Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I Still Believe In Santa Claus

I honestly do. This is me in 1967 having a chat with old St. Nick. I don't know what I was asking for. After listening to tales of my childhood, I was probably telling him a thing or two. I've always been a bit of a know-it-all. Santa has been a life long friend to me and just the thought of him can still move me to sappy tears. I can not help it and have given up trying.
Santa really came through this year. After filling the stockings of everyone in the house, he slipped a little something into mine. It must have been him because my husband is the biggest Scrooge of them all. In fact, I'm sure he was christened Bah Humbug. He would never knowingly and of his own free will do the thing that was done for me this holiday season. He must have been bewitched, bothered and awoken very bewildered by the whole thing. For in my flat and empty feeling red felt stocking, I found a ticket to Key West FL. Why Key West you ask? My brother will be getting married next month in FL and I had given up all hope of attending. It just couldn't happen, I'd been told. There was no discussion or negotiation about it. NOT HAPPENING. So, how is it that a plane ticket found its way to my stocking on Christmas morning and for the exact location and dates I had prayed for? It can only be the work of Santa. It can only prove what I've known in my child's heart all these years. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! That is all the proof that I need. Here's hoping that all of you had a very happy and healthy holiday and that your stockings contained all your heart's desires.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Goodbye Old Friend


He was big and bossy and had way too much energy. He was nervous and excitable and tried so hard to be a good boy. He was a handful and a honey. We met him at the animal shelter when he was a mere 8 weeks old. He had kennal cough and they were planning to put him to sleep. We took him home and he took over our home. He was constantly getting out and running away. He grew like Clifford the big red dog. We didn't think he'd ever stop. For a guy who didn't stand a chance, he had a long and very healthy life, right up to the very end. He went quickly in his sleep.
After 12 years, its hard to believe that he's gone.

Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... Author unknown...

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Flippin' List...aka Allison's Christmas Wish List

1. That cute Sausage Baby.
2. "Harsher punishment for parole violators.Stan. And world peace."

sent by email. #2 refers to a movie quote. Can anyone name that movie?

Monday, November 26, 2007


There are times in life when you just feel that enough is enough and why do I bother anyway. There is also the fleeting thought "can I run away and hide". Then you hear about something like
this and you are reminded of just how full and blessed your life is. Blessed with all the crap and hassle and headache, because if you didn't have it, you'd have not much of anything and you better be glad for it. So, while this was not the warm and fuzzy Thanksgiving that dreams are made of, it was one of health and a smattering of togetherness and baby belly laughs. This photo represents the only 20 minute window that my entire family has been together in over a year. The camera was set up and the timer was ticking away when they pulled in the driveway. This was a pitstop on the way to David's mom's house and it was now or never. Now is always better than never. It doesn't matter that everyone's hair was all over the place and the baby had a stinky diaper, though Chloe might disagree. It doesn't matter that some people weren't talking to other people. Sit as far away from each other as you can but stay in the frame and smile, damn it. None of that matters. It only matters that we had the opportunity. To deny that opportunity is to dance with fate and I don't have any rhythm.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I'll never be caught up

I don't subscribe to the theory that I'm behind in my scrapping. I mean technically I am. I have boxes and boxes of photos not scrapped. But I also have albums and albums of photos and stories that I have scrapped. And since I'll probably take photos the day before I die, if not in the ambulance on the way to dying, I'll never be caught up, Right? So I've had this little gem of a photo sitting on my hard drive for almost a year. This event was not planned or prepared for and was so out of the blue as to be surreal. Sarah called from the University and said "guess what I'm doing?" I had no clue so she said "I'm in the costume shop altering Dierks Bentley's pants". Picking my jaw up off the floor..."How did that happen?" So she tells how friend Kenny (see pic) hired her to help him with this project of altering Dierks' wardrobe for the concert. The price tag on the Dolce and Gabbana pants was $1,000. Sarah had to take them apart and put them back together again and was sweating bullets the whole time. But she did a fabulous job and Dierks was very impressed because he couldn't even tell where she had done the work. He sat in the costume shop and chatted with her while she worked and then invited her to watch the concert from the wings. She was flying high and on cloud nine for days afterward. I asked if she got an autograph and was quickly informed that that sort of thing isn't done in professional circles. What do I know? Anyway, the digi layout here is inspired by the cover shot of the Nov. 2006 CK magazine. I made the digi template using that layout as a scraplift. The kit is by Eva Kipler at Digital Freebies. It is called Vanilla Chai. Love the colors in the kit and how they worked with this photo.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Field of Screams

Ah to be 11 again. Such a great age. Old enough to do stuff like this and young enough to still be scared out of your drawers. This layout is from our trip to the Field of Screams. They ask you, at the entrance, "how scared would you like to be on a scale of 1-3?" The boys yelled 12. I requested 2. We approached the entrance and what did my big brave escorts do? They shoved me to the front and hid behind me the whole way. So what did I do? I proceeded to yell "Pansies, coming through!" all the way through the corn maze. I made the chainsaw maniac snort. I hate to say it, but there is nothing remotely scary about a snorting chainsaw maniac.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Would you like fries with your cake?

Here's Alex's birthday cake. The burger layer is actually brownie. Disregard the messy crumbs on the edge. Those are gone now. Sarah had this same cake at about the same age, maybe a year or two older. It's pretty popular and easy to make. Those are real sesame seeds on top and the "condiments" are starburst and gumdrops, rolled thin and shaped to resemble lettuce, onion, pickle and cheese. Can you say SUGAR HIGH?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy Birthday,Dude!

Happy 11th Birthday Alex. It's so hard to believe that he's that old. My baby is now almost as tall as me. I know that isn't saying much, but still. He looks me in the eye and wears the same shoe size and he's just all arms and legs anymore. He is patiently waiting for his birthday gift from me. He's getting a hamster. He has the cage all set up and we made letters on the cricut to spell "her" name out on the side. "Marki" is on order and should be joining the family any day now. He specifically ordered a female teddy bear hamster.
He spent several hours one night digging through storage to find the old hamster cage from Brittney's last pet, cleaned it all out and set it up in his room. He even sacrificed his big clunky stereo so that Marki could have pride of place on his book case. He has definitely shown a high level of responsibility and I think he's ready for it. And in other news, he's pretty sure he has a teeny tiny pimple forming on his chin. Not my baby anymore.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

It's an odd year

We have entered the odd year. Katie is 23, Sarah will soon be 21, Allison just turned 19, Brittney is almost 17 and this month Alex turns 11. July is the start of birthday season at our house. July, September, October, December and January. But a shift has occured. They don't need or want the big parties anymore. Katie just had cake and even that took four days to get to. We are just never all in the same place at the same time anymore. Allison didn't want anything fancy either, so she had a simple cake, a trip to the carousel and a couple of friends who all stood around the kitchen counter and ate aforementioned cake. Yippee!! Party!! Alex is still indulging me. I love to plan and throw fun kids' parties. He still lets me. I added them up the other day and came to the whopping number 86. That's 86 birthday parties for my own kids. Now that does NOT include the parties I did for others when Sally and I had our party planning business, Partypalooza. I would have to consult official records to get that number for you. 86 birthday parties with food and guests and activities and prizes and goodie bags. Now I'm down to a mere two or three per year. That number will dwindle as the girls move closer to adulthood and I'll be left with one per year for Alex until he decides that he's too cool for that sort of childish stuff. Then what will I do with my time? I really want to open my party planning business and design and decorate the party house. I journaled about it in my Encyclopedia of My Ordinary Life album and I did an entry about it in Pam's CJ a couple of rounds ago. It's my dream to have this business someday. It would be the ultimate for me.

But I still have time. I have a party to plan as we speak. Alex wants to go to the Corn Maize (Field of Screams) with a few of his buddies. Then a sleep over and he's chosen a "hamburger" cake for the party. It'll be fun and noisy and exciting and exhausting. I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Its Very Serious Business

Another Camp Scrappy has come and gone. It goes by too fast. We arrived early Friday morning and left late Sunday afternoon and it felt like only a few hours had passed. I love this group. I love the fun and laughter and sharing and just the whole thing. Every minute of it. I love that if you are in need of an item you have only to holler out "Does anyone have..." and three or four of them will shoot up into the air for you to select. Love that. I love the Chinese gift exchange and all the sneaky stealing. I love Trading Pages and the tears and laughter at the big reveal. I love the page contest and voting and seeing all the wonderful creations that everyone has worked all weekend to create and I love the big announcement of who won the contest and will be our free guest for the next year. I love all the help and support and that everyone pitches in to make, serve and clean up the meals and that they all stay late to help vacuum and sweep and move tables and load other people's belongings into the cars. Love it. Love it all. Love its guts. Can't wait for January and do it all again.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Much To Do About Something

To Buy... DONE
Black ink
Hersey's Kisses

To Do... DONE
Print logo transfers for t-shirst
Print journaling
Finish altering Frapee' bottles
Dump camera memory card

To Pack...
Cutting Mat
Frapee' bottles
gift for gift exchange
Huge zip top bags for page kits

Week at a glance, home to work on Camp stuff, DeeDee's jewelry party
Tuesday...Walmart (bright and early), work, home to work on Camp stuff, clean house

Wednesday... work lunch, work dinner, die of exhaustion lunch, home to do laundry, Camp shopping with Sally in evening, load suburban with camp stuff. Grey's Anatomy.
Friday...take Alex to school and hit the road.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Alas, it was not to be

Elton John tickets sold out in about a half hour. Thousands of disgruntled fans were turned away empty handed. So, I will console myself with wine coolers at Camp Scrappy. All is well.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Click your heels together three times

And Wish Me Here:

Yes, its the first night of Camp Scrappy. Yes I would have to drive back to town and then back to camp. Yes, I would have to leave my campers unattended for several hours. SO THE HELL WHAT? Its only 30 miles to town. They are all adults who only require that food be provided. They can heat it up for themselves. When the notice first came out that he was coming to town, I said "If the tickets are under $100, I want to go". Guess what? The tickets range from $67-$97. If that isn't a sign from above, I don't know what is. They have some screwy louie way of getting the tix though. On Tues, you line up to get a numbered wrist band. On Wed. you line up in numerical order to get your tix. BUT, you can also buy online or over the phone. Well the phone is out of the question, and I'm not lining up twice to see anyone in concert, but I'll attempt online purchasing. If I am able to get on the site, that'll be the last sign I need that I should be at that concert. I'm dying here. I love Elton and can't believe that he's coming. I can just hear him talking to his promoter...."Missoula what? I wasn't aware that my career was in the toilet." Nevermind, Elton, we love you. We are deserving and hardworking people. This little detour won't harm you in any way. Oh, and Elton, I'll feed you awesome Asian food. It's only a hop skip and jump over the river to my own personal restaurant.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Fire Update and other stuff

A few cooler days and some wind and a bit of rain really helped to clear out the smoke. The cooler temps, increased humidity and that little bit of rain have also helped the fire crews out on the front lines. The fires still burn, but are a little more in hand now. We are not out of the woods yet, though. Hotter temps and still no "real" rain in the forecast mean we could be fighting the fires for some time to come.

Other stuff includes Katie and Dani moved in on Thursday and we are settling into baby mode at the P household. Katie is back on the RW rotation and she's been added to the chore chart. Who says you can't go home?

Tomorrow night is Sundaes in the Park (meet the neighbors/say good bye summer/ welcome home Val) I have 40 RSVPs so far. Pretty fun. Everyone is talking about it. I was stopped by a couple more neighbors at the mailboxes today. It doesn't take much to entertain this bunch, apparently.

Monday is the first day of classes for Sarah and Allison. They are both pretty excited. Did I mention they both made the Dean's list last semester? They did. Pretty proud of them for that.
Sarah has a payed position in the costume shop. She's very happy about that. She's still working for us and her costume job ends at 5pm every day. So happy happy, joy, joy.

Sept 4 is first day of school for Alex and Brittney. Gotta get the school shopping done next week and then we'll be set.

Sept. 28 is Camp Scrappy and I'm really stoked about that but then this morning I look at the newspaper and what do I see? Elton John is coming to town on Sept. 28. WTH? They announce this earthshattering news a mere month in advance? Who's in charge? I have issues. Would it be totally shitty of me to leave my campers on Friday night and go to the concert? I would only have a half hour drive. I'm seriously considering it. It will all depend on the cost of the tickets. If they are over $100 I won't even think about going. Why do I think they'll be over $100? Anyway, that's my life in the nuthouse.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm Not a Smoker

But you'd never know it if you looked in my lungs lately.

Remember my gorgeous view?


Well, the latest fire in the area, the Black Cat, has the entire valley just socked in with smoke.

My view now looks like this .


Visibility is less than a half mile. What does this mean? Well, according to the Health Department, it means you should not be outdoors. You certainly shouldn't be exerting yourself outdoors. So you can bet that I'm not. Not outdoors and not exerting myself. Hey, the Health Department said so. The proof is right here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Who doesn't love a good freebie?

I'm totally hooked on free digi kits and templates. Have you tried the digi templates yet? OMG they are too fun. Now don't for one minute think that using a digi template is really that artistic. You do have to pick the papers and embellishements but other than that you just have to show up and click. I've been in a bit of a funk creative wise lately and this has been the answer to my scrappy woes. In fact last night I attempted to sit with friends and paper scrap and I almost couldn't do it. Almost...I did complete one page, but that was it. So today I sit down and knock out two. Hmmmm. Me thinks that I'll just do this until the paper fairy comes to visit again.

Anyway. Here are some that were done with free kits and templates.

Lovin' the Freebies this week.
Some of my favorite freebie sites are

Shabby Princess
Digital Freebies
Scrap Outside The Box
You can find loads of fun stuff at these sites.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Its a Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Dani's in the house. Of course so are her parents, but Dani's in the house. What bright little spot of sunshine she is. She currently likes to pull hair, bite the eyeballs of her stuffed frog, slobber and drool, kick and squirm, and delight us all with her sweet baby antics.
The aunties and uncle are in mad competition for her attention and sometimes she becomes a bit overwhelmed by it all resulting in a brief thunderstorm of tears followed almost immediately by sunny smiles and coos. Such a funny monkey.
That's about all for today, but did I mention that Dani's in the house?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Time Flies

Well, I've just enjoyed my first weekend at home in a while. What did I do? Walked the dogs, mowed the yard, tidied up and SCRAPPED. Digital...but still.

A couple of these I did over the course of the week. I hadn't scrapped in way too long. I guess it helps to get out and do something and take some photos. It also helps to have cool new downloads to ...yes, download. It gets the juices flowing. Now that I've broken the ice that had frozen over my brain, I can start to think about Laura's, CJ. It's Truth or Dare and Madeline picked my Truth. I don't think I can post it, but lets say that it made me think really, really hard and that sorta hurt. But I figured out what I'm going to do. Now for the Dare...again, Brain Fart and some pain. I'll get it, I'm sure, but ouch. Anyway, I'm back in the saddle for a little bit and its pretty good.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A Weekend In Paradise

Ok, my version of paradise and someone else's might not be exactly the same, but it was paradise none the less. My cabin. My happy place. Where I feel the most ME. Where I dream of being all year long. Where I would love to squirrel away all by myself for as long as I could stand to not have a decent shower. I've thought of buying or building a cabin of our very own much closer to home, but how could that ever be as good as this one? Would it be tucked way back in the woods away from everyone and everything else? Would it have that cabin feel? I don't think its possible. To me and my family this place is just magical. The history that swirls around it is palpable. We gave Gracie a bath in the same basin we've all had baths in. Her cabin baptism, if you please. To think that my mom got a bath in there, then me and Molly in her time and my kids and now Grace. I'm trying to scheme a way to get Dani up there during their time here. She needs a cabin bath too. Sarah, Allison and Alex came along this time. Molly and Grace followed in their car. Mom, Dad, and Molly's Dad and stepmom came up for Saturday. Sarah decided to go home with Mom and Dad and we met them on Monday to trade Sarah for Alex. So Alex is having his week with the grands. That left Allison and Alex to play and amuse themselves on Sunday. They spent the whole day down at the creek, building a "raft". Isn't it wonderful that in this day of technology two kids can entertain themselves for hours and hours on and in a creek? For some reason all thoughts of TV, computer, internet, telephone etc fly right out of our heads when we drive through that gate. We don't miss any of it at all. The only thing that I'd like to change at the cabin is the hot water situation. We must haul the water from the creek, sift out the organic matter, and heat it on the coleman stove (the wood stove is just too hot in summer). To do all this for a cuppa or in prep for dishwashing is the only thing I'd change. I don't even really want to have hot "running" water. Just a means of storing hot water. I need to look at those things that caterers use. I might need to buy one. Oh and a way to keep stuff cold longer than a day or two. Then it would be perfect. We experienced the great ice debacle of 2007. We had ample ice (if the temp is in the normal range). But the temp was not in the normal range and our ice supply dwindled too quickly. Thankfully the parents left their ice with us, but we still could have used more. We drove 6 miles to the next town to the north. No Ice...go south. We drove 12 miles to the next town to the south. No Ice for you....the owner died and we can't make the ice fast enough. WTH? we spent the rest of the weekend cracking ourselves up over how the death of Bob, of Bob's Bar and Grill, could have had any impact on their ability to produce ice. Did Bob have the recipe? Was Bob the official ice tray filler? Where they keeping Bob on ice for some reason? We laughed until we almost cried over Bob's untimely demise and the lack of ice. But now we're home and I have hot running water and coffee waiting for me when I wake up and and ice maker happily churing out ice on demand, and I've had two showers and will probably have one more before going to work today. It is good to be home, but I miss that place already.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

IRL (In Real Life)

For those who don't know; this is Laura, who I know from a very special board. Not long ago, Laura asked if she could come and visit me. Absolutely and without question; YES. Its a long drive. Over 10 hours, but she did it. We had the best time. We chatted like we'd always been together. We toured some interesting local attractions and scrapped a bit and just talked ourselves silly. My "by-the-rules" kid wasn't too sure about inviting an internet aquaintance to our house. She teased us pretty good about it. Afterall, we tell our kids not to talk to strangers online and don't give out too much personal info and all that. But Laura and I have been on the same board for so long that we just "knew" each other. She did tell the kids that she left the axe in the car. LOL This was such a fun time. Now we're talking about getting more of us together next summer for a weekend on the west coast. I can hardly stand to wait that long. I wonder if the others will bring their axes.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Digi Learning Curve

I just downloaded Jessica Sprague's free digital kit Strawberry Lemonade , then I received this photo of Dani at 4 months. They seemed made for each other. She's on an outing to the park with her mom and a play date. She just looks so rosy and pink in the photo. I played around with making my own corner rounder. The ones I wanted to download aren't compatible with my version of PS7, so I fiddled around and made my own. It's OK, but not perfect. I can't apply drop shadow to those areas because the little white corner shows up. But its OK for now, until I figure out a better way. I also learned to manipulate text and added it to the flowers in the pattern paper and also the flower sticker. This layout was certainly a learning experience for me today. The true test will be when I print it out.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Road Trips

We went to see Sarah on Sunday. We'd wanted to go to the Museum of the Rockies for quite some time and this was the time. Sarah is starting her second week with Shakespeare in the Parks and was running low on food. We had some stuff packed up to send to her and then decided that we should just deliver it personally. It was a good day in the end. There was a major bump before we even got out the door but that was all settled and we were able to proceed on our way.

So the museum is pretty cool. Lots of dinosaur and native american stuff to see but this summer they also have the King Tut exhibit and some orignal Picasos on display. We thoroughly enjoyed every inch of the museum and the Living History Farm next to it. This big guy out front is "Big Mike". Pretty impressive huh? More photos and details later.

Friday, May 25, 2007

a little 2peas Meme

a little 2peas Meme
From Sophia's 2 peas Meme challege by way of Laura
Your home meme: Ranch, Rambler, 2 story, More: Ranch with full finished basement.

Siding: composit, supposed to look like wood.

Garage attached or detached: Attached

Number of Bedrooms: 5

Number of bathrooms: 3 full baths

Best extra in your home: bonus room that is now my craft room

Favorite room in your home: Above mentioned craft room, closely followed by my bedroom

Last room you purchased something for: my craft room again

Worst piece of furniture: the old chairs to the table in the family room. My mom had them when I was a kid. OLD CHAIRS

Style (Country, Old Word, Pottery Barn, Primitive, Traditional, Hand-me Downs): Traditional with a hint of hand me down

Clean and Organized, Cluttered and Chaotic, Clean but lived in: Clean but lived in with cluttered kids' rooms

How long have you lived there: 9 years this fall

Your dream home or a step along the way: Not my dream home, but I'd be happy if it were my last home.

Photo of your favorite room: Since my craft room isn't completely done, I'll post my bedroom.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Allie Mallie

What a great kid. She's just finished her first semester at the University. She was so nervous to register and go through orientation and all that it entails. But here she is, fresh out of finals with top marks and so happy and proud of herself. She has already registered for fall classes and has her book list printed out. She's planning to buy books in the next week or two and spend the summer "getting a head start". I can not wait to see what she makes of her life. With her diligence and attention to detail and unwavering sense of responsibility, she'll be the best at whatever she puts her brain to. This is the kid that you never have to tell twice. Never need to remind or nag or pester about anything. Her chores are just done. Her homework is done. Whatever is on her to-do list is done. She's just that way. Nothing I did. She's wired like that. This layout is Allison and Miss Chloe having a snug on the couch. Chloe is devoted to Al and Al is equally devoted to Chloe. She takes better care of her than some people take of their children. Only the best for Miss Chloe. To think that Al wanted a little fawn pug forever and then Miss Chloe needed a home and found us. Miracles do happen, don't they? The other reason for this layout is to secretly document Allison's second round of orthodontic treatment. She had braces a few years ago, then got them off. A growth spurt sent her jaw out of alignment and she needed to go back into braces in preparation for corrective jaw surgery. This photo is taken a couple months after the surgery and before the braces came off for good. It's hard to believe that a milimeter or two can make such a huge difference in someone's life.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

And The Winner Is......

No Freakin' Way!!! So every week I get a cheerful little email from Digital Freebies announcing their new digital kits and free add ons. So I got an email last week announcing Nathional Scrapbooking Day contest. It read:

Feel like scrapping this weekend? Then I have a contest for you! Digital Freebies is having a layout contest!Entries can be entered in 1 of 3 different categories: Digital Layout (fully digitally created), Hybrid Layout (layout containing digital kit pieces, printed and used in paper scrapping), and Cards (digital or hybrid). The majority of the papers/elements used on the layout/card MUST be CURRENT Digital Freebies products. This is a great time to go shop, as we are having a 50% off sale in the Boutique right now!Prizes???? Yup, we got ya covered:Digital Layout:Grand Prize: 1 year Digital Freebies Club subscription Second Prize: your choice of 1 kit from Angela Sharrow and Eva KThird Prize: Artistic Doodle-Do from BannerwomanHybrid Layout:Grand Prize: 1 year Digital Freebies Club subscriptionSecond Prize: your choice of kit from Jan Hosford and Leslie RaymondThird Prize: your choice of kit from Maria LaFranceCard: Grand Prize: 1 year Digital Freebies Club subscription Second Prize: your choice of kit from Lara PaytonThird Prize: your choice of kit from Maria LaFranceDeadline for layout submission is Monday May 7th at 11:59PM ESTHow do you submit?Just post your layout in the appropriate gallery! Digital Layout GalleryHybrid GalleryCard GalleryFine Print:Entries must be created mainly of Current Digital Freebies products.One entry per category per personEntries must be posted in the correct gallery by 11:59PM EST on Monday 5/7. Late entries will not be considered.Winners will be announced in the May 11th Friday Freebie NewsletterDecision of judges is finalContest not open to Digital Freebies Designers.

So, just on a lark I decided to enter. I had several layouts that I'd recently completed with Digi Freebie add ons and I loaded my current favorite, "The Cabin". I'd never posted on that board before and wasn't in the habit of visiting there regularly. So, I posted and forgot about it. I went back a couple days later and looked around and posted a few more layouts using their kit add ons. Then I completely forgot about it over the weekend. Last night I went poking around and I saw that the cabin layout had new comments. Its always fun to see what people have to say about your stuff, right? The last comment said "Congratulations". Huh? Congratulations about what? That I posted a layout? That I completed a layout? That I what? I shrugged my shoulders and moved on. Then I saw a thread announcing the NSD winners. Oh, lets see what's going on over here.

I had to refresh the page and look again. Hey, wait, someone made a huge mistake. That's the cabin layout in the grand prize spot. Uh, excuse me, ma'am, you've made an error. Hello, is anyone there? There's been a mistake. I'm sure its just an oversight on someone's part but......hello?
So the MU girls know that my initial reaction was to piddle in my panties. There was lots of silly giggling and jumping around. Grand Prize is a one year Digi Freebies club subscription. Freaky Deaky cool. Can you tell I never win anything. Well, I take that back. I did win a stone muffin pan at a Pampered Chef party once. Oh, and I did win "Queen of the crop" at Tammy and Ouida's Valentines crop. Ok, so I'm a lucky SOB. Want me to pick your Lotto numbers for you?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's/Brother's Day

This has become a tradition at our house. Alex lets me sleep in and helps to make me breakfast in bed. This year it was a bowl of Capt'n Crunch with Crunchberries, a slice of left over pizza from the night before, and an assorment of dried fruits from the fruit and nut mix Thom buys at Costco. I got three banana slices, a piece of mango and several dried pineapple chunks. Oh and a piece of dried strawberry. Now I told Alex, the night before, that the coffee would be ready when he woke up, but he was all in a flap about not knowing how to make it. The girls said they didn't know how either. pilot. It makes itself, just pour and serve. Thankfully, Thom woke up to save the day and I had my coffee. I got started on my bowl o'cereal and then Alex came in to crawl in with me. This is the Brother's Day part of the morning. He coyly looks at me and asks, "is there anything you don't plan to eat?" I said, "you can have the pizza". So he wolfed that down. I said "could you please help me finish the cereal?" He was shocked. Who doesn't love a sugarladen bowl of Capt'n Crunch first thing in the morning? So he ate that. I had two cups of coffee and a couple pieces of dried fruit and I was good to go. He finished the rest. Allison cleaned the upstairs bath to within an inch of its life. Sarah presented me with a versamark pen and multi tool scrappy thing. Sort of a McGyverish tool. Very cool. Brittney didn't openly loathe me for several hours. Katie sent an ecard and then called so I could "talk" to Dani and hear about Katie's very first Mother's Day. I chatted with Mom who only just realized that you cannot talk on the cell phone while driving through the wilds of Montana on your way to see your baby boy and his betrothed. She kept going through dead zones and trying to call back.....for 2 hours. We did finally have a good chat and then they pulled up to Heather's house where Carl's truck was parked cozily in the driveway and I ceased to exist in her universe again. LOL Alex and I mowed the lawn. First time for him. He was skiddish at first, but finally was willing to push it alongside me. It'll be a while before he's on his own, but it was a good first step. All in all a good day. I hope everyone had an equally enjoyable time yesterday.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Sarah at 20

Alright, she turned 20 in January and I'm only just getting around to this layout and post. Sue me. Anyway, she's 20. She's excelling in college, loving her major (theater costume design) and has her first boyfriend. She's in and out and all over the place. She's really living the college life in the most positive way. She has been offered a summer job in another town with the Shakespear in the Parks theater company. She is so excited about this. Apparently, its nearly unheard of for a person just beginning her major to receive such an offer. She spent the last few days assembling her portfolio and writing cover letter and resume. Her attention to detail is nearly unnatural. She's just so "all that and a bag of chips." I'm having a bit of a hard time coming to terms with her leaving, if only for a couple months. How strange that will be. I rely on her quite a bit in the summer to drive people here and there and to work for me so I can be home with Alex. But more than that, I'll just miss her. The way she talks through every show we try to watch. The way she leaves the hall light on until the wee hours while she burns the midnight oil. The way her keys click in the lock and the necklaces she has hanging on her bedroom doorknob rattle the announcement that she's finally home for the night. She's 20. She's the full meal deal. Looks, brains, personality and talent oozing from every pore. She's Sar the Bear. She's 20.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

2 months

This layout is darling Dani at two months. By this posting she's closing in on three months. How, may I ask, is it possible that she is only three months old? It seems that she's been with us forever. On the other hand, how is it possible that she's already three months old? Such a time warp.
She is fat and happy and healthy. She's over 12 pounds and 25+inches long. What a little pork chop. Allison calls her the sausage baby. She's called her that from the first day. She is a sausage baby, but we don't want her to get a complex.
In a few short months she and Katie will be moving back home. They'll get an apartment and wait out David's deployment here instead of being stuck somewhere all alone. A hard situation for them but better then the alternative. We can hardly stand ourselves for the excitement of having them here. It could happen as early as July, but certainly by the end of summer, if all goes as expected. Poor David. I feel bad for him, as he is head over heels for those two girls and will be very lonely while away. We'll just have to take lots of photos and video and make sure to keep him up to date on all the new little goings on.
Digi kit is Shabby Princess "Vintage Flowers"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Prayers for those.....

Just so terribly saddened by the tragedy at VT. What a waste of life. I've been reading others' views on the situation and in some circles there is a bit of hysteria over non US citizens and gun ownership and gun ownership in general. There's also ramblings about more security and cracking down and how to keep this sort of thing from happening in the future.

I think its dangerous to pigeon hole people. All immigrants are not mass murderers. Most of them are hardworking, law abiding individuals who came to this country to seek a better life for themselves and their families. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that how most of us got here? Aside from the Native Americans who were already here and those who were brought here against their will, I'd say we all fall into the immigrant category. I'd also point out that by immigrating to this country and seeking permanent resident status a person goes through a rigorous background check process that most US born and breds never receive.

As for gun ownership....I don't care for guns. I know how to use one, I choose not to personally. However, my husband, father, brother, BIL, uncles, cousins...all hunt. They have that right. They own guns. They have that right. They secure them properly and are responsible with them. I don't care for guns, but if they are purchased legally and cared for properly and securely, I don't have a problem with people owning them. I do have a problem with a disturbed young man, who has a known history of mental instability being allowed to purchase a gun. That needs to change.

I think at the bottom of this whole thing we need only focus on the fact that he was ill. He was most certainly mentally damaged and needed serious help. There are mentally ill people in our midst daily. We just don't know it. We go to work, we send our kids to school, we shop in stores and malls. The ill are all around us all the time. What makes a person crack? What is the straw that finally breaks the camel's back. Who knows?

Are we ever safe? NO. We are always in harms way, daily. We drive our cars, fly in planes, cross busy streets. We go up and down the stairs in our homes and handle sharp objects and cook on a hot stove. We use power tools and ride bikes and don't wear our helmets. We live in hurricane prone areas, or tornado alley or flood planes or on earthquake faults. We could be struck by lightening or drown in our own bathtub. We are never safe. So no matter what we do, it won't be enough. We will never solve all the world's problems. We just won't. That isn't to say we shouldn't take precautions. We prepare for what we can and then we get on with the business of life.

People like that young man are like bad weather. They come along now and then. They create havoc in their wake. We pick up the pieces and rebuild from the rubble and move forward. We pray for those lost and those who loved them. We learn a life lesson about not taking things for granted. We hold our loved ones a little closer. Then we move forward.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My Guy

Alex, age 10. Basketball player, skateboarder, juggler, unicycler, novice trumpet player, teller of sappy jokes, lover of pandas. This year (4th grade) has been a year of huge growth for him. He has decided that one can be a jock and a scholar. He has really taken to reading and enjoying it. He has decided that its best to get the homework done right away and have the rest of the evening to "hang with his friends" cuz in 4th grade you don't play anymore; you hang. He is often the voice of reason on the sibling front. He and his dad are buds. They fish and taget shoot (BB gun) together. That is precious time. Other changes this year are a sudden interest in grooming. Caring if the hair has been washed more than once in a week. When did that start? He's nearly as tall as me and we wear the same shoe size. He's all arms and legs anymore. This is a fun age. Still able to be a little kid but than remembering to be more grown up and cool. Next year (5th grade) will be the last year of elementary school; for both of us. I've had a kid in elementary school for 17 years. How do I make that change? Well, I don't have to think about it right now. We still have 5th grade to get through. But the wind is changing. Am I ready?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Answering Kim's blog challenge

Easter. Ah, the flowers are blooming, the bunnies are hatching and sad little children all across the globe are being dressed in Easter finery that is itchy, tight, stiff and sometimes, downright ugly. Case in point. This is poor poor pitiful me circa 1976. Notice my very first pair of real grown up panty hose. No one told me they would be slippery and slidy and practically fall off everytime I stood up. These were the days prelycra were the hose would stretch and bag and hang off your legs like elephant skin. They also made it very hard to keep your shiny white Easter shoes on your feet. Move on you'll notice my baby blue knit skirt and sweater set. So very stylish. Monochromatic colors are supposed to be flattering, yes? And shall we talk hats for just a moment? The Queen Mum had nothing on me that year. This hat was the rival to all hats. I look a little Sally Field aka The Flying Nun in this thing. And its covering my ever so stylish Dorothy Hamell hairdo. That is a crime if ever there was one. Add to that my wire rimmed granny glasses and you have a fashion plate to beat all.
One last observation before I sign off. Note the plastic Easter basket. Tiny little thing isn't it? Hardly big enough to hold a chocolate bunny. Shameful.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I love belated birthday gifts

I received a lovely album in the mail today. My sister, Ellen, scrapbooks from time to time
and she's been hounding me for photos for a couple months now. I couldn't figure out what
she was doing. Then this showed up. She used original photos. She didn't crop or enlarge anything.
I love the white border on these old prints and the tiny date stamps on the edges. The theme and
layout of this album reminds me of the little books about mothers or friends or life in general. Do you know the ones I'm talking about. One is called "The Blue Day Book" and we have one with a panda on the cover called "A Black Eye Is Not Always A Bad Thing". There little life lesson books. Thats what this reminds me of. I laughed outloud, I cried a bit and I just have a warm, buzzy feeling all over. Thanks Ellen. You made my day. And I love the way the slant of time makes childhood all rosy and glowy. But if I remember correctly, you were a major pain in my butt. But I love you anyway, and I'm the only one who's allowed to pick on you.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Flip Card

The finished Project

Cut a strip of cardstock 11”x2” ”
Score at the 2”mark
Score again at 3”, 4”, and 5” mark

Cut four pieces of cardstock 2”x2

Fold the strip at the 5" mark. One end will extend past the other.

1)Adhere one 2x2 square to the short end lining it up to the score line at the 2” mark

2) Adhere a second 2x2 square to the cardstock strip, lining it up with the score line at the 3”mark making sure to only put adhesive on the left half of the square. The right half should lift freely.
The squares will overlap.

3}Adhere the third square as in step two

4) Adhere the last square, cover the entire square with adhesive

Cut a piece of cardstock for the background the same length and about 2 inches taller than the flip element.

Cut a strip the height of the background
and about ¾” wide. Adhere this strip
to the background at the top and bottom
Only. Leave the middle free of adhesive.

Slide the flip element under the ¾” strip. Do not adhere. This piece will pull out.

Fold the flip element in half and adhere the end with the first square to the strip.

Gently pull the free end of the flip element.
The squares will begin to flip up and back
the revealing the square under each one.

Push back the close

That's One Way To Do It