into their boxes and up to the attic for another year. But tonight I think I'll treat myself to a movie in the dark with the Christmas lights on and I'll totally enjoy them in peace and quiet now that the Christmas rush is behind me.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

If I could have a special dream
Coming true on Christmas morn',
I would want the world to see
How His Father smiled when Christ was born.
The greatest gift the world has known!
So come on kids, look high and low
For all the toys you've dreamed to find,
But I believe you'll never know
A greater joy than Jesus' love inside . . . . (Amy Grant)

Dashing Through The Snow

This year we decided to spend some time over the holidays visiting with Kim's family in Omaha. Unfortunately, since I needed to be back at work on Wednesday and seeing as I refused to spend all of Christmas day in the car, we had to make it a quick trip up to Omaha on Saturday and return home on Monday - crazy, but really long enough considering the expense of staying in a hotel while we were there, not to mention the kids being bored stiff while sitting around at Uncle Doug's house or Grandma's apartment with us old folks while we reminisce and re-tell stories they've heard before and care nothing about. I was a little concerned Saturday morning when I saw the weather map on the news as we were getting ready to leave. It looked like we might be in for some bad roads through Kansas, but after listening to the forecast and looking up travel information on the internet we convinced ourselves that it wouldn't be too bad. BIG MISTAKE!!! What is normally an 8-hour trip stretched out to 11 very anxious hours ! The interstate became completely snowpacked and the blowing snow caused white-out conditions. At times you couldn't see more than a couple of feet in front of the dashboard. We saw nine accidents, dozens of cars in ditches and several overturned vehicles. Once we accidentally exited the freeway after mistaking the exit ramp for the road. Smart people would have found a place to stop and wait for the storm to blow over, but Kim was "a man on a mission" so we continued on -- often at the breakneck speed of 25 mph. For awhile I wanted to turn back, but there comes a time when it's better to keep going forward in hopes that you'll drive out of the storm rather than returning in conditions that you know are dreadful! Kristin summed it up best after waking up to the blizzard from her backseat nap. She sat up, looked around and exclaimed "Holy Crap!"

Friday, December 21, 2007

Cosmo Cricket Junkie!

I saw this card posted on Cosmo Cricket's Blog and I just loved everything about it! If I had to chose a paper company who consistantly inspires me, this would be the one! Their papers are just beautiful and the way everything in their line coordinates so beautifully wow's me every time - not to mention their wonderful sense of humor. I guess I'm just a Cosmo Cricket junkie!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Can Someone Tell Me Why???

Why does a cat ALWAYS have to get in whatever box you have out at the moment? Poor Jenna has been trying to work a very hard jigsaw puzzle for over a week but Gizmo is fascinated with the box and will not stay out of it! Even though she has covered her work space with towels, throw pillows and scolded him repeatedly, it seems he's found a new favorite place. There's no arguing with a determined cat - I guess Jenna will just have to adjust (or put the puzzle away).

Teacher's Christmas Gift Baskets

I love to make these little gift baskets as teacher's gifts or gifts for special people we know. I love to do baking during the holidays and I fill the baskets with goodies we've baked - gets them out of the house so they don't tempt us to eat them all! This year Jenna wanted me to give baskets to her two vocal music teachers and I also made one to give to my mother-in-law and a sweet neighbor lady. I lined them with green Christmas fabric and filled them with Snickerdoodles, reindeer poop (a/k/a buckeyes), Christmas cut-out sugar cookies, a small loaf of strawberry bread, a small cheeseball, paper plates and matching napkins, hot chocolate mixes, and sprinkled them with candy kisses and Hershey's miniatures. Everything gets wrapped in holiday Cellophane and glitzed up with curling ribbons, small Christmas ornaments and bows. I also hung one of my puzzle wreath ornaments on each basket, as well as beautiful tags I received from a tag swap I participated in at the Creative Scrap Shack!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I Love Christmas Time!

I love everything about the Christmas season! I love getting out the decorations that I haven't seen in a year. I love the twinkling lights and the beautiful ribbons and garlands. It's so nice to see people getting into the holiday spirit and doing nice things for each other. I love school Christmas programs and Christmas music on the radio. I love the parties with family and friends as well as the baking and shopping and wrapping. I love picking out Christmas cards and making our Christmas arrangements. I love giving gifts and decorating the tree. I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Puzzle Wreath Christmas Decoration

Puzzle Wreath Christmas Decoration

I made these little wreaths as a Technique Tuesday project for Creative Scrap Shack. I hate to throw things away so it made me feel good to be able to recycle an old puzzle and leftover scraps of paper. This is an easy Christmas decoration that can also be used as a small gift and it costs almost nothing to make. Directions for making the wreaths can be found at the Scrap Shack at the following link:

Monday, December 17, 2007

2007 Snow Ball

Jenna had a big day last Saturday! After a morning spent taking the ACT test and an afternoon appointment to get her hair done, Jenna and her date, Ross White, went to the high school winter dance - the "Snow Ball". They both looked wonderful and so grown up as they left to join a larger group of seven other couples for pictures and dinner at the country club of one of the parent's before the dance. Aferward they went to another friend's house for an all-night party. Jenna had a scare on Friday night when she tried on her dress only to discover she had lost enough weight to make the bodice hang obscenely low! We tried calling several stores to see if they had the same dress in a smaller size, but were told there were none in the Oklahoma City area. Luckily for us, a seamstress we know from church was available to do some last-minute alterations and saved the day by making the dress fit perfectly. These pictures don't really show much of the dress, but it was beautiful and Jenna looked beautiful in it. It makes me sad that my girls have grown up so fast, but I'm so proud of the young ladies they have become!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ice Storm 2007

Monday morning I woke up fully expecting an ice storm since they had been predicting it all week. I went to the living room to watch the news so I wouldn't disturb Kim who was still sound asleep. As I watched the news coverage it became apparent that this was going to be a record-breaking ice storm. Just as they were saying to expect "wide-spread power outages" our power went out. It was then that I realized I should have been busy getting things done while we had power rather than laying there watching the news! I had looked forward to a snow/ice day since I still have so much Christmas stuff that needs to get done. I even went shopping for all my Christmas baking supplies so I could get some baking done if we didn't have to work on Monday - the possibility of having no power never occurred to me! When Jenna got up we gathered all the candles we could find and we made a shrine of them on the glass-toped coffee table. It was really pretty and we both enjoyed playing a game of war (I won!) by candlelight. Later some of Jenna's friends came over and played games and worked on a jigsaw puzzle. By evening our power had been restored and the streets were more slush than ice so Kim went out and bought pizzas for us and Jenna's friends who stayed here most of the evening. We were only without power for 6 hours - I say only because many people are still without power a week later so I have no right complaining about sitting in the dark for the best part of one day. We lost a large limb off of our large backyard tree, and another smaller tree lost a branch on the roof of our shed, so we got off a lot easier than many people. It's hard to capture the beauty of the storm in a picture - everything just glistened. It's hard to believe that something so beautiful can be so destructive at the same time.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Another Stab At It!

Ok - so I didn't do so well at keeping up my blog. Here's to making another stab at it! From this day forward I'll try to do better! To begin with, ions ago my friend, Tricia from Creative Scrap Shack tagged me. I'm long overdue in responding but here goes:

The rules are as follows so if I tag you you'll know what to do!!!

Link to the "tagger" & post the rules

Share 7 random/weird facts about yourself

Tag 7 people & link to them.

Leave comments on their blogs, so they know they've been tagged

Random and Weird Facts About Me:

  • I am Number 4 of 6 kids. I have three older sisters and two younger brothers.
  • I love kitty cats - can't get enough of them.
  • I love to swim and used to race freestyle on my high school swim team.
  • I lost my mother to breast cancer over ten years ago and still miss her and think of her every day.
  • I love to go camping and hiking but rarely ever go since my family detests it!
  • I'm afraid of dogs.
  • I LOVE to eat cookie dough!

I know, I know - I'm not very exciting!

Christmas Card Fun!

Apparently I didn't buy any after Christmas sale cards last year. I was almost positive I had, but when I got the Christmas stuff down from the attic there were no cards in my stash from last year's bargains. It turned out alright though, since I had joined in a Christmas card exchange with some of my croppy friends and had enough homemade cards to send out to everyone. I have to say - everyone outdid themselves this year! Each card was beautiful (some were too beautiful to mail). I made lots of extras, so I could send everyone a homemade card. I had so much fun that I'm looking forward to making my own cards again next year! The inside says: Warm and happy holiday wishes from our home to yours!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

December DT Challenge

This layout was done as my Design Team challenge for December. It was a challenge to CSS members to either use the pictures you get in your Christmas cards on a layout or to use an ad that I posted to inspire a layout. Here is the layout I came up with. The red outline was stitched on my sewing machine. Pieces of Christmas card pictures were used to fill in some of the blank spaces.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

December DT Layouts

The December kit from Creative Scrap Shack included some of the most beautiful papers ever! These scans really don't do it justice or capture how rich the paper looks in reality. The scan also doesn't show the use of the stickles. I used it in the center of the poinsetta and to outline some of the detail on the flower. Can you tell that I loved this kit??? Well, in case you didn't catch that, let me make it clear. The December kit was awesome!!!

Kristin's First Christmas

This layout was also done using the Creative Scrap Shack's December kit. I had so much fun working with these awesome supplies. The papers were simply beautiful! I can't even believe these pictures were taken 20 years ago! It really seems impossible. They grow up way too fast, don't they?

This Poem was so perfect I just had to use it:
What a precious bundle of joy you are;
Cute from head to toe;
You melt our hearts with your sweetness;
Everywhere you go;
You're a special gift this Christmas;
Sent from Heaven above;
A perfect little angel;
For all of us to love.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Christmas Countdown Advant Calendar

This is an advent calendar made from a cookie sheet and matchboxes. The cookie sheet was painted with crackle paint and each matchbox was covered with Cosmo Cricket papers and has a magnet on the back of it so it will stick to the cookie sheet. The boxes contain candies and small gifts to be opened on the days leading up to Christmas.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Cosmo Cricket Creations

This kit was awesome!!! When I'm working with scrapbook supplies that I totally love everything comes together so easily and this was the easiest kit ever! The garland was made by using mod-podge on the bare naked chipboard shapes and decorating them with fibers, ribbons, ink and paint. I then braided rafia to make a long swag. I attached the decorated chipboard shapes and tied red checked ribbon to it, then draped it over greenery in my kitchen window.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

In a country as blessed as ours is, we often take our wealth for granted. It's so easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves and what we have with what other people have. We feel that we need more when in reality we are blessed far beyond what we need or deserve. If we could just focus on how generous God has been with us, we would be so much more content. We have plenty to eat, we're safe, warm and dry and above all else we have the love and support of our family and friends. I hope that today people will take the time to focus on how much God has done for us and realize how rich we really are. As you meet to feast and watch football with family and friends, don't forget to give thanks to the Lord for all he has done for us. May the Lord give you and your family peace and happiness this holiday season and help you to focus on how blessed you truly are!

Family Ties

As I was trying to go to sleep last night I began thinking about my wonderful family. Last week I went home to Michigan to attend my Uncle Gerry's memorial service. It was a sad occasion, but it was so incredibly good to be around these people once again. They make me realize how lucky I am to be part of such a loving and caring family who truly loves each other and would do anything for each other. When I was a little girl, we all lived within a few miles of one another, but as time has passed, people have retired to warmer climates, people (including myself) have moved to other states, and people have gotten busy - too busy - and consequently it has been a long time since we've all been together in one place. After the memorial service, my aunt treated us all to a beautiful dinner at a restaurant nearby, then we went back to dad and Nell's house to visit for awhile before everyone went home. We stayed until late that evening - I don't think anyone wanted to leave because it was just so good to be together again. We laughed and we cried together, and we reminded each other of all of our favorite old memories and funny stories. I thank God for putting me in this family and for putting such wonderful role models and loving, caring people in my life.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

In Memory of Uncle Gerry

Last week I traveled to Michigan to attend the memorial service of my Uncle Gerry. It was wonderful to spend time with family that I hadn't seen in years and also to be able to see Kristin again after three months. Uncle Gerry's memorial service was wonderful too. There was an honor guard who did a short and very interesting presentation and there were family members and old friends who spoke. I only knew one side of my Uncle - the family man and handsome younger brother of my dad. It was interesting to hear his colleagues reminisce about the businessman and friend that they knew. I always knew Uncle Gerry was very successful in the telecommunications industry. He was the Vice-President and General Manager of AT&T Australia, then VP and General Manager of AT&T Canada. After he retired from AT&T he was recruited to join Comstat International where he was Vice-President of Europe. But at the memorial service I learned from his co-workers that Uncle Gerry helped shape the telecommunications industry as we know it today. I learned that many of Uncle Gerry's ideas were incorporated by AT&T and later were copied by all the other telecommunications companies and became standard operating procedure for the entire telecommunications industry. His friends also spoke of how intelligent and highly respected my uncle was. It made me so proud to be part of his family. He will be missed by many.

Friday, November 9, 2007

It's Hard to Say Goodbye

My uncle Gerry lost his battle with cancer last night. He had been courageously dealing with cancer and the side effects of his treatments for over two years, but the end came quickly and suddenly. Uncle Gerry was my dad's youngest sibling. Dad was 16 when he was born, and he was very special to him. He was a very successful businessman in the telecommunications industry, but I will always remember him as my handsome and very "cool" uncle.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

November Design Team Layouts

I absolutely LOVED everything about the Creative Scrap Shack's November kit! The papers were almost too pretty to cut into! The colors and textures were so rich and beautiful that I couldn't get enough of them. For my altered project I painted, decoupaged and distressed some wooden pumpkins that I used as centerpieces on tables for a dinner I was hosting, and then as a fall decoration on a small table in my entryway. I also made three fall layouts - and still had paper left over for altering a small box and adding the rest to my "stash". This was the best kit yet!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Fun!

I totally love Halloween! I think it's so much fun to create costumes and it's also lots of fun to see all the little trick or treaters as they come begging for candy! This year Jenna wanted to go as a pirate to school (they encourage the high school kids to wear their costumes to school on Halloween) and to a Halloween party on that evening. It's sad to think that this is probably the last Halloween costume I'll be sewing for her since she'll be off at school after this year and then on her own after that. Lucky for us we had a beautifully warm and calm evening for Halloween this year and everyone had a great time at their parties and celebrating this fun fall holiday!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

CSS Technique Tuesday - Heat Embossing Instructions

For my first Technique Tuesday I decided to give instructions on how to do heat embossing. If you'd like to know how to do this easy and fun technique, the complete instructions can be found at this link at Creative Scrap Shack.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My Poor Sick Jenna

Wednesday was the beginning of Fall break and Jenna and her friends had been looking forward to their break from school. There were lots of fun things planned - a trip to the haunted corn maze, a haunted house, a bonfire at James Hazard's house - but on Wednesday evening Jenna came home around 9:00 and went straight to bed. She said she kept getting light-headed and felt like she might be getting sick. The next day she slept late, then met some friends for lunch and an afternoon hanging out at James Carrol's house. I was surprised when she returned home almost immediately and said she was feeling really bad and she went straight to bed. By that evening she was running a 102 degree fever and she slept almost non-stop through Friday evening. We called Barry - our doctor - but his nurse told us that they were seeing a lot of this virus and we could expect the fever to last three days and the cough to hang on for 20 days. By Saturday her fever was getting higher and she was so lethargic that it was starting to get a little scary. We called the Barry again, and he told us to increase the dosage of ibuprofen that we had been giving her. When I saw him at church on Sunday morning, he seemed concerned that her fever hadn't broken yet. He said if she still had a fever on Monday morning he should see her in the office. That night she broke down crying. It hurt so badly to cough but she couldn't stop coughing, she was achey and her fever had now climbed to 105 degrees which really was scary to me. We called the Barry yet again and he told us to alternate Tylenol and ibuprofen and to bring her to the office first thing the next morning. Kim took her in and after an exam and a chest x-ray it was determined that Jenna had pneumonia. She was given a prescription and by Tuesday she was on the road to recovery. Good thing too, because the Barry was going to hospitalize her if the antibiotic hadn't kicked in by then. On one hand it was not a great way to spend fall break, but on the other hand it was nice to have time to be sick without stressing about falling behind in school. It's amazing that you can be so sick and that just a few little pills can make you well so quickly. I Thank God for antibiotics and for good doctors! At first Jenna had trouble keeping the medication down. I asked Barry if we could change the antibiotic, but he said no-that it was exactly what she needed to be on and if she could keep it down for at least an hour her body would have gotten most of the benefit from it. It worked wonders and she was able to return to school for 1/2 days on Thursday and Friday before heading off to Michigan on a college visit and ACT test on Friday afternoon. I remember when my grandmother was asked what was the most important invention of her lifetime, her response was antibiotics. She said when she was young she saw several normally healthy people get viruses and die, but that after the development of antibiotics it was rare to die of pneumonia in this country. After seeing how sick Jenna was, and the complete turnaround once she was on the proper medication, I have a new appreciation for what grandma said.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Halloween Crop at Creative Scrap Shack

Yesterday was the Halloween Crop at The Creative Scrap Shack and it was a lot of fun! My challenge for the crop was to use the word "BOO" in the title of a layout. It didn't necessarily have to be a Halloween layout, and you could add letters to it (i.e., "Boot") as long as I could see the B-O-O! anything else you wanted to do on the page was fine. This is my layout for the challenge. The pictures were taken at a Halloween party when Kristin was six years old. It's hard to tell from the photos, but she was a flower in a flowerpot and she was so cute! It's still one of my favorite costumes ever!

Another Layout from the Crop

At yesterday's crop Jenelle challenged us to make a non-Halloween layout using only Halloween colors in the layout (black, orange, purple or green). I did this layout of Jenna for that challenge.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I Miss You Mom

Lyrics - To Where You Are (Josh Groban)

Who can say for certain? Maybe you're still here.
I feel you all around me; Your memory's so clear;
Deep in the stillness I can hear you speak. You're still an inspiration.
Can it be that you are mine forever love?
And you are watching over me from up above?

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star I wish upon tonight
To see you smile - If only for awhile;
To know you're there
A breath away's not far to where you are.

Are you gently sleeping Here inside my dream?
And isn't faith believing All power can't be seen.
As my heart holds you just one beat away;
I cherish all you gave me everyday.
'Cause you are my forever love; Watching over me from up above.
And I believe That angels breathe.
And that love will live on and never leave.

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star I wish upon tonight;
To see you smile - If only for awhile;
To know you're there
A breath away's not far to where you are.

I know you're there;
A breath away's not far To where you are

Supplies: Paper: 7 Gypsies Dunkerque and Montgomery; Basic Grey: Pious; Bazzill: Witch Hazel. Basic Grey Undressed Monograms and brown Maya Road twill. All from Creative Scrap Shack October Kit. Additional Supplies: Vellum, red ink and crackle medium.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Turning Over a New Leaf

I guess I'm not very good at this blogging thing. I've come to the conclusion that it makes no sense to have a blog unless you're going to actually blog. So I'm going to make an honest attempt at a renewed effort to keep it up-to-date and see what happens. Here's to new beginnings!

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Weekend of Fun!

I had so much scrappy fun this past weekend! My scrapbook buddies, Cheri, Sheila, Carolyn and I went to a retreat sponsored by Scrapbooks From the Heart. It's such a nice place and it was so nice to crop to my heart's content without having to worry about taking care of anyone else! The retreat is held at a Methodist camp in Hinton, Oklahoma. The rooms are more like hotel rooms than a typical camp dormitory. They aren't particularly plush, but they were clean and comfortable and more than sufficient. They provided us with a constant supply of good food and snacks and lots of scrappy entertainment. We scrapped a LOT and laughed even more. It was a great weekend with fun people doing what we love to do most! I completed my Creative Scrap Shack design team assignments for September and did my layouts for the upcoming online crop. I also was able to complete several other layouts that I've been trying to get to. This one includes quite a lot of hidden journaling about Kristin's favorite stuffed toy that she has had since she was a baby. The journaling can be found here:

Friday, September 7, 2007

Silly Girl

Jenna is so much fun - and so silly. The other night I was watching television and she came up behind me, stuck her camera in my face and told me to make a face. At first I thought it was just - dumb - but her laughter was contagious and we ended up having a lot of silly fun.

Monday, August 20, 2007

First of the Lasts

Today was the first day of Jenna's Senior year. I took this picture as she headed off to school. On one hand it's exciting - on the other hand it makes me sad. I'm so not ready to have an empty nest. I hate that my girls grew up so fast.

The journaling on this layout reads:

The First of the Lasts

When she was little we recorded all the "firsts".
Today we started noting the "lasts".
The first day of the last year - August 20, 2007

Creative Scrap Shack is Having an Awesome Sale!

Check out Creative Scrap Shack's big sale! Until August 28th everything at Creative Scrap Shack (except kits and gift certificates) is 35% off!!! The best part is that the sale includes the new CHA items! Be sure you check out the message board and the gallery while you're there! The Gallery has some awesome pages that are sure to inspire you!!! Also, you'll love the ladies on the message board! They are such a caring and fun group. Once you meet them, you'll want to join the group for sure!

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Hello to all. Thank you to my daughter, Jenna, for helping me get this blog set up. I'm hoping to keep it up to date, but we'll see how it goes from here! I think I have a lot to learn!