Thursday, July 31, 2008

The long and winding road... of July!

Apparently, there's a blog called the Scrapbook Lady and she does these awesome questionnaires for the wrap-up of a month...
So, here's mine:
(Thanks Colleen for the idea!)

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?
Hmm... I watched a lot of reality TV because to be honest, there isn't much else on and I like to have noise when I am scrapbooking. So, I watched most of the season of Deadliest Catch and So You Think You Can Dance. Shark Week has been a blast so far. I've been re-watching some good older movies (like Sweet Home Alabama, Tin Cup, The Greatest Game Ever Played) as well as some that I haven't seen (the Lake House) which I have really enjoyed.

What special days did I celebrate and how?
The 4th is Annde's birthday... we went to the parade, an all-day party, and the fireworks. We've also had a LARGE party for her. Otherwise, it was Denise's birthday and Kira's birthday this month. Since they moved to Arizona, we didn't get to see them...

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?
These freaky new allergies that Annde seems to have is driving me nuts. We've tried all kinds of meds but nothing has really happened. Today, she spiked a fever of 104.5! The doctor said that the allergy drainage wasn't draining properly and ended up in her ears, causing an infection - hence the fever... Not sure if I agree or not that she has allergies and not some stupid sinus infection that won't go away! She's on medicine now so hopefully this one will work.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?
Annde's week-o-birthday fun was about enough to kill me. There was also the scrapbook retreat with Tracy that was absolutely fabulous!

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?
I tried raspberry French toast casserole - very yummy!!.

What special or unusual purchases did I make?
Nothing much ... other than a lot of supplies to fix the whole in the side of the house...

What were this month's disappointments?
We aren't pregnant... still. Not much more needs to be said.

What were my accomplishments this month?
I finished my Masters application and got it into the mail on time. I also scrapbooked at least 3 days a week and finished 14 books. I also competed in a 4 week challenge at Scrapdango and completed some really awesome pages! My "In My Words" came out in the August CK - so it was cool to see that in print as well as get the prize for being selected.

Anything else noteworthy to record?
I have a couple of secrets from friends and family but it isn't my place to share... so I will just pass on congratulations to those who are celebrating and to those who are working through some struggles - hang in there... The road will be difficult but if everything turns out as expected, then it will have been worth taking the steps to resolve the issue and stay strong in your pursuits...

Off to sleep - and it's not even 11pm yet!

I've got more important things to do than my "TO DO" list anyway...

Wanna see a box of blocks that really rocks? Well, my best friend Tracy had a 3-Day Breast cancer crop last weekend, hosted by a very generous and wonderful woman, Katie Hovanec. This crop was VERY successful and we wanted to make a really nice thank you gift. I had seen a block project last year and made up kits for the Christmas cookie exchange. Sadly, due to schedules and sickness, that exchange never happened so we decided to take one of the kits and then "spice it up" with some additional embellishment for Katie's gift. They came out FABULOUS! I totally need to make a set for myself.

I want to thank everyone who came to this fundraiser! We have another one in August and another in October. FUN! FUN! FUN!! Feel free to post a comment if you would like information on attending and I will get it out to you...

On another note - Diana, you won my RAK from A WHILE ago... can you email your address to me? I would like to get your gift out to you!!

On to much more - I am just full of fun today, aren't I?
The last challenge of the SCRaPDaNGo contest was this week and man! It was a difficult one!! You really don't realize how much extra stuff goes on a page until you can't use it. This challenge was super hard for me to do... I just love to embellish!

We were allowed to use: 5 different patterned papers, 4 different pieces of chipboard, 3 different buttons, 2 colors of cardstock, and 1 5x7 picture of ourselves scrapbooking.
Here's the "kit" I made for the challenge:
We were allowed to use pen for journaling - so I chose to do my journaling in true Jana style - I doodled! Otherwise, no ink, no stitching, no nothing other than the tools (sanding, cricut, etc...)Here's "the list" of what I scrapbook... I took little squares and punched them so that they look like I tore them out of a notebook. However, someone said they look like the side of a film strip - so which ever idea you like better, go with!
Here's the final page:

I am still not sure that my list didn't get me DQed. I see the doodles as part of the journaling but I can also see how other's might not agree with me. After debating internally for several days, I made the decision to leave it as is and risk the DQ because while I would love to scrap from Dango, I need to stay true to myself. The blocks basically showwhat I scrapbook and then it moves into me stating that I scrapbook to re-live, rejoice, and give thanks for living my life right now. The announcement will be on Monday so I only have to wait a few more days... It was an amazing contest which 24 of us participated in from start to finish, through 4 rounds of multiple challenges. There were some amazingly talented folks so it's going to be a tough choice....

Lastly, although I went back and forth a couple of times on doing it, I did submit my 5 layouts for the Masters contest. I know that the chances of me winning are like 1% but I also know that you can't win or complain if you didn't participate. It's a dream of mine to win so I will just keep trying. I did my "I believe" page as "The Time is NOW!" - a page about how I believe the cure for breast cancer will be found in our lifetime. I do strongly believe that because everyday, someone contributes money to the research and those scientists are so dedicated! They have to be close... MM will announce the team around the 22nd of August. Maybe, just maybe, I will have good news! Good luck to everyone else who entered!! I truly loved each of my pages but I can't show them to you or I will get DQed.... Wouldn't want to do that, eh?

Well, I am off for now. We're taking the kidlet to see "Give a Mouse a Cookie" tonight on stage so I have to get going... Got lots to do before then!! :)

Do you know where the title of this post came from? It's from Sugarland's "Do" song. I am thinking that it would be a fun way to start my posts so look for other song titles in the future...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cyber Crop fun with my Zone Kit!

So, I got a few pages done this weekend, combining my kit from The Scrapbook Zone and some fun challenges over at the Cyber crop... I love how a challenge allows you to go around the traditional thought process to create new and original pages...

I was really excited when Kelley told us we were getting *NEW* stuff to scrap with (from CHA)... How cool is that? It's not even in the stores yet! Fabulous... Hopefully, Kelley likes the results. I still have to finish the last layout and a little minibook with the second kit... she didn't ask for one but I have this really cool idea in my head...

My first kit was Making Memories new Spellbound line. GREAT for Halloween - even better for boy because the papers have this grungy feel to them - you can do so much more than just traditional Halloween pages (even though I did). Think: "My Messy Kid" or "That Little Devil"... Even though I don't traditionally use this style, I had a lot of fun with these two pages. The kids are my BFF's because *GASP!!* I am all caught up with Halloween! {Ouch! Tracy, stop smacking me in the back of the head!} So, I borrowed her kids and had some serious fun. I kinda like scrapbooking other kids because I can look past the traditional girly pages I usually do and get grungy! The other fun thing was except for the cardstock (Bazzill and CTMH) and some ribbon, these pages were completely made from the Spellbound line!

This page was inspired by the Candy! Challenge: we were supposed to use our favorite candy to inspire our page. This was really easy for me with this kit because I *heart* M&Ms... the background paper with all those circles - mini M&Ms. I did the journaling block with a circle split in two which mimicked the rounded corners I put on the pictures and the paper strips. I love the graphic, classic look of this page... I still have to add the journaling obviously.

This page was inspired by a Ad Inspiration from Crate & Barrell. The picture had an olive green bedspread with quilting on it... Fabulous match to this great skull paper! This layout came together VERY quickly and I love the simplicity of it. There are some fun little touches, like the white chalk and the doodled title, which add to the clean look of it. As soon as I add the journaling, it will be all ready for Kelley... it's about how my friend "buys" the candy off her sons after Halloween so that they don't feel bad about not being able to eat most of it (allergic)...

My second kit was the Frosty line by Reminisce. It's a beautiful line but it's very *NOT* me... pastels, large cartoon-y animals and snowmen with glitter (okay, that's me)! and shine... Don't get me wrong - it's a wonderful line but my first though was "baby" and "winter". {OUCH, Tracy!! I didn't say I was out of baby winter pics too... wait for me to at least say it!!}

So, my friend Jill had shown me these great pics (She's getting into scrapbooking too) and I thought - Fabulous match! I begged her to let me scrap them and here are the results! This page is 85% Frostly line, 10% Bazzil card stock, and 5% Prima film strip (was 6 openings to start with and I cut out the dividers to make it 3). I think I will go back and add the polar bear to the bottom of the page... since Jill doesn't have a lot of journaling and it would look so cute with Spencer sitting in the snow. This challenge was to use something from a CHA line that we really liked. Blues and greens seem to be hot this year and I love the sparkle look of these pages. My favorite product is a toss up of multiple companies but the blues and greens remind me of the Surprise Line by Scenic Route so I went with it. Who knows, with as cute as this page came out, it might become a favorite too!!
More to come in the next day or two... I'll have the other Frosty pages and the Round 4 entry for Scrapdango! Have fun everyone!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cyber Crop this weekend at Coordinates Collections!

One thing I love about the online community is that you can go to a crop without spending any money or leaving your house!!

The ladies over at Coordinates Collections are having a Crop this weekend with lots of fun door prizes and prize challenges! Join in the fun, like I am, and win some free stuff! (Who doesn't want free product?!?!?)

Head on over just by clicking this link: CC Cyber Crop

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More of Suzanne's Blog Challenges

Oops!! Fell behind in Suzanne's blog challenges again!! Here's the next three...

Number 28: How cold is too cold? Describe the perfect winter day for you.
Hmmm... about 20-25 degrees with no windchill. A little bit of nip in the air, snow on the ground - good packing snow for sledding or snowman building - and the sun in the sky. This was how it was growing up in NM- when we got snow - we got lots but there wasn't the windchill to go with it. You could go outside and really play without freezing off any vital parts. Here in Michigan, everything revolves around windchill - why do they even bother saying, "the temperature will be..." when they immediately follow it up with,"... but it will feel like... due to the windchill factor." For me, too cold is anything -10 and below... I can hack it but I dislike it and it makes me feel like packing up and moving south!

Number 29: What's a daily activity you must do that's not one of your favorite activities? Be specific. Once you have it, write about something that is worse than whatever activity you thought of.
Hmmm... normally I would say something like going to work but really, that's not that bad... I guess it would be a toss up between "being yelled at by my customer just because they can and they like to do so" and "shaving my legs".
What would be worse? Being unemployed. Growing up, we had this issue at our house for periods here and there and it was horrible. It isn't about the money - it's about the feeling of uselessness, about not being good enough to keep your job, about hopelessness about finding another job when the future looks so bleak.

Number 30: It's Christmas in July! Post a holiday creation that you made and describe in detail the materials used and any special techniques you used.
This one is easy - especially since it didn't say *NEW* (because I don't have any X-mas left, I don't think, to scrap)...

This was a funny layout I did about my daughter getting My Little Ponies for Xmas and how everyone spent ALL day playing with them... Since I didn't give myself much journaling space, I want to think about the words to use... I love the fact that I have this really bright layout in the middle of all my Christmas pages... I individually placed each piece of bling and glued into place. I trimmed around the pictures to get rid of the distracting backgrounds.

Products used: Paper (Provo crafts), Bling (CTMH), Flowers(Misc including CTMH), Acrylic Letters (Oriental Trading), Buttons (Close to My Heart), Photo Corner (Heidi Swapp), Ribbon (Misc), Tag (Luxe), Ribbon slide (MM?).

Here's another one. I didn't use any special techniques other than I used minimal embellishments and no overlapping - not my normal style! :)

The title reads: Believe in Christmas Magic

The embellishments read: tag arrow: Date: Dec 2005, Notes: Miss Lynne's Xmas Party HO HO HO!! while the ribbon reads "Seasons Greeting", and the 3 small stickers (Right top) read "Believe, Memory, and Magical"

My journaling reads:The magic of Christmas is so special... When you become a parent, the holiday seems to take on new meaning: full of touching moments and love abounds. It is one of my favorite holidays, not because of the presents and my birthday, but because the season creates memories that last a lifetime. For your 1st Christmas, you blessed us with rolling over for the first time. I still remember the moment clearly. For your 2nd Christmas, you weren't too interested in opening gifts. You just wanted to walk around and check things out. When it came time to sit on Santa's lap, you shied away from him in fear... So, this year, I was really hoping that you would get it: the spirit of Christmas, in all its wonder, would wash over you. This year, your first Santa experience was at your daycare Xmas party. And, as I hoped, it was magic! When Santa walked in, you were mesmerized by him: you fought to sit next to him, let him twirl you around, sat on his lap, even danced like a crazy reindeer when he asked! You were completely enamored for the bearded guy with a twinkle in his eye... What a wonderful time I had watching you experience this. I know that I will remember this wonderful, magical moment forever. I am so glad that you believe in the Christmas magic!

Products used: Paper, Ribbon: Close to My HeartRub-ons: Heidi Grace, Deja ViewsStickers: Heidi GraceTag: Misc? Adhesive: TomboInk: Zig

Just About Recovered!

So, I am back from the 3 day retreat and I am just about recovered from the lack of sleep and too much laughing. (like the pic? We laughed pretty hard about this one... :) ) I got to sit with my BFF Tracy as well as some new friends, Tracy and Heather... We had so much fun!! Who knew you could laugh that hard at 3:30am over the stupidest stuff?

Here is 3 of the 4 of us... (Tracy, Heather, and Me) We were totally crazy! (It helps that Heather manages a Starbucks and makes a mean cosmo!!)

I didn't get a whole lot accomplished (it's quality not quantity, right???) but I got what I needed to get accomplished completed. About a year ago, we went on a cruise with a bunch of Steve's frat brothers. It was an absolute blast. For the last year, I have been working on a mini book for me and one of those frat brothers, Kevin. I admit it - I was completely slacking and just needed to get it done. Now it's 95% there. All I have left to do on either book is journal. I'll try to do that this week and post some pics. The albums (Mine is 9x7 and his is 6x6) came out really cute. I think mini books are a fabulous way to document a trip when a 12x12 layout or two won't be enough. :)

I also splurged while I was there and got a pedicure. She used some aromatic oil on them at the end - that's why they're shiny. It felt awesome!! It would have looked awesome too... if I didn't break the little two AGAIN on my right foot. (see the bruising around it and up the toe next to it? I tripped over Annde's solid wooden stool for like the two hundredth time. Oh well!! That's break number 4 in that toe - that's why it angles out and then in - the bones healed that way the last time.

Here are some of the things I can show you that I did... I still need to photograph or finish the rest. This is a page I did for my All About Me book about my love to read... I also used it to show how much fun I have laying in our back yard while Annde plays on her swingset, reading a good book.

This page I did to remember about the tornado that went through. Originally I was going to scrapbook this as "Annde's first tornado" but decided instead to scrapbook it about my experiences with severe weather on Tracy's suggestion. The date is still in pencil because I need to confirm that it was the right date.

This is a page I did for Round 3 of the Scrapdango Challenge contest. I had to use the following to do a page:
* Red and Green as the dominant colors - any shade of either color
* Could not be holiday themed
* Needed to use at least 5 pictures - I used 21!
* One of the pictures had to be larger than 4x6
* The layout needed to be a 2-page 12x12 layout.

It's kinda hard to see here and not lose any of it. If you want a closer look, check it out at the challenge site here. I tried a new product on it - glaze writers... They are fabulous! You get the look of an embossed image without the embossing mess!

Well, that's all for now. I will put up pictures of Annde & Dad's camping trip tomorrow (still have to pull them off the camara.)... They got rained on but boy did they have fun!


Thursday, July 17, 2008

So, I have been wanting to do this page for awhile... and I am glad that I had a challenge to "help it along"... For the second round of the Scrapdango challenge, I was tasked with creating a layout using the sketch I created for the first round. Here's what I came up with...

First, the sketch:
Then, the layout...

This layout commemorates how my love for the color pink has changed over the last 5 years. Growing up, I had a pink bedroom - a REALLY pink bedroom. I shared with my sister and I think my Mom thought, "2 girls? Let's paint it pink!" And they did - Pepto Bismal Pink... Walls, curtains, bedspreads... everything but the carpet (white) and the dressers (white). As a tomboy, I rebelled against pink. Too girly for me!! That sentiment stayed with me through high school and college and into the "real world". Then I had a baby girl... and, as much as hated the color pink, she looked so cute in it that I started to like it... Then, I started to really see what the color pink means to millions of people - it means hope, it means struggle, it means strength - and hopefully, soon it will been a cure. I try to buy things now that are pink - that companies use to donate money to the Cure. I try to buy those things because I know that even ten cents can mean the difference...
Now on to the fun stuff...
This weekend, my BFF Tracy and I are going to our FIRST scrapbooking retreat... We are SOOOO excited!! It's in Chesaning, Michigan at a place called Creative Retreats. It's an old church that's been converted for a crop/quilt retreat. I just can't wait to go... I know that I am going to scrap tons!! Especially since Scrap for the Cure is also having an online crop this weekend... Check it out!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dang! I've been havin' fun!!

So, this weekend was Annde's birthday party... and I survived, but just barely! What was I thinking - inviting 20 (yes, 20!) kids 10 years or under to my house? I was thinking, "we'll be outside and it will be fun..." I was not thinking, "it will rain an hour into the party and we'll have to move 15 (several didn't show up until later) kids AND THEIR PARENTS into my house for an hour to eat. To say it was chaotic is an understatement... To say, I owe Tracy huge for asking what outside was like after the rain stopped for 20 minutes is also an understatement. Back out into the cloudy day we went... But, in the end, everyone had a blast and Annde loved every minute of it. She's got 4 webkinz - all pink animals - so she is loving life. I must say I was surprised when I asked what her favorite gift was and instead of saying a webkinz, she said, "Jeff's flowers and Miss Tracy's Little Petshop butterfly stuff." {good job, you two!!}

Here's how you feed lunch to 15 kids and their parents when your table only seats 8 on a good day... You stretch folding tables across the floor and have a giant picnic!!

This is Annde's boyfriend, Jeffrey. Aren't they cute? Steve says he "needs to have a talk with the young man" but I know better. Jeffrey knows more stuff about Barbie and the Princesses than Annde does and the two of them completely adore each other. Jeffrey picked out the flowers himself for Annde.

Back to scrappy stuff now...

The last two nights have been super fun!! I am taking the BPS "Have More Fun" class and while I am not necessarily participating exactly with the challenges, I am using the ideas to incorporate in my normal scrapbooking. This page about my feet was inspired by Stacy's Flip Flop project. I love to buy cheap shoes and thought, Hey! I should scrap that!! This kind of just morphed from that...
The second round of the Scrapdango challenge involves using the sketches from Round 1. For the main challenge, I have to use someone else's sketch (as I have been assigned). In this case, I was given Amberhelga's sketch which was quite challenging for me. It had a lot of layers and we were directed to follow the sketch as closely as possible. Normally, I don't do this much layering and I like to use more pictures. However, this came out pretty darn cool in the end... I used black & yellow cardstock, butterfly PP, Blue fabric, blue-purple gauzy gift wrapping ribbon (from one of Annde's birthday gifts), thickers vinyl letters, a white gel pen, pop dots, and lots of stickles...

The center picture is actually 2 pictures, or rather the same picture printed in color and black and white. The color was then cropped around the pool and popped off the B&W version using the pop dots. Then, I took stickles and covered each water droplet in the picture to bring it to life. I love the effect!! Annde and Nickie so rarely fight - I wanted to document that a friendship isn't always perfect and sometimes, the bad can bring out a lot of fun. {BTW - the broken rule was water must stay in the pool or the swimmers must get out.} Here's a close up of the layering:

Well, folks... it's once again the midnight hour so I'm going to head to bed. Nighty-night!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'm getting scrappy with Scrapdango!

So, I've been lurking at Scrapdango for awhile and I figured I might has well join in on the fun they are having there. Like CC and Scrap for the Cure, these ladies are really nice to chat and scrap with. Plus they have awesome kits too... I just love the Spice kit this month!

Using one of their challenges, I did this page:

I was supposed to use orange, green, and purple (not my first color choice) and scrapbook about Girls Just Want to have fun. There were some other requirements (use 5 papers, use the quote, flower, etc) but I think the hardest thing for me was the color choice. I also used the philosophy from Stacy's Have More Fun class of scrapbooking quickly. I picked pictures and went with it. The page only took me about 1/2 hr to do - once I picked the layout, it just came together.

I also did a sketch but I forgot to save it at home so I will upload it later. I love how easy it was to do... I will have to do it more often!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Catching up on Suzanne's Blog Challenges (22-27)

So, I just found Suzanne's Blog O Scrappy Day and she listed some really cool questions for a blog. I am quite a few weeks behind but I am going to try and catch up... You should do it too! Think of all the great layouts you can do with the journaling already done!!

So, here's the first one...

BC #27: Think about your life. Write a'want ad' or 'lost and found ad' for something personal that you normally wouldn't see in a 'want ad' or 'lost and found ad.'

WANTED: MORE TIME. MWF is looking for more time to get everything done. Unless she finds more time in the day, she might lose her position as the SuperWoman team captain. Time must be found between 10pm and 12midnight so she can still get some sleep time. She wants to create more, read more, relax more... So, if you have some time to spare, please respond as soon as possible.

BC#26: What spice in a spice rack best represents you? Describe it.

Hmm... I guess I would say Emeril's Seasoning (it's not one spice, but it works for me!).

I love this seasoning... it full and robust, with lots of different flavors to enjoy. I would have to say that I am the same way. I can be very fun and fiesty. But, I am known to be hot headed and stubborn. I think that each one of us has lots of layers and I like to think that my layers make me a more interesting person. Sometimes, I can be a little too hard to handle but that doesn't mean that the slow, deliciousness on the other side isn't completely worth it.

BC# 25: Write about something once experienced while visiting a favorite town or city. Was the specific experience the reason that makes it one of your favorites? If not, write about what what it is that makes it your favorite town or city.

My favorite place to visit... hmmm... I don't really have one favorite place to visit that is a town/city. I love Chicago - the hustle and bustle, the downtown, the arts, food, and shopping... oh, and the majority of my family lives there. I used to love to go to Chicago for the Taste (July 4th). The food and atmosphere was so energetic! Plus, I love the aquarium and the Natural History Museum and the Magnificant Mile... I love that I can see most of my Aunts & Uncles & cousins in one trip and that it's only 5 hours away.

BC# 24: Choose a topic. (Weather, children, school, work, etc.) Write three sentences that begin with the words 'I'll never forget...' Then use one of your sentences in a paragraph, poem, or longer descriptive piece.

Topic: My kidlet
3 sentences:
I'll never forget... how you felt in my arms the first time
I'll never forget... how you can hug me so tight and make me feel that the world is perfectly at peace.
I'll never forget... that feeling of pride when you showed me how well you write your name.

It seems so easy for me to do...
I do it 100 times a day.
But learning how can be very hard,
now matter what I say.

I will never forget how proud I was
the first time you showed me:
Your name was clearly written
for all the world to see!

{I know, I know... kinda dorky - maybe that's why I am an engineer! But hey - it would be great on a page, right?}

BC # 23: What's the first movie you remember seeing at a theater? Write about how you felt it... the movie, the big screen, the volume, the crowd, etc. Do you enjoy going to theaters now? What is the last movie you saw at a theater?

I think it was Star Wars (one of them). It's not really clear, I was only about 10 years old. It was very loud and hard to watch the whole screen but I loved it. I do enjoy going to the movies now - but it's so freakin' expensive that we don't do it very often. By the time you pay the sitter for 4 hours ($30), the entry fee ($20), popcorn and a drink ($12), you are out over $60 and that doesn't even include dinner! We try to do date night once per month and usually go to a movie. Although, for the life of me, I can't remember the last one since there really hasn't been anything out that we have both wanted to see for a while.

BC #22: Write about something you did during summer that kids today-for better or for worse-probably don't do anymore.

This one is easy - go out and play. I remember as a kid just yelling to Mom we were going outside and off we went on our bikes, without every saying where or what time we would be home. There were no cell phones and my neighborhood only had one payphone - up at the school - but it wasn't like I had any money! Summer was full of fort building, rock climbing, bike riding, swimming, and just hanging out. Being inside was boring! We didn't have a game system until I was 10 and it was only an atari. The TV only had 5 channels and they showed soaps and infomericals all day. While our children might not be as safe as before and I cringe at what my mother was probably thinking as we dashed out the door... I still think that we were in better shape / healthier and happier than a lot of the kids now days. I try to get my DD out as much as I can so she doesn't become accustomed to playing inside on the computer/watching TV.

Well off for now... Post a comment if you are going to participate in the challenges - I would love to read your answers!! More later...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Recovery from a Rockin' Week!

This week was so crazy but relaxing... I needed a vacation from life - I didn't work. I didn't scrap. I just went with the flow... I read 4 books and spent time with my family, enjoying being together. Sometimes, we all need to recharge our batteries - our outlook, our energy, our creativity. This week was that week. I felt like I was burning a candle at both ends and in the middle and now... I have it cut into several pieces and each one is burning brightly but under control.

I admit that I didn't leave it all behind - I did take 400+ pictures in 4 days. AHAHAHA {I have to have something to scrap in Chesaning!} Here are some of them:

Our first day it was kinda cool and rainy. Annde and I spent some quality time outside together - in sweatshirts and jeans!! In June!!

We also spent a day at the Zoo with neighbor Nickie! It was a lot of fun because Nickie really took Annde through the zoo... telling her about animals and getting excited about all the different sites. I laughed my butt off at the bulldozer display. (Annde actually told me to take the picture.)

Another crappy day, weatherwise - forced us back indoors where we spent time at the mall. Annde wasn't feeling too hot - she had her 4 year checkup, complete with shots - so she was not too excited and ended up coming home and sleeping for 2 hours.

Then, dawn arrived on July 4th and the little one jumped out of bed to discover her goodies: She got Little pets, playdoh, books, puzzles, work-in books (learning to write/math/etc), a webkinz, and girly goodies from Mom and Dad, as well clothes, art supplies, sugar cookies,princess stuff, books, and various other trinkets from the rest of the family. Can you guess her favorite gift?

Of course, no birthday of Annde's would be complete without a parade and fireworks! This picture is for Uncle Bob, our family police officer. Annde was so proud of her Bob Badge. She got it at the parade - the Sheriff is running for re-election (as is most of the offices in this state and country) so every other float/entry was political. It still was cute! We also did a friend's house for the afternoon bbq and fireworks. She stayed up right until we pulled in the driveway at midnight.

Of course, we spent A LOT of time on the water: 3 of our days were water soaked. 1 of them was just us while the other 2 were spent tied to the neighbor's pontoon - forming our own island of fun. Everyone swam and tubed and burned (except Annde - I got parent points for that one!!). We went through an entire container of sunscreen in just 3 days! Here are some of the cute shots.

This week is going to be super busy - Annde's Bday Party is Saturday (pray for no rain - 30% chance predicted!!) and then the following week, I am going on my first scrapbook retreat with my BFF Tracy and my hubby is taking Annde fishing and camping overnight with Uncle Kevin (also a first). Good thing we have 2 cameras, eh?!

I am going to scrap tomorrow night so look for some cute stuff in the near future! Y'all have a great week!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What a fun challenge!

I am taking this class over a Big Picture Scrapbooking called Have More Fun. The Freedom Friday challenge was to do a page in under 30 minutes. Because we had so much on our agenda for today, I had about 10 minutes and this is what I came up with... Fun, eh? I love these pictures - they are Annde's 4 yr old pictures and I was trying to come up with a fun way to use them. I took some of the wording from my blog and turned it into page for my book about being her mom!

Did you notice the material behind the pictures? It's actually one of Annde's nightgowns (as well as the strip at the bottom which was cut from the collar). She had loved it to death and I wanted to make sure she couldn't wear it anymore... So, I cut it up! :) AHAHAHAHA I am going to use the rest for a page in her book. The idea for this page came from a challenge over at Coordinates Collections - recycle and reuse. I love how it came out - using something so untraditional! I challenge you to join in the fun!

Friday, July 4, 2008

4 years of Memories...

... It's 12:09am and I sit here, 4 years later, at the same time that you began your journey into my life and my heart. 4 years ago, I was playing hours of Cubis and timing the contractions (even though they said they were Braxton Hicks - I knew better)... Now, I sit here typing, after checking on you, reminiscing about the addition of you in our lives.

For the last four years, you have been my heart outside my body. Your smile can bring me out of the saddest mood, your giggle can cause me to forget my crappy job, your soft arms wrapped around my body allow me to release the stress around me. When you're sick, I am worried, when you are hurt... I hurt. I never knew that I could experience life in such living color. You have brought that bold brilliance to my life, Annde, and I can't imagine living without it again.

I question whether I am doing the best job as a parent. I know that I could have stayed home with you instead of going back to work. But, I know that I made the right decision. You are thriving in your world - you're fun and social, smart and kind, exuberant and curious. You are right where you are supposed to be and I think that I am too. Someday, when I can take you to work with me, I hope you will be as proud of me as I am of you.

So, Annde - here we are... 4 years later. Thank you for letting me be your Mom! I know that I thank God today that you are my big girl. I can't wait to see what the world holds in the future for us...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

With the 4th of July just around the corner...

... I just wanted to post some really great videos from YouTube in honor of our Troops overseas still serving - it brings tears to my eyes, each and every one of these. I know a few soldiers serving in Iraq and to each of them, I wish the best for them and their families. I know it's hard for each and everyone of them and I can't thank them enough for standing up and doing something that put their lives in constant danger...

Thank you from our hearts. Tomorrow - I will be thinking of everyone overseas as we celebrate and offering a little prayer for each of you!

Coming Home

I'm Already there

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I love it when a great page comes together!!

I am so excited!! I can finally post the CC design team pages! Here they are:

This one is my favorite! I love how the page came together: all the layering and sparkles and stars...

I have struggled for a while to figure out how to scrap book these first writing attempts. I think it came out perfectly. The little frame was a project from Pre-school as well and I think it adds the perfect touch to the page. This page was original red, white, and blue but I didn't like the white so I grabbed a pen and colored the star edges, ribbon, background paper, and letters yellow and i really like the results. I am really on a "color the pattern paper" kick lately!

Lastly, using some scraps and a piece of Prima felt flourish, I put together an All About Me page. This is the picture I took for the CC website. I really liked it and wanted to put it on a page so why not use the experience of the design team to scrap it!

These last 3 cards I did at midnight when I was cleaning up. I really like being able to use some of the scraps and a few embellishments to make a little handmade card. I love to receive them so it was great to put a few together for sending too. Plus, then I didn't have to put away "extra scraps" in my bins.

I really like using kits. I think that they allow me to push my creativity. A lot of times, I wouldn't normally pick the paper myself if I was just buying at the Zone. I will still continue to mix & match my own patterns but I think it's a lot of fun to take something and create using a challenge or a kit.

BTW - hop over to the CC site for some cool challenges! I am hosting them this month in addition to my GDT role and I had a great time coming up with 6 that spell birthday! There are also some great contests at CC for FREE stuff here.

See you all on the scrap side!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

In the end... it's been a good day!

We got up this morning and dropped my car off at the dealership. It was depressing because the car isn't even 3 years old yet/just hit 50K miles and we've had to:
1. Replace the front brake pads AND rotors 3 times, as well as the wheel cylinders in the back, the pads in the back, the Hydraulic Control Unit (HCU), and the rear hub/antilock brake harness.
2. We've had 4 oil leaks - this most recent one was the head gasket.
3. Replace the ignition twice as well as the keys and fob twice.
4. New seat belts in the back seat.
... and I won't even mention the fact that the antenna is being held on by who knows what (plastic piece that's supposed to hold it broke but they won't cover it and it's $142 to replace!) and the tailgate started rusting after 3 months... or that my 3 year old - in one try - pulled the cover off the lighted mirror on my driver's side shade. Sigh! What a hunk of junk! Then, they told me this morning that I have only 10k left on my warranty. I know that I paid to put it up to 80K or 100K when I bought the car - since I drive soooo much! So, I have to go argue about that too!

I just can't believe all the problems I have had with this car. I can add up all my prior cars together and they still don't add up to the list above. And that's 4 cars - one of which was 150,000 miles when my parents gave it to me!

PLEASE - anyone who reads this - DON'T BUY A GM EQUINOX!! {Or as my coworkers call in "CRAP IN A BOX" or "REJECTONOX"}

But - the day did turn around for me... We went to the Zoo and took neighbor Nickie with... We had a blast! Annde and Nickie were excited about all the animals, even the ones that were asleep. It was just so relaxing and fun out there in the sun. I'll post pics when I finish the layouts! AHAHAHA

Then, I got back to my computer and found that CC has updated their site with my GDT role... Yippee!! I can't wait to post my pages... I think they are really different and fun! Plus, the new stuff is in (August pre-orders) and my July stuff is on it's way soon... Hopefully I will get it in time for the Scrap Retreat with Tracy. We're totally loving the idea of going away for a weekend together. Gotta get kitting!

Well, I am off to sit in the backyard and read while Annde gets crazy in the sandbox with Nickie!
Hope everyone has a peaceful afternoon!