Friday, June 27, 2008

Kit vs Real Life, with a touch of tease!

So, I went to work today and my new cube mate, Pat, walks in wearing this really cute patterned denim jacket. I commented on how pretty she looked (red & white jacket with bright blue pants and a white tank - fabulous!!) but it took me until about 2pm to realize why the jacket looked so familiar: It's the same flourish pattern as this paper - which happens to be in my DT kit for June from the Zone! AHAHAHAHAHA
(Is it "Life imitating art" or "Art imitating Life?)
I wasn't sure how I was going to use this REALLY bright paper but now... I have it all figured out. This isn't the first time that she's inspired me with her clothing. My "Good Women" page that won me the CC Guest Design Team spot for July was inspired by her embroidered circle shirt... She laughs when I call her wardrobe "my muse".

Here's a couple of pictures showing the really cute birthday invites I made for Annde's 4th birthday. They are REALLY bright - I loved working with the gold and bright turquoise mulberry papers!

Lastly... since July is upon us, here's another peak of my CC DT kit... Enjoy!! Once again, doesn't look too much like my kit, eh? Just wait until you see the whole thing! Cheers!!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I just love to Taunt Y'All!!

What do you get when you mix a child's art project and several assignments from Pre-school? A heck of a time scrapbooking!! I wanted to scrapbook some memories from Pre-school for my daughter and I was having a hard time figuring out how it could fit on a page... I didn't have any pictures to use of her sitting at Pre-school working so I just kept putting it aside... Until now!

Using the July Starry Nights kit and that little art project, I came up with something that made my daughter say "WOW!". Hope you will too after the big REVEAL! But until then, here's a sneak peak:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A little teaser... of the CC July Starry Night kit!

Have you seen the Coordinates Collections July Kit called Starry Nights? I really love this kit. It has so much red, white and blue goodness, I couldn't help but fall for it! {I do have a 4th of July baby!] I had a lot of fun using it for things other than scrapbooking a US holiday though. I can't wait to show you the rest of my projects. For now, you'll just have to make due with this little teaser!

The Pros and Cons of Parenthood

Sometimes, it's hard to be a parent...

... When it's 2am (after you finally fell asleep around 1am because your mind just won't shut off) and there comes a loud, hysterical cry from the other room from your child... So you jump out of bed and race into the room to discover your child's face covered in blood: its pouring out of her nose and coating her hands. This time, she's rubbed it into her sleepy eyes, causing them to sting as she jumps around trying to wake up from her dream. Once again, she's got a gushing bloody nose - just like her father's had his whole life.

... When you finally get her cleaned and know that it could take (and this time, will take) over a 1/2 hour to stop - even with ice and pressure. When you get her changed and the bed cleaned up, you know it will take time to convince her to fall asleep. So you get her some orange juice to rinse the metallic blood taste from her mouth. And you lay down on her bed, rubbing her back for a long time until she finally drops from exhaustion, snuggling into the side of you.

... Then you go back to your room but you still jump everytime she rolls over, knowing it could the re-start of the nose bleed. Finally, you give up on sleep and get up several hours early just because it seems pointless to keep trying to fall asleep. So you turn on the light and grab a book. When you finally come out of your room to start your morning routine, you notice she is sitting up on her bed. So, you go into to tell her it's not time to wake up and she looks at you and says,
"Mom, I love you!"
before settling back down onto her pillow and falling promptly asleep.

She might not remember last night and all it's activity but with that one little phrase, you know that the lack of sleep is worth it. Once again, you were Supermom in your child's eyes, swooping in and saving the day (or rather the night!) from the evil forces. You were able to be there for your child and know that with your help, every thing came out all right. It might have only been a nose bleed to you, but to her, it was everything she couldn't control and didn't understand.

And you are once again reminded that even the cons pale when presented with the overwhelming pros of parenthood.

Monday, June 23, 2008

So lovin' my DT Kits...

Tonight, I was seriously enthralled with my kits. I wasn't sure when I sat down to scrap what I would come up with but surprisingly, I came up with 2 completely different pages that used a single picture layout. Can you believe it? Me - the person who tries to cram as many pics on a page as possible did 2 1-picture spreads in one night? Maybe some of you great 1-picture scrappers are rubbing off on me! Look for teasers to come in the next few days before the big reveals. :)

Do you like my new blog? I took some advice from a bunch of you and then spent some time tonight creating my new background. Very bright and bold, I think! I totally love how it came out. I can't believe how easy it was to create! This soleil kit by R Dickson is simply amazing! I love using it as my signature style for my blog. Very upbeat! Hope you like... if you do, leave me some blog lovin' comments so I know it doesn't hurt your eyes!

Well, off to bed. Can't believe it's so late already!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Tag!! I guess I'm it!!

Well, I guess while I am waiting for my mom (HINT!!) to get off the phone, I will follow up on the game of Tag (Round 5) I got last week...

Here's my answers:

1. 5 snack foods I love:
* pretzel chips with nacho cheese
* mini quesadilla
* fresh fruit
* popcorn - heavy on the butter
* cheese squares

2. 5 places I have lived:
* Los Alamos
* East Lansing
* Clarkston
* Waterford
* ... where ever we move after we sell the house!

3. 5 jobs I have had:
* Librarian
* Graphic Artist
* Waste Water Treatment Plant Quality Engineer
(not so glamorous, I assure you - in fact it was kinda crappy! AHAHAHA)
* Paint Quality Engineer
(I literally got paid to watch paint dry!)
* Automotive engineer

4. 5 changes I would like to make in my life:
* Lose 20 lbs. (wouldn't we all?)
* Catch up on my "Women of the Bible" study series
* Find contentment with my job or find another job which allows me to be content.
* Have another child.
* Lose my insecurity about being a "good parent".

5. 5 random facts:
* As a child, I liked veggies more than dessert
(Thank goodness, I have come a long way since then!!)
* My 2nd and 3rd toes on each feet are connected.
(birth defect from being a multiple I guess...)
* I can walk on the sides of my feet.
(VERY weak ankles from high jumping for too many years)
* I hate the word ELEGANT.
(You had to be there but it has something to do with my current job)
* The only team I have ever been cut from was when I was in 4th grade - I tried out for the competitive swim team and was cut because I swam "like a spider". I hated swimming from that day on... (I don't really swim in the lake, more like tread water and float!)

So, play along all you blog readers of mine! Post a link back to your blog so I can go read your answers!! :)

Here's to hoping Monday is full of greatness! The phone is still busy so I'm going to bed. :) Nighty-night, everyone!!

True Love and the busy signal...

Today is my parents' 40th wedding anniversary.
(shown here with my bro Jon, his wife Cheryl and baby Ben last summer)

40 years! That's a really long time! Not so much in our family - both my grandparents made it well over 50 - but I am still really proud to say that my parents have been married for 40 years! (Of course, me with the "bad memory when it comes to date" issue thought that it was the 20th of June, not the 22nd. I called and felt like a doodoo-head on that one!)

I really think that making 40 years is an accomplishment. I mean, they made it through raising 4 kids, multiple job changes or lack of a job entirely, 5 grandkids, a couple of wars, a fire that almost destroyed our home (in addition to destroying half my hometown), countless medical issues - whether it be one of them or one of us, and so much more... And next week, they embark on a cruise (of some type... not quite sure what it is...) from Budapest to Amsterdam, with stops in Germany and Slovakia along the way.

So, Mom and Dad - since I have been trying to call you for the last HOUR, here's to you on your anniversary. {Man, Mom!! Can you hang up so I can say "Happy Anniversary" on the RIGHT day before the clock hit midnight and I'm on the wrong day again?]

Lots of Goodies to play with...

So... I am excited! I finally have both of my Design Team kits for this month and they are VERY different... It will be fun to see what I come up with from each kit. One is more my style but the other is very challenging for me to picture a page with and that is usually when something really cool pops out!

This is the July kit from Coordinates Collections: very American and much more my style! I do - of course - have a July 4th baby!! I already have several pages plotted it out in my mind and the pictures already to go. Tomorrow night, I am going to get at least one page done...

This is the June kit from the Zone: really bright colors and strong patterns. I am not 100% sure how I will create with this packet - it's not really my style. I am excited about the little mini-book. What a great little keepsake to put my favorite Annde comments in! Hmmm...

While I was there, I did a little shopping of my own! I love the new October Afternoon stuff and the new Dream Street papers. Don't they just scream "SCRAP ME! IT'S SUMMER!!" I also picked up some chipboard and journaling pages to do another little mini-album. I am not sure of what yet - it will probably be a gift of some type but I am excited because it's so much fun to work with black chipboard and these fun Dream Street papers!

Stayed tuned to this channel for sneak peeks to the big reveal!! (AhHAHAHA if only in my mind!)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hey, my sister in law and niece are TV Stars!!

I got an email from my sister in law, Denise, who recently moved to Chandler, AZ so that her hubby, Bob, could fulfill his dream of being a Police Officer. Their daughter, Kira, has some health issues and with no family around to help out and a new job to worry about, Denise struggles with Kira being too sick for daycare but not too sick to stay home completely. Looks like she's found a solution! Check out the video (link on the right) - I wish more hospitals did this... the price is VERY reasonable!

Isn't Kira just adorable?!?! :)

Book Club Choices for June

Here are two great books for June... One's a little easier/lighter than the other but both were great. If you're interested, hop on over to Coordinate Collections Book Club and join in the discussion! :) Or - you can just leave a comment here with your thoughts! Enjoy!!

Book 1: The Last Summer (of You and Me) is a book about 2 sisters and their long time summer friend on the island that they spend their summers. Written by the same author who wrote the Summerhood of the Traveling Pants, this book is a good, quick read.

Book 2: The Memory of Water is also a book about two sisters. Years after the incident, these two sisters (as well as the rest of the family) are forced to finally deal with a tragic boating accident that happened to them as children, resulting in the loss of their mother. The book is full of "real life" emotions and twists and turns. I had a hard time putting it down.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

An Amazing Woman really makes a difference!

After all your comments about her needing to know, I finally sent Stacy Julien an email about the situation... I just tried to be factual on what was going on and not get into the anger or "you guys suck" side of things.

I really didn't expect any response.

I mean, the woman is SUPER busy already (just reading her blog and seeing all the stuff she does or is involved with makes me dizzy!) and I know how hard a time I have keeping up on email! I just didn't expect to hear anything back... I just wrote it as an FYI, not as an "You need to get on this"...

So, imagine my surprise when I got a response back... within HOURS!!

I was completely blown away! And it wasn't an "I have no control over this" email either... She was so sympathetic and understanding. And, she forwarded it to 2 people at CK and I got a response from one of them, Dana Wilson, within hours of receiving of the email from Stacy! Both of them were awesome and really want to help me resolve this. I think it will happen soon and this saga will be over...

Dana did mention that CK is launching a whole new website with better order tracking, customer service, etc... in a matter of weeks. So, hopefully this won't happen again to anyone else or me, if I chose to order another KOTM again in the future. I don't know...

I did decide to keep the kits I did order before I read her email: I opened the KOTM for June and was blown away by how cool it was. I know that Tracy and I are going to have a really good time putting this together... it was that super cool! Since I purchase the class on Big Picture Scrapbooking to go with this kit, I am going to have to log into that too to see how Stacy did her album so we have suggestions on what we want to do.

While I hate what I went through, I do think that it was a great kit. I'll post pics of how we do it after the retreat.

Oh - and another spin on the problem - it turns out I ordered 4 kits, not 3... So I have another June KOTM. I decided to do some good with this one instead of paying to ship it back: I am going to use it for a raffle prize in our series of Breast Cancer Crops for Tracy & Susan's 3 Day walks. That way, the money will go to a good cause. If you are interested in bidding for it, let me know or I can forward the information to you to attend one of our fun crops. We have one in July, possibly one in August, and possibly another one in October.

Ta-Ta for now!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

CK Updates with a bit of Chatter on each side!

I was going to post this really cool page I did last night today but I'm going to have to keep it to myself for just a little bit longer. I think I want to use it as part of my submission for Memory Makers' Masters... Anyone else out there up for the challenge of submission? I don't really think I have a chance - there are so many awesome scrapbookers out there and they do seem to favor the single picture layouts lately - but what the heck, right? You can't win if you don't try! So, I have 1/2 my application done and the rest already pretty much planned.

The page I was going to post was for Father's day and came out completely different than I had anticipated when I started. I just love working with new stuff and the Dream Street paper in the High Heels kit from Coordinates Collection worked so well with one of the vintage Hambly Screen Prints. When it's cool to post, I'll get it up. But, I will pose a question for you to answer: When was the last time you used Sepia pictures on a page? I did it on this layout for the first time and I love how it came out! It doesn't look as heritage as I thought it would. I love it!

Still no money back from Creating Keepsakes... My bank is working on it - it will take a few days to process the reversal. I finally got to someone at CK Customer Service today that was willing to work with me. Eureka! She said that they've been having issues with CK KOTM too... The problem I found is that the people who answer the phone/emails from the orders don't have anything to do with the KOTM side of the business... they deal mostly with subscriptions. ARRGGHHH!! Even the posting on the feedback on the KOTM site has not generated any response!

Anyway, she said that 2 sets of kits were delivered today. If I was to refuse one, I would get money back within 1-2 days of CK receiving it back. {Obviously, I will pay to get it there in a day or two instead of bulk which takes another week... } The 2 orders that they didn't ship but charged me for were not so simple. Apparently, the system takes 7-10 days to refund once they receive the complaint. So, they received my complaint this Monday (I called after 5pm on Friday) so I should see a check by middle of next week. Wow! It took them 3 days to take my money but over 2 weeks to pay it back? Some kind of fishy accounting going on there. So basically, I am looking at the fact that it will take me 3 weeks to clear up a stupid mistake that most companies - including the kit companies I order from - would have been able to fix on the spot. I am just soooo disappointed!! I was really looking forward to using these kits and now I don't know if I will even keep the 3 kits I did order. They were so perfect for what I wanted to use them for but I am not sure I can stomach looking at them. I do know that my KOTM/CK Media ordering days are over. I will stick with the awesome customer service at my favorite kits sites, QVC, and the local scrapbook stores. It's a shame because Stacy Julien designed such a great product! I just don't think I want to risk all this again... I did breakdown and finally email Stacy. I thought and thought about it - it's not technically her issue because it isn't her company - but I thought she should know so...

Onto a quick funny story: for Father's day, Steve decided he wanted BBQ ribs for dinner. So, I bought a couple of slabs and it was super yummy... but then there were leftovers. So, last night's dinner was BBQ pizza using the left over rib meat as well as BBQ sauce, grilled mushrooms & peppers, and blue cheese crumbles. Also very yummy... Then, I get to work today and I find out I won a free lunch from the cafeteria. Yeah!! Until I find out what the special was today... That's right, BBQ ribs! AHAHAHAHA I got a salad instead. Too much BBQ isn't too good for me... The only thing I can eat day in a and day out is mexican... Ummm... need me some enchiladas!

Hope all of you have a good day... it's just about time for me to mosey on home!

Monday, June 16, 2008

It was a Fabulous Father's Day!

This weekend was jammed packed with activities. I swear that we always mean to have a "relaxing" weekend and all our good intentions go right out the window!

For Father's day, Annde wanted to take Steve to the circus and Steve wanted to take Annde on the boat. So, we compromised: we did the circus on Saturday and the boat on Sunday. The circus was a money-sucking experience but it was what it was. (Annde wasn't overly impressed and other than the elephant ride, it was just "okay" to her.)
The boating was much better! There's just something about that first time on the water each season... and yesterday was the first time the boat went out this year. It was running in great condition for the first time in a really long time. We zipped around a bit, pulled Steve, Annde and me, just Annde, and Kyle (neighbor) around on the tube, and then zipped some more. Annde was totally into the bouncing and speed - she kept telling Dad that we need to go around "lots more times". The water was a little cold for swimming... so we didn't do much of that. It was still a whole lot of fun for everyone.
Here's some pics of Annde & Steve tubing... (doesn't she look so enthusiastic? She was annoyed we were going faster for her...)

Steve is saying today that "he's sore"... well, duh! He's not exactly young anymore. Besides, I was driving and let's just say that I am kinda mean to tubers... I like to speed up, slow down, and make lots of turns. At least he didn't lose his pants like poor Kyle (cargo shorts with a snap and zipper just don't hold up on the water. He was a really good sport about it all)...

Since it was just Father's day yesterday, I wanted to post some thoughts on that.
This picture (below) is my dad with my niece, Eme. I know that things between us aren't always smooth or easy - we don't have a lot in common - but I do appreciate him a lot. I was happy that last night, we talked for an hour and a half and didn't snipe at each other once. It was genuinely a great conversation. I know that I'm lucky to have a father who really loves us kids and grandkids... he might struggle a little bit with relating to us but he really does care. It makes me a little sad to know that Annde won't get to see him for a while... maybe Christmas. It's one the hardest things about living 3000 miles away. So, here's to you, Dad...

Steve and Annde had a really good weekend too... I know it's hard for both of them with him on the road all the time. He wants to be with her but can't and she can be very "mommy-girl" which makes him sad. I pray that one day, we can stop this whole "job-out-of-town" thing some day. I know that Steve and Annde's relationship would bloom! He tries so hard with her... so I was very happy that the weekend went really well. Happy Papa's day, Steve!!

One last thing... and this might embarrass Annde later in life. She's laying on Dad's chest last night eating ice cream (common love between Steve and Annde) and she drops a drop of ice creme on her shirt. She turns to Dad and says, "Brrr! I dropped ice cream on my boobie!" to which Steve replies, "Annde, you don't have boobies yet... you're too young!" (in typical Dad fashion). Annde looks at him and says, "I do too have boobies... They're just little boobies right now." I about fell of the couch laughing as Steve laughed but tried to look stern and say, "No you don't"... Ahahahaa He is really in for it when she hits those teenager years, eh?
As for the CK thing - still working on it... I got another email back from Customer Service saying that
Dear Ms. Patterson,

We sincerely apologize that you were charged four times for these kits. Our records show two of the kits have no items. We're requesting a refund for this orders. The order numbers 1213025587.068867, and 1213025120.006998 are currently en route to you. If you do not wish to receive the third order please refuse, once we receive this order we'll refund you for the third order. We sincerely apologize for any delay or inconvenience this has caused.
Customer Service
I got some great advice from Jen at CC that I should contact the bank and I made an appointment for this afternoon. They think that they can at least credit me back the money while they dispute the charges for me. I am still trying to work the Customer Service side of things as well as drafting a message to Stacy (blog) and Lisa (feedback at the KOTM site). This whole thing is just so freakin' ridiculous! I'll keep you updated.

Friday, June 13, 2008


So I thought it would be cool to buy the Kit of the Month for my BFF's son for his birthday. May's KOTM from Lisa Bearnson was completely kid oriented and perfect for him so I ordered it. At the same time, I ordered another kit for myself that I was pretty geeked about: June's Stacy Julien kit. Well, now it's lost all its appeal!

I am now the proud of owner of 8 June Kits and 4 May kits.... or at least that's what they took out of my checking account as payment. Unfortunately, they only sent me 4 June Kits and 2 May kits. Are you confused yet? So am I!!

Here's what happened... I put in the original order (3 kits today). I unfortunately did it on Monday when there was wide-spread power issues. I was on a stable connection and there was no issues while I was ordering. So, I got to the "confirm order" screen and I confirmed, printed my receipt, and went out to lunch. When I got back, I had FOUR confirmation emails in my inbox. Four? Yep... four. 2 of them were identical with 3 kits a piece. 2 of them were blank... Completely blank! They showed my shipping address, billing address, and thanked me for my purchase of ... nothing! So, I hopped online, grabbed the Customer Service phone number and called and was COMPLETELY flabbergasted at the lack of ability on the other end of the line. Basically, they told me that they couldn't help me - once an order was placed, it was placed. I would just have to "refuse shipment and send it back and they would credit my account".

Huh? I JUST ORDERED IT! This isn't a grocery store!! There is a warehouse somewhere that gets the order, processes it, and sends it out. It's not instantaneous! So, I wrote customer service an email and this was their response:

Dear Ms. Patterson,

We apologize, we are unable to cancel your order. This item has been sent to the warehouse for delivery. If you no longer wish to receive this item, please refuse delivery. Once we receive the item returned we'll credit you for the item. If we may be of any further assistance, please let us know.

If you wish to speak with a customer service representative, please call: 1-888-247-5282.

NAME (I deleted the name to protect the poor rep who got assigned to my email)
Customer Service

So, while I was annoyed, it was only 2 sets of kits. I was mad but not overly so.

Then I was doing my online banking and found out that CK had charged my credit card FOUR times for this order - meaning that they should have shipped me 4 sets of 3 kits. So, now I am pissed... I call customer service and I am told:
1. They only shipped me 6 kits so refuse back the second shipment so that I can be reimbursed.
2. They didn't ship me the other 6 kits so I have nothing to refuse back to get paid. Instead, they will "forward my complaint to accounting". Forward my complaint? Are you kidding?!? I want my money back and I have no method to do so!!

At this point, I don't know what to do... I am half tempted to hop on Lisa's blog and Stacy's blog and tell them to read mine. I mean, their names are attached to this kit and I am completely disgusted with this whole experience!

So those of you out there - what do you think I should do? Should I email Lisa and Stacy so I can get some action because I am really mad about this whole thing. Or, should I wait and see if Customer Service is doing anything correctly? Have you ever had this issue before? Stay tuned for updates...

Life's A Beach!

Lately, it seems like everything I have been doing involves some type of challenge about scrapbooking summer activities. You've seen the mini-book (below) for Virginia beach but I took the pictures and took a softer approach for Annde's book. (The layout is a little bit brighter than it is in real life because of my flash. It's really baby blue, mint green, creme and dark blue). Hope you like it!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Insomnia and dreams of a PEACEFUL Friday!

I noticed that I always seem to be blogging at the crack of midnight... I guess I don't need that much sleep, eh? My mind just has a really hard time shutting down for the night. It been a strange day... full of ups and downs.

Of course, work isn't going to well but when does it ever? One of my coworkers said to me today that she wishes she worked on the line at the plant I "service" for the customer. For once, I had to agree with her. In about a week, the plant will "go down" for almost 2 months - the best 2 months of the year - and the workers will be paid 95% of their salary to sit at home and do whatever they want. It's like summer vacation for adults! {Even when I had Annde and took a couple of months off, I only got 67% of my salary!} That's okay though... when they go down, they don't call me, whining about things so I guess I get a little mini vacation!

My hubby text paged me this afternoon when his flight out of Reagan (DC) was delayed for mechanical problems. Not out of the norm, I asked whether he would still be home for dinner. (Mind you, this was about 3 pm). The answer was this: "I have been sitting on the tarmac for an hour while they try to fix the problem. They decide to go back to the gate and we're stuck! We sunk into the hot asphalt and made a hole in the runway. Tug is pulling on us as engine revs but we are stuck. AHAHAHAHA" (I love the fact that we both have crackberries now and can communicate in full words like the adults we are!) How many times have you been stuck for the plane sinking into the pavement. I told him to take pictures with his phone (decent camera) and his response was "Little old lady asleep on my arm - can't get to the window from my aisle seat". Isn't he so nice? He blew that scrapbooking page right out of the water. He's making it up to me though... His company does this things called Thanks awards. He gets one every 3-4 months from someone. Basically you choose something out of the catalog (logowear and other fun stuff) and you get it for free. He's gotten shirts, jackets, backpacks, a great grilling set, a wine opener set... lots of great things. This time, nothing was floating his boat so he bought me a scrapbook kit. That's right! A scrapbook kit... It's not 100% my style but it's FREE and I could probably do something with it! :) Good job, Honey!!

I am looking forward to the weekend - Father's Day will bring many camera opportunities: We are attempting to go boating for the first time this year (maybe we can get Annde on the tube?!) as well as taking Annde to the Circus for the first time. You can pay $5 to ride an elephant... Hmmm.... Well, I paid $5 (and lost parent points probably) to let my kid sit on a live crocodile... Maybe an elephant would be fun too! We'll see... The camera is charging as we speak!

Well... I am beginning to feel tired so I am going to try and call it a night... See y'all tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Virginia Beach Mini Book

So, I finished the Mini book for our Memorial Day weekend in Virginia Beach with our good friends, the Rayners. We had such a fabulous time that I couldn't wait to memorialize it with fun bright papers and embellishments! Luckily- I had this great Scenic Route mini album all ready to be put together... Enjoy! Remember, you can click on an image to see it larger.
{and Robin - yours will be just a little bit different but still super cute! :) Look for it in the mail soon...}

What kind of Mom are you?

So, I took this little quiz on to find out what kind of Mom I am... and I'm pretty happy with the results... How about you? Comment with who you are!

Jana, your TV Mom is Claire Huxtable

You are Claire Huxtable from The Cosby Show. You have high expectations for your children, just like you have high expectations for yourself. You've probably got your own life and your own career, but nothing is more fun than spending time with your family. You may be a professional woman, but you enjoy getting silly with the kids sometimes.

You want good kids, but you also want them to be successful, smart individuals who can speak their minds — as long as they do so respectfully. While you enjoy being the kind of mom that your kids can come to with a problem, you are not afraid to set them straight when they're acting badly. When it comes to discipline, you try treat your kids like adults, talking calmly and coolly. And that's ultimately why they're going to grow up with such unwavering respect for you — as both a mother and a successful person.

Thanks to Lelia for the link to this quiz!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Birthday Announcement and Good News (Edit with better layout pics)

Today, I spent time driving my generator around. It seemed to be good luck! We bought it and within 24 hours, the power was restored. I drove it over to my BFF's house to keep her freezer from ruining a boatload of food and she too got her power back. Next, I drove it over to my daycare, which has been without power since Sunday, and within 3 hours, they had power... My generator must be a good luck charm! Really, there's got to be aGPS tracking device on it for DTE to know where it is so they can get their butts in gear and stop forcing me to waste $4.00+/gal gas to run refridgerators & freezers... (Just kidding!!) The good news is that hundreds of home are finally getting power back and in turn, being able to return to somewhat normal status.

The weather people are once again issuing warnings for another storm system coming this weekend, although it's not supposed to be as bad as the prior 2. I don't know whether to believe them but this time, I have my lucky generator so we should be okay... Keep your fingers crossed!

Tonight, I screwed around in Photoshop and created this cute "Save the Date" announcement for my daughter's birthday party. I am going to send it out to the lucky guests to see if I can get the majority of them to come to the party. Really, I am just trying to get a count of who is planning on coming so that I can reserve a park if I have all "yes!" and no "no" RSVPs. {Seems like I am on a yellow kick, eh?}

Also, here's a picture of one of my design team pages for the Zone. I need to retake the pictures for the others as well as the minibook... The color is just coming out kinda funky! (as you can see from these pages...) *** EDITED!!! Reloaded with better pics... MUCH BETTER! :) ***

I did the first one for my BFF Tracy - it's her boys when they were a whole lot smaller and the younger one is trying to learn to crawl. I did the page 2 ways - one is for A's book called "I will show you!" and the other is for K's book - called "Can you show me?" I redid an earlier layout (3 product challenge) to finish this layout... I just couldn't handle not using brads/eyelets for the flowers... I also added a bunch of stickles and some rubons too... I like it much better than before!More layouts, including my Virginia Beach minibook will be up tomorrow so enjoy! Feel free to leave a comment! I love to read them!!

the 3 P's: Pics, Praise, and Product of the Scrap variety!!

Hey Y'all!!

I'm back in the comforts of air conditioning and thanking GOD that he allowed the DTE energy guys to get us power back. My house is now blissfully cool again and luckily, we didn't have to toss out any food.

Here are the pictures from yesterday:
Down the street from my home had trees ripped out of the ground. (second one was taken by another person)

This is my daycare... and the neighborhood it is in...

People are starting to recover from the storm damage and getting back with their lives... My BFF and daycare are still without power but hopefully that will be resolved soon. DTE is saying that there are still 170,000 in the Metro Detroit area without power but that today and tomorrow are the magic days when everyone should have it back.

I was really impressed yesterday when I was driving through my daycare's neighborhood. Stacks and stacks of cut up trees lined the street, ready for disposal to the county yard site. As I drove through, I saw a big group of people moving from house to house to help clean up the downed trees and branches. Even some "older" gentlemen were out there with chain saws. It made me so proud that this neighborhood was taking care of each other - especially since there are a lot of older people in it. My neighborhood isn't quite as cool but our little group of 6 homes did communicate/hang out together/help after the power went out. Plus, I got to meet my new neighbor (backdoor) who is moving into the home behind me which has been empty for almost 3 years. Him, his wife, and their 3 kids have diligently been working to get the home and yard back into good order to move in at the end of the month. I am SOOO thankful for that. They seem like really good people!

Watching the news (did I say that I love my generator???!?!?) last night was scary. Every storm scene seemed to be an area that is close by my house. There was a family in White Lake (right down the road from us) that had their brand new 3 car garage get picked up and slammed into their home. They had just bought the home and they had 2 kids with them inside. The hubby had just closed the garage door and walked into the house before it was picked up. I know that God was watching out for him and his young family.

In the end, our area is very fortunate. We don't have the massive flooding like Illinois and Wisconsin are experiencing. It's still raining but I think the fact that the lakes were really low last year is helping out big time! I hope that everyone in the midwest continues to stay as safe as possible and if they want you to evacuate - you do so... Your life is worth more than your possessions. :)

So on to the fun stuff...

Freckle Friends did a charity auction & crop for Autism this weekend. While I didn't participate in the crop, I did bid on Stephanie's Summer Memories album and I won!! 100% of the profits go to the charity so I feel like I got a double bonus - getting this great mini album AND donating to a great cause. Now, I just have to decide what I want to put in it!

Then, I won a copy of Stephanie's Magazine (Home & Heart) off her blog... She's so inspirational for me and I totally love her magazine. Check out her site by using the Homegrown Hospitality link to the right.
Stayed tuned until tomorrow - I'll be posting my DT stuff for the Zone. I really like how it came out, even if the kit wasn't really me...

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Wind is just A Whirlin' Around


Last night was intense! The midwestern area had some serious storms move through last night with more on the way this afternoon. It was scary how bad it got so quickly. I had just gotten Annde up from her nap and the siren went off. By that time, it's really too late but we jumped up, grabbed the bean bag chair off the edge of the couch and ran downstairs to our safe location. Annde was pretty scared but holding up a good front - she kept saying "norado" and holding on tight, but she didn't cry. Our neighbor was driving home at the time and he said that he was swerving left and right on the road to avoid trees/branches coming down. Nickie was in the back crying because it was so scary. I am glad that all 3 of us were at home!! We beat the storm by about 20 minutes.

Once the siren turned off - along with our power - we went outside to assess the damage. We have tree branches down but damage to our home. We were very lucky - Our street was spared in alot of the damage... a lot of uprooted trees but no serious damage to homes or streets. Some of the sub has power. Luckily - my hubby went out and bought us a big powerful generator! (Finally - we've had rolling power outages for the last several weeks and we've had them quite frequently since we moved in almost 10 years ago) When we got it running, and turned on the TV to see the news, I saw one of my fellow Sunday school teachers, Rob C. standing in front of his house, which was now sporting a large hole in it. Rob - my prayers go out to you and your family. Hopefully, no one was hurt and it's just re-building...

My daycare was also not so lucky. I take my daughter to an "inhome" daycare... Lynne had large branches down, no power, and there's a tree in her yard, 30+ feet tall leaning at a 45 degree angle. Luckily - it was leaning towards the playsets and not the house. I spent some time helping her move stuff "out of the way" this morning and gating off the backyard so that no one can get into the path of the tree . Luckily the deck - with all the bikes and stuff - is clear from the tree's path. Her neighborhood is BAD... tree's through home or across the streets, power lines all over. There's only 1 entrance (out of 6) even open into the subdivision. And, her neighboorhood is only 2 over from mine (about 1 mile)... I brought over a Dora sprinkler so that the kids can play in the front yard with it when the temps get up to 90 degrees with 100% humidity.

I do know, after seeing one after another in a tree or on a power line, I will NEVER buy a trampoline! I don't think I passed a single one on the way to daycare that wasn't in some place it wasn't supposed to be. I am glad that our playstructure we have is really heavy... Lynne's brand new $300+ little tyke set was physically torn apart by the storm. I will be probably over there this week to take it apart and re-put it together, while checking for structural damage so that the kids don't get hurt.

I took some pictures but with no power at home, I can't post them. My thoughts go out to everyone affected by this string of storms... Stay safe, y'all!! One more to go and then we should be fine for a while.

I was soo bummed because I couldn't get my posts in for Last Scrapper Standing at Create My Keepsakes or any of the pages I had done for the Simple Scrapbooks page call but I guess there was a higher power telling me to wait for something else. :)

Hey - winner for the RAK is Diana... Can you PM me on Scrap for the Cure site with your address so I can get it out to you... :) Thanks for all the comments. I am still going to look for a different look but I will probably leave the yellow for now.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New Colors: Voice your Opinion and Win! EDITED

I spent some time over my lunch messing with the colors? Do you like this version or the old black version... let me know. I probably will play with it a bit more, maybe add a custom backdrop, but I was trying to keep it simple and easy to read, and pick a color that highlights the pages I do well. Not sure that this is the one...

I'll send out a RAK to a random winner who leaves me some honest comments on the changes. I want it to be easy for y'all to read and I am not sure I want to go back to boring black..

So, I listened to Healthy Homemaker and toned down the yellow and fixed the color of the links. Now what do ya think?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A rough week, for sure... but full of uplifting messages!

This weekend also had an awesome event for me. My daughter, my best friend and her son, and another close friend of mine all walked with me in the 2008 Race for the Cure walk for Breast Cancer. It was so inspiring to walk with 50,000 (yes, 50,000!!) of my BREAST friends! There were so many inspirational people and teams. It really brought home what a fabulous group of people live here in Detroit - to care SO much for those who can't always fight for themselves... I really hope that the money raised on Saturday finds the cure for not just breast cancer, but every other form of cancer too!! These were some pics from the day of the walk... Like the guys? They painted (I hope it was paint!!) bras on their chests. At first, we only saw them from behind and our first thought was "Why do those guys have to show off their chests at a breast cancer walk?" When they turned around, it was so amazing that I was speechless. I mean, how cool was this? I guess they were walking with a Team who didn't have enough shirts for them so they painted their chests to match the brown shirts with pink bras. Fabulous!

Otherwise, this week has been a rough one at work. It's hard... communication is definitely crucial in problem solving and when you think you have CLEARLY communicated and yet still the wrong thing occurs, it just causes you to want to pull out your hair!! Arrgghh!! A lot of really good people are stressed out right now because something that should have been simple has turned into a nightmare of epic proportions.

So, I was feeling down and I ran into a friend at work and she said, "No worries, sweetie! In the end, you still have a job, right?" The more I thought about it, the more I realized how right she is! I do have a job. It pays well - I can buy all kinds of really cool scrapbook stuff, right - in addition to putting all that freakin' $4.00+ /gal gas into my car. It's all about changing perspective, right?

One of the blogs I read regularly is Homegrown Hospitality. Stephanie has such an amazing perspective on life. Today she posted a doodle on her site with this very topic. I couldn't believe how perfectly it fit into my bad day. I printed a copy and hung it next to my computer to remind me that life isn't perfect because it's not supposed to be. And the next time, I feel like wrapping a drain hose around someone's neck, I will just read this doodle and hope it brings me to some inner peace.

Here's to hoping all of you feel some inner peace too. And, while you're at it, if you are in the Waterford area this weekend, swing by the garage sale me and my neighbor are having! :)

Off to bed!