And today...is the 6th??

Already??? Damn...nothing like falling behind before the end of the first week!!!

Let's see...

I've done the pages in my Christmas Journal up to the 2nd and haven't even had time to read the prompts for the 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th.

Sunday, the 3rd, I was blessed with having to clean my system in prep for my colonoscopy and gastroscopy scheduled for Monday morning. Needless to say, my mind was nowhere near scrapping, journaling or anything along those lines.

Monday, the 4th, I had my tests and the colonoscopy showed as "normal" and they sent a few samples from my gastroscopy off for biopsies and ordered MORE bloodwork. Looks like they're trying to rule out Celiac Disease right now. (they've not said that out loud, but that's what the tests are for that they've ordered...what would we do without the internet???) I slept the rest of Monday...again, no thinking about scrapping that day either.

Yesterday was the PTA luncheon that took up the morning and part of the afternoon. I really didn't want to miss that and glad that I didn't. But, while going to the Hallmark store to find a cute ornament for the ornament exchange at the luncheon...I hit a curb while parking and somewhere after that, I lost a hubcap on one of my rear tires. Oh boy, oh boy!!! The dealer has one in stock and it'll cost me $80 to replace it. Merry Christmas to me! And of course, Alex is thrilled by this...and doesn't want to be seen near my car without the hubcap. Whatever!

Today, I spent more than an hour and a half at the lab to get the rest of my blood work done. They took FOUR vials of blood this morning. Don't these people understand that I don't have much to spare right now??? I left there feeling just a little on the dizzy side and since I was fasting, I stopped right at Panera and grabbed an OJ and a bagel. I stopped in at the Dollar Tree to pick up some stuff for Em's Christmas party next week. And then had to go to her classroom to help with crafts and have lunch with her. (she ate, I didn't...since I'd just had that bagel)

I ran to Walmart to pick up the order of pics that I uploaded for my Christmas cards...I uploaded them last night and the order was to be done by 11am this morning. I'm greeted with a sign that says "ONE HOUR PROCESS MACHINE IS DOWN"...no problem? Right??? Mine were done BEFORE the machine went down...or so they should have been. WRONG!!! Nothing...no pictures done and no phone call telling me that they weren't done. I wasn't too happy about this at all and told them not to bother...I'd upload them to Costco or Walgreens instead. The mgr. apologized and said they'd be the first ones printed when the machine came up and the order would be free. They just called and said they're ready to be picked up.

Finally got a call back from the dr's office today too...I have an appt on Friday morning at 10:15 for a consult with the hemotologist. We'll discuss the options of a blood transfusion to get my levels back up to normal and then try to maintain them from there. In hopes of giving me back a bit of energy and helping me make it through this time of year. I don't know if a transfusion is the way that I want to go...but, I can't continue to feel the way that I do either. Not right now.

Gotta pick Emily up from her friend's house here in a little while and take her to dance. Tonight is fundraiser night at Cici's pizza for her school. I might just take her there after dance and call it a night. I'm so tired...and the pile of laundry is beginning to look like another Christmas tree.

Tomorrow is supposed to be my volunteer time at school and I missed last week...I just don't want to miss tomorrow. Its my last day in that class before the party day next week. I really would love to see them tomorrow. We'll see how I feel, I guess.

Friday night is the crop with my favorite BI*CHES...my Ya'Ya's!!! Gosh how I need a little Ya Ya time right now! Hopefully I'll feel up to going by then...I'm tired already!

Sunday is Emily's 7th birthday. I still need to order a cake, get her roller blades as her b-day gift and make the goody bags too.

God, please give me the strength to make it through all of this!!! PLEASE!


Photo a day...

Besides the Journal your Christmas class, I'm also doing the Photo a Day in December challenge at Scrapforums. The goal is to take a picture each day and journal a little bit about that photo. I won't have any sort of a theme to my pictures...it'll just be whatever strikes my fancy. Today, getting into the spirit of the holidays, I decided to snap a picture of one of the wreaths that I made.

Last weekend, we put up the Christmas trees on the inside and Alex and Josh decorated the outside of the house with many many many lights. It might just be a record this year actually.

I wanted to put wreaths on each of the front windows and set out to find 6 of the same wreaths that I'd hang outside. I couldn't really find anything that I liked so I decided to buy a few of the pics that Joann's had on sale and some of their plain holiday wreaths too. On Saturday, I sat at the kitchen counter, with my hot glue gun and put together six of these. I'd never done anything like this before so I was pleasantly surprised at how they turned out. Alex even thought they turned out great and was perfectly fine with me hanging them on the windows for all to see.

The hours are winding down on our first day of December. Bring on December 2nd...a new holiday journal prompt and another photo for the day.

My journal cover...

Here it is...my Christmas Journal cover. Everything here is from my stash. I covered chip board with Basic Grey Blitzen paper and added alpha stickers, ribbons and the doodly rub ons. The "believe" epoxy sticker is also from the stash. I *think it's from Creative Imaginations.
The cover measures just a tad smaller than a 4x6 photo. The inside pages are coin envelopes that measure just a little bit smaller than the cover. I've cut off the flaps to each of the envelopes and will tuck some of my journaling into these little envelopes. Leaving the envelopes themselves to be decorated as I go.

Here's a picture of the inside cover and one of the envelopes. My 7 yr. old informed me that the "yellow" pages didn't go very well with this, but I assured her that there would be very little of the yellow showing when we were finished with this one. Each little "page" will be covered and decorated some how.

Oh, and...I took these pictures with the book sitting on the branches of one of our Christmas trees. I think this may go on the tree next year. Free to be pulled off and looked at, at any given time.

I'm so excited about this class. I've never done anything like it. I love to journal, but have never created an "art journal" per se.

I'm off now to work on that dedication page. That will go on that "yellow" side...I'll share it when its done.


Tomorrow is Dec. 1st.

Manifesto: Noun. A declaration of one's intentions.

Starting December first, I will keep a Christmas journal. In it, I will write something every day to reflect on the holidays of my past, enjoy the holidays of the present and dream about the holidays of my future. To some, this will be a stack of papers and trivial scribbles, but not to me. I am taking back my Christmas, I am letting it be something I relish and, most importantly, I am giving at least fifteen minutes every day to myself no matter how crazy this season becomes.

I hope you will share, encourage and understand as I make something with my own hands, my own words and my own memories.I may post some or all of my entries here. Other artists are doing this with me, and you can see their work HERE. Or you may join us too by going HERE.

Above all: enjoy the season. I will.

I've decided to do my journal in an envelope type book. Using coin envelopes as the pages...with journaling to be tucked inside each envelope. My good friend Nancy Grant made an album like this once, for her boys...and I loved it. Then I saw a 12 Days of Christmas book (like this) in the latest issue of Paper Trends magazine and felt totally inspired to use a similar idea for my book. I'll be using the Basic Grey Blitzen collection from my stash for embellishing my journal. I'm trying desperately to cut back on my scrap spending so I decided to use what I have instead of buying new. (as hard as that was to decide on)

So...wish me luck! (and good luck to everyone else in the class too!!!) And check back here throughout the month to see some of the pages I've done in my new holiday journal.


Still around...

I've been dealing with a few medical issues the past week or so...I'm hoping nothing major, but they're doing tests to figure out why I'm extremely anemic and my hemoglobin levels are so low. I go in on Monday, the 4th for a Colonoscopy and an Upper GI to see what they can find. Waiting for an appointment with a hemotologist now to see if they want to boost my levels with a transfusion and then maintain from there. I'm not 100% thrilled with the idea of a transfusion but I've been feeling so sluggish lately, no energy, sleeping way too much and I have a lingering headache that won't go away. My mom and I are the same blood type and she's willing to give me her blood so that we don't have the higher risks of going through a blood bank. So....I just don't know at this point.

On a good note though...December 1st starts a couple of fun things for me. (and you, if you'd like to join in) Nancy's starting a "Photo a Day" challenge at Scrapforums. The goal is to take a picture each day and journal about that photo just a bit too. Some folks will be putting these pictures into an album of some sort. I just plan to do them here, on my blog. Wish me luck!

Another thing that I've decided to do is a Christmas Journal. My buddy Nicole told me about a class that she's taking for this and I couldn't resist signing up too. I love Christmas but always stress over everything being just right. I want to use my Christmas Journal to keep me grounded and to help me appreciate all that goes on around me during this joyful time of year. You can join this class too...it's not too late. You can read all about this class here...Journal your Christmas.

Oh, oh, oh...almost forgot too...I decided to give a scrapbook contest a shot. Another first for me actually...I've never done anything like this before. But, Memory Creators is having their annual Super Bowl of Scrapbooking contest. Everyone interested in "trying out" submitted their layouts and then they chose 40 entrants to move on to the "draft". I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the 40 to move on. Now, these 40 people have two layouts to do and submit to be voted on to move on to the next round. These entries have to be in by the 7th. I've got one layout finished and I'm very happy with it. (can't share it till after the 7th, but watch here soon) Wish me luck in moving on to the next round. This will be fun!

OK...I'm off. Need to get a few things done while I have the energy to do them. I hate being this lazy. It's soooooo not me!!


I got outta bed for this???

Today was supposed to be our last Regatta till the Spring Season kicks into gear in February. We had to be at the school a 4:30am...meaning we had to get outta bed at 3:30. That's CRAZY!! Not to mention the fact that the tempuratures here are about 11* less than "normal". So it was COLD! (for us anyway)

We got to the Sanford Riverfront...it was still VERY dark and VERY cold. The grass was wet with dew and even though I had two pairs of socks on, my little feet donned in my sporty Keds tennies, were freezing in no time. We couldn't just sit down and wrap up in our blankies either. Soon the sun was coming up and it was time for the parents to help put together our big canopy to give us all someplace to sit. That done, we finally get to wrap up in blankets and start thawing out.

I think I forgot to mention that it was really windy too. This made the water on the river VERY choppy! Our Varsity girls had to be on the water before 7am and the Novice girls (this being their very first race) shortly after. That's when the excitement began.

The first group of boats come in and the water was so choppy that as the girls rowed, the water sloshed up and into the boat. By the time they were at the finish line, some of the boats had taken on so much water that they were actually sinking. One of the boats (not ours) was underwater that the girls were under water to their chests. And that water was cold! Our girls took on enough water to be a little in the water...but not "sink". Didn't really matter though because when they lifted the boats out of the water and overhead to carry back to the boat trailer, the water they had taken in just poured right out over their heads.

Not a fun morning on the water...that's for sure!

Then a 4 girl boat came in with just two rowers in it. They were taking in so much water that two of the girls were pulled from the boat to "lighten the load" a bit. Then they called for a few of the guys to head down to the starting area because two boats had capsized and were on their sides. (rowers in the water, treading water till they were pulled out) They originally thought they'd have the boys go in the water to help get the boat back upright but someone thought that wasn't such a good idea. DUH!!!! Sheesh! (and yes, Josh was one that was ready to go in the water, no questions asked...goofball!) They ended up towing one of the boats, on its side, to the finishing dock. What a freakin' mess!!!

It wasn't too long after that they announced that the rest of the races were delayed...postponed till further notice. Our hospitality group kicked things into gear and cooked lunch for the team and the parents. We had hamburgers and hotdogs at 10:30 this morning. By noon, they called for a coach's meeting. Our head coach came back and said that they were officially going to go ahead and restart the regatta but that we were just going to pack up and head home. He didn't want to deal with what our girls dealt with that morning.

Soooooooo...we packed up and were home by 1:30 this afternoon. Alex and I both napped for a good 2 or 3 hours because that 3:30 wake up call kicked our butts! (I'm too old for that, LOL) It's been a quiet evening at home and everyone's in bed now. I'm headed that way now. Even after my nap, I'm ready to sleep tonight!

I've got a few things to do around the house tomorrow and then on Monday, I've gotta go back to the dr for more bloodwork. I had my physical on Friday and the nurse called back that afternoon to tell me that they've discovered that I'm anemic. They want to do a full Iron Workup on Monday to find out why...blah blah blah. Maybe this explains my laziness and need for the more than my average naptimes?? I guess we'll see.

Goodnight all...till next time!


I've been SCRAPPING!!!!

I've actually scrapped this week...surprise surprise!! It's really about the only thing I've gotten done lately, it seems. I feel sooooooooooooooooooo stinking lazy!! Maybe I've been just too darn busy and I need a little downtime?? Who knows!!

I've done a few digital layouts...like this one...A few pictures from our trip to the condo last month. Emily had a GREAT time, as you can see. Everything on this digi layout came from Kimberly Giarrusso's Jamba Jive kit. Love the colors in this kit. So "summery"...and we know how many summery pictures I have. (www.purescrapability.com)

I also did this layout of Em and her kindergarten teacher. These were taken LAST YEAR...can't believe my baby's in First Grade now. She's growing up so quickly! Mrs. Phillips is a wonderful person, a terrific teacher and we've

continued our friendship with her since leaving her class. I volunteer in her classroom every week.

That layout was done using Jessica Bolton's Delight in Photographs digital kit. Jessica's one of my absolute favorite digi designers and I think this is my favorite kit of hers. (www.eclecticscraps.com)

There were a couple of other digital layouts that I've done this week, but I won't bore you with all of them. If you really want to see them, they're in my gallery at both Scrapforums and The Shaker Box.

And here's my latest paper layout. Did this one

last night. Look at how long my girl's hair was. WOW! Now its so much shorter...and so sassy!LOL!!

Thanks for checking us out! Time for me to get up and get something done around here. I'm going to the Memories Expo tomorrow and I can't leave this house looking the way it does right now. I'd be horrified if anyone were to drop in right now. Its probably not as bad as I make it out to be, but to me, it's a wreck!!

I'll update after the weekend. Have a good one!


Busy busy busy!!!

Wow...time has gotten away again. Where have I been? Let's see...the last time I posted was a quickie on the 28th. Here's a bit of an update. Warning, this may get long. So grab a beverage and read on...if you're up to it. (not that too many folks read my random crap anyway, LOL)

10/29-Head of the Gator, Gainesville. Our first Regatta of the season. Josh's first regatta in the Varsity boats. Josh's first "Head Race". A head race is when they stagger the start times of the boats and they basically race against the clock. Josh has worked so hard this season to earn a spot in the Varsity 4 and the Varsity 8 boats. He's in the 4 with two seniors and a jr. He's only a sophomore...but has really become quite the rower. The Varsity 4 takes FIRST place and the Varsity 8 took 3rd. Definitely a fun and exciting day on the water! Even if we had to leave at 4:15am to get to Gainesville. It was well worth it! (I tried to insert a picture here, but blogger isn't cooperating)

10/31-Halloween. Emily had counted the days till Halloween. She'd decided to be a Witch this year and had her costume weeks before. She was dressed and ready to go almost immediately after we got home. Complete with the green face, black lips and we can't forget the whacked out hair too. (lots of gooey silver and green gel, thanks to our hairdresser, Song) And man, she sure played the part too...she's such a ham. We all joined our next door neighbors for the annual party in the driveway. Complete with homemade chili (and all the fixings), a few beers and of course, the great company too. Josh got home from Crew practice and took Emily trick or treating. Even though she'd already been to a few houses with our neighbor's great grandson. The trick or treating was non-eventful for us, thank goodness. But you always hear such horrible stories the day after. And we had the Sheriff's helicopter flying over our street right at about bedtime. That always freaks me out! I couldn't sleep till the helicopter was gone. I somehow convince myself at that point that all is safe once again.

11/1...Same ole schedule...same ole routine. Nothing exciting, or so we thought, right? I'm at Em's dance class waiting for her to finish and Josh to get there. He'd gotten a ride from practice with Teri and her mom. The three of them come into the dance studio and ask me to come outside...they have something to tell me and I'm not going to be happy about it. I go outside, having absolutely no idea what they're about to say to me. They quietly break the news that "BOB" (name changed to protect) is coming back to row and he's going to take Josh's spot in the 4 boat at the HUGS upcoming race in Tennessee. (this past weekend) You see, "BOB" was kicked off the team about a month ago. Maybe I should say that he was "suspended" and not "kicked off". All of this because "BOB" has a problem with his mouth and is terribly disrespectful...he's a Sr. and has been on the team for a couple of years now and apparently has been an issue for all the years that he's been on the team. Someone finally had enough and action was taken...and the big question was "when will he be back??". No straight answers were given until 2 days before the team is due to head off to TN for the Head of the Hooch...the 2nd largest Regatta in the US. Considering the fact that "BOB" hasn't trained with the team for a month, I had a hard time understanding why he'd be "rewarded" with this big race at the last minute. When the other boys had worked so hard and had been so focused on this big race. Long story short, Alex and I spent that night on the phone with the coaches and the president of the board, trying to determine why this was the right thing to do. Finally, at 11pm, it was announced that "Bob" would be invited to go to TN with the team to "cheer them on" but would not be allowed to row. He would rejoin the team on Monday and begin training for the next Regatta on the 18th of November. We're all fine with this...as long as he understands what is expected of him and we don't have the issues with his rudeness, moving forward. Yesterday "Bob" took a short cut on his run and he wasn't at practice today at all. Wonder if he learned anything yet??? I highly doubt it.

11/3-11/5...HEAD OF THE HOOCH...Chattanooga TN. Josh joined the team on the bus for the 10 hour drive to TN. I opted to fly into Atlanta and picked up Kyle to spend time with him too. This was his first regatta and he thought Crew was really cool. He had a really great time and I enjoyed being able to spend time with him too. It was really really cold up there...something like 29* on Saturday morning. Brrrrrrrrrrr...can't imagine being in that boat in basically just a unisuit. It was a looooooooooooooong day, but alot of fun! The 4 boat took 8th out of 39 teams and the 8 took 19th out of 36 teams. Not too shabby, IMO. Now the fun begins at practice to see who's in the 4 at our next race. I'm hoping that Josh can keep his focus and at least give "Bob" a run for his money. I would hate to see him just give up the spot in the boat to "BOB" without doing the proper seat races, etc. that will determine who's the best rower for that seat. Wish him luck!!!

Kyle and I stayed in Chattanooga Saturday night and then headed back to Atlanta on Sunday. We met up with his sweet girlfriend, Brooke, and went to IKEA. OH MY HECK!!! What a place! We have one coming to Orlando but I don't know when. I'd better start saving NOW!

I flew back home on Sunday evening and got home to a sick Emily. Fever, coughs, sneezing...the whole nine. She missed two days of school and just went back today. She's still coughing and has to keep the tissues close by, but her fever broke Monday night. She's on the mend. I kept her home from dance today because I didn't want her to get worked up and go into a coughing fit or anything. Another little bit of rest will do her good.

Now, we're back to another Thursday. Tomorrow morning, I'll be doing my weekly volunteer time at Em's school. Thursday is usually my busy day with all of that. Friday, I'll be cleaning and getting ready for the weekend. I'm going to the Memories Expo with my good friend, Nancy. I'm hoping to keep to the scrap budget but I've never been good about that in the past. Especially at the Expo. But lately, I've been so overwhelmed with everything piled up in the scraproom. I really want to remodel and reorganize everything in here. There really isn't anything that I "need" and I'm not really sure of anything that I actually "want" right now. I'll look around and see if there's anything that I just can't live without. Just hanging out with Nancy will be fun. She's always a hoot...I laugh till I cry when I'm with her. Gotta love a great friend like that!!

Oh...I did a few digital scrapbook pages last night and today. Got a few of my digital assignments out of the way! I tried to put one of them in this post but blogger still isn't cooperating. I did a total of 4 digi layouts and a digi card too. I've uploaded everything to my gallery at both Scrapforums and The Shaker Box. Pop over and check them out if you get a minute. I'm hoping to get the mess picked up enough in the scraproom to get a paper layout or two done by the end of this weekend. The picking up the scraproom seems to be the story of my life. Ugghhh!!!

OK...it's after 11pm now. A bit past my bedtime. I'll quit rambling now. If you read all of this...thanks! Now leave me some love in a comment.


Scrapbook fun...

There's a fun little Online Crop this weekend at SCRAPFORUMS!!!

Check it out! (It goes till Halloween!)


GO CARDINALS!!!! Game 3 of the 2006 World Series!!!

We're back! Home from St. Louis...and man, what a great time! A bit on the quick side, but sooooooooo much fun!

Alex and I headed out on Tuesday morning at around 6am. We ran into the most obnoxious scanner guy at the airport...telling us all that we did wrong, etc. We had a gallon size bag with our toiletries in them and we were to have had ONLY a quart size bag, etc. etc. I thought he was just taking his job seriously...Alex thought he was being a jerk. It didn't matter to me...we fixed it and set out on our way. We were going to the World Series!!

We flew from Orlando to Charlotte and then on to St. Louis. We picked up our car and headed right for the hotel. We'd hoped to have had time to visit Alex's mom grave but didn't get that time, unfortunately. Had we really thought this trip through, we would have (should have) left on Monday night and had Tuesday morning to do the running around that we'd wanted to do.

We met up with Alex's great friend, Jim, and his wife, Keela. They drove in from Nashville to go the game with us. They're great folks and we always have a great time with them. We met up in the hotel lobby and enjoyed a couple of cold ones together before heading to the train to take us downtown to the ball park. Jim was hilarious on the train...he likes to be in control and would have been far more comfortable driving all the way to the stadium himself. This gave us all something to laugh about on the ride downtown. Gotta love publice transportation, after all. Sometimes the ride on public transportation can be an adventure in itself.

We got to the stadium a few hours before game time and just took in the sites around the stadium and listened to the live music playing just outside. We'd gotten there early so that we could shop for the jacket and jersey that Alex wanted to get. We weren't able to get in the big store though, till after the gates opened and oh my gosh...the shop was PACKED!! You could barely get through the place and once you got what you wanted, the wait in line was a good half hour or more. We couldn't find the jacket in Alex's size so he settled for just the jersey...but as he came out of the shop, donning his new jersey, a cart of the jackets were being wheeled in. He went back in the swarm of people and found his jacket and stood in line AGAIN. This was totally unexpected because if you know my husband, you know that he is NOT a patient person...especially in stores, etc. He must have really wanted those things. LOL

The weather was on the chilly side up there. We were sure to wear layers because once the sun went down, it would be around 30*. Alex and I really don't have clothes for that type of weather. Jim and Keela took care of us though...they brought extra scarves and things to help keep us warm. I think it dropped to about 27* that night. We were on the 4th level. It really wasn't that bad with all the people around us. Alex and I went down to the concourse to grab a bite to eat and being out in the open with the wind blowing, we got REALLY COLD!!! And from that point, it took some time to warm up again.

But, the Cardinals WON!!!! 5-0!!!! Bringing the Series to 2 games to 1. Game 4 was rained out last night...thank goodness we were there when we were. To go all that way and not be able to see the game. That would have been horrible.

I slept all the way home...we stopped for lunch on the way home and then I slept from the time we got home (around 3) till 7:30 this morning. I was exhausted! (and I think a bit on the dehydrated side)

Today, I'm awake...I feel like I could probably go back to sleep again and I look like hell! My eyes are all puffy and I really need to rehydrate myself. I still need to get the dogs from the vet and catch up on a few things here at home. I need to rest up and get ready to leave at 4:15 Saturday morning for our first Regatta. We're headed to Gainesville for the Head of the Gator Race.

I need to stay home for a while...I don't like being this crazy busy. LOL


Pictures from our beach weekend!!!

What a fantastic weekend!!!!!

Thursday, the 19th, was our 10th Anniversary and Alex and I were lucky enough to spend some quiet time together at our Ponce Inlet condo on Friday. We were blessed with friends that were willing to keep the kids over night on Friday and then come out to the condo to join us on Saturday.

Emily's report card conference was scheduled for first thing on Friday. Our plans were to leave immediately after that but since the St. Louis Cardinals won the game the night before and locked their spot in the World Series, our departure was delayed due to getting travel plans made and tickets purchased for Game Three of the World Series in St. Louis. That's right...we're going to a World Series game TOMORROW!!! And we can't wait!

We finally got out of the house around11:30 Friday morning and headed over to Ponce Inlet. The weather was a bit on the "unseasonably warm" but it was sunny and a perfect beach type weather! Biketoberfest kicked off on Thursday so we saw quite a few motorcycles heading over there with us. After dropping everything off at the condo, we headed out to get a bite to eat at this fun little place just down the street from the condo called "CRABBY JOE'S". We had the YUMMIEST Grouper Sandwiches there. Mine was grilled and Alex had his fried. The fish was fresh and there was so much of it for just $7.50. The only thing that I didn't like was the fact that they only had Corona in a can...I can understand it being on a pier, right over the water. But I like my Corona in a bottle!!

We decided to just take a drive and check out the area a bit after lunch. I think we spent a good four hours just driving around, looking at motorcycles and just taking everything in. I thought seriously about getting a tattoo but stopped at a tattoo parlor and was freaked out by the woman and the guy that were running the place. I swear the guy was stoned out of his mind. I could barely understand a word that he said cuz he was mumbling. He'd start off a sentence and his voice would trail off into a mumble by the end of the sentence. And the place didn't seem too clean to me at all. I'd never been to a tattoo place before and this one could have very well scared me completely out of the idea.

I called my sister that lives about 30 minutes from there. She's a PRO when it comes to the tattoo crap...a pro compared to me anyway. She's got a few tattoos so she knew what to ask and what to look for. She talked Alex and I into joining her that night at a biker bar not too far from her house that had a tattoo vendor there doing tattoos. The folks at this booth were awesome! They're state certified, and answered every question that my sister had for them and they were busy!!!! The were booked till 11:30 that night...it was only 8 at that time. Had they been able to get me in sooner, I'd have probably gotten my first tattoo that night. Oh well...maybe I'll go to my neice's guy here locally. Just not sure when.

Alex and I got back to the condo around midnight Friday night and I was wiped out! I think I was asleep within 10 minutes after walking through the front door. Alex wanted to take a romantic walk on the beach but I just couldn't do it. This girl needs her sleep!! LOL

Saturday morning, Alex woke me early enough to sit on the balcony and watch the sunrise while we had coffee together. It was so pleasant and so relaxing...the sunrise was beautiful. We saw dolphins playing just off the coast too. Then I went back to sleep! LOL!!! I slept till around 10:30 and then got up to shower and get ready for our friends to get there with the kids. Once they all got there, we headed off to lunch at Inlet Harbor Restaurant. Another great meal with fresh fish, great entertainment by a live band and we ate outside, right by the Marina. The music was great but was a little loud and made it tough for us to chat over lunch. That was really the only complaint though.

Then it was back to the condo and down the beach for close to FIVE hours. The weather was PERFECT, the beach was so quiet...so secluded. Ponce Inlet is a private beach, just south of Daytona, north of New Smyrna. At Daytona and New Smyrna, you're allowed to drive on the beaches. Not on Ponce Inlet beaches though. The water was almost crystal clear, the surf was perfect and when the sun got to the other side of the building, we had our very own shade too. The kids enjoyed the water, digging in the sand, finding sand dollars, shells and even starfish on the beach. I flew a kite for a while and almost lost it when the spool slipped out of my hand and the kite fell into a dune area. EEKS.

Our friends ended up staying there with us and spent the night at the condo too. The kids stayed there while the adults went to dinner at the Bubba Gump Shrimp co. in Daytona. Alex and I love the Forrest Gump movie and were excited to eat there. Probably not the best idea during Biketoberfest, but it was still fun. Took us an hour to get back to the condo due to Biketoberfest traffic. Didn't bother me though...I was fascinated with all the bikes and the bustling atmosphere. I would have loved to have just gone down to the Daytona area and walked around for a while. Instead, we went back to the condo to watch the last few innings of game one of the World Series. Cardinals won that game 7-2 IN DETROIT!!!!!

By the time Sunday morning rolled around, we were all a bit on the tired side. Alex woke me up again for coffee while watching the sunrise. I didn't feel nearly as tired as I did the morning before but that didn't last for long. By the time we went to Walmart to get a few things needed for the condo and then to lunch, the kids were getting crabby and I was feeling beat. We headed back to the condo where Josh and I crashed for naps and Emily talked Alex into taking her back out to the beach. We headed back home around 4ish...unpacked the car, ordered Chinese food for dinner and watched "Over the Hedge". With all that fresh air, we were all in bed and sleeping soundly before 10 last night. Alex and I tried to watch the game last night on TV but couldn't keep our eyes open. The cardinals lost that game 3-1 but now they're headed to St. Louis for games 3, 4 and 5.

Alex and I will be meeting his best friend Jim, and Jim's wife, Keela, in St. Louis tomorrow. the four of us will be AT the new Busch Stadium watching Game Three of the World Series, tomorrow night. It'll be a quick trip, but a fun trip, I'm sure!! Hanging out with Jim and Keela at a World Series game...can't get much better than that!

Today, I'm trying to get laundry done, clothes packed, etc etc. So much to do in just a short time. And here I sit...blogging!!! Nah, actually, I've done quite a bit of stuff today already. I'm about to hop in the shower to get ready to get Miss Emily from school, get her packed and taken to a friend that's keeping the kids for us this time. We'd better get a good night's sleep tonight...it'll be PARTY TIME, big time tomorrow!!!!


Oh, and for those that know that I'm a Baltimore Orioles fan...you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll make Alex go to an O's game at Camden Yards too...if they'll get themselves to the World Series in our lifetime!!!


Spooktacular Cropping WEEK!!!!

I know its been too long since my last update. I really do stink with this blogging stuff. LOL!!!

But...here's the deal. For the next WEEK I'll be hanging out and scrapping with the gals at The Shaker Box. Michele and the girls over there have a bunch of great scrapping challenges and LOADS of fun for the week too!

Come on over and join us!!!

The Shaker Box!!!!

I'll try and update my blog soon...I promise!


Monday...no Tuesday.

I have a really tough time with Monday holidays. It throughs my entire week off. I have to really try and remember today that it's Tuesday and that today we have dance...today I have a PTA meeting...today, Josh goes to Scouts to get sign ups for his final (hopefully) work day for his Eagle Scout project this weekend. It is NOT Monday!!

OK...I've got that off my chest.

No gym this morning...I really wanted to go, but I really don't have much time at home today. (see above) I dropped Emily off at school and went to vote. (Florida Primary today) Came home, threw a load of clothes in the washer and am currently scanning stuff to put on Ebay. I'm sick and tired of talking about it. Time to get this stuff outta here. Mainly scrapbook stuff, but a few other things too.

It's DT upload time again at Scrapforums. We worked with Holly McCaig stuff this month for digi stuff...and another digi sponsor too...watch for that later this week. Holly has some of the yummiest digi stuff. She's got the right colors, the right amount of "grunge"...and the right amount of elements to work with too. My very first digi layout was actually done using one of Holly's earlier kits. And now, almost TWO YEARS later (wow), I'm working with her goodies again! These are the two layouts that I've done for her this time. (so far).

Today we're uploading the stuff that we did with the "I'm A Scrapaholic" kit. I'll share it tomorrow...or you can check it out in the Scrapforums gallery a little later. I want to get this stuff on Ebay before I upload them.

And with this...I'm on my way to Ebay...


Singalong, ebay and just stuff.

Last night, we went to one of the Disney Hotels to celebrate my SIL's 50th Birthday. We saw Bob Jackson perform his funny piano singalong stuff and had a great time. Bob and Lynn had been trying to get us there to watch him for a long time and this time, since it was Lynn's birthday, we felt that we needed to go. Lynn had a few of her closest friends and family there. Josh and Emily didn't want to go but once we were there, I think they had a great time. Emily enjoyed singing with me and I think Josh enjoyed himself too, even though he might not want to admit it.

For Lynn's birthday, I made this for her...it was actually a recipe book that I picked up from the dollar bins at Target. I just added some of the awesome DT stuff from this month's kit sponsor and turned it into a personalized recipe holder for her. I punched holes in 4x6 index cards and placed them inside. The colors in this picture are actually WAYYYY off...there are more greens in here than blues/purples. Not sure why the picture turned out like this.

I've spent some time today list stuff on Ebay...FINALLY!!!! I've got a ton of stuff that I want to get rid of but don't just want to put it in a garage sale or take it to Goodwill or someplace similar. I've been trying to get the motivation to list this stuff and finally started it today. I think I've only listed 5 items so far...all in the scrapbooking category...but there is a TON more to list!! Wish me luck...I really want to keep this going and get it done! Oh, and if you're interested in checking out what I'm listing, just click here...my ebay listings.

Don't forget to check out the fun challenges over at Scrapforums. And also, check out the stuff going on over at The Shaker Box too. Between those two sites...you're bound to find some inspiration to get ya scrapping!!!

Till next time...


A kick in the pants to get you scrapping!!

I've started a new challenge thread over at Scrapforums. And there's a RAK involved too...so get on over there and check it out. This link right here will get you right into that thread...but don't stop there. Check us out...you might want to just kick up your feet and join us for a while.

Today I've been entering registration stuff for Crew and I even went to the gym too. I've met someone new...a mom of a little guy in Em's class. They just moved here from the DC area. (close to my hometown neck of the woods) She and I have met at the gym twice this week. It sure has been nice to have someone to workout with. She might just be the kick in the butt I need to get to the gym regularly. Wish me luck!!!

No big plans for the long holiday weekend here. We're going to my SIL's b-day celebration I think...but that's about it. Alex might have to work on Monday...that stinks...but he'll get used to this new position eventually and that'll change. (I hope)

Off to get some laundry done and the scraproom cleaned up a bit. I've got another challenge that I want to post today too. So be on the lookout!!

Edited to add:
I just put up the new Friday Technique Challenge at Scrapforums. Come over and join us and get yourself entered for a fun prize at the end of the month!


Oh la la...

I love my new look. My good friend Michele took care of editing my blog for me today. THANKS SOOOOOOOOO MUCH Michele!!!!! I know I've already thanked you many many many times over, but...I'm just so happy to actually have this done now. It RAWKS girlfriend!!

Oh, and for those that don't know my friend Michele...she's the owner of this cute scrapbooking site called the Shaker Box. She's also my cleaning buddy...IM buddy...shoulder to bitch on buddy. We talk on a daily basis and sometimes think that we were seperated at birth. Thanks for being such a great friend and thanks (once again) for making my blog look so purty!!!

My kiddos are home from school today. Most of the surrounding counties are also home from school today. All the hype about Hurricane Ernesto...or tropical storm...tropical depression. Whatever the heck the storm is. Gov. Bush declared Florida a "state of emergency" on SATURDAY last week...in fear of Ernesto growing to a category 3 storm before hitting Florida. Quite frankly...I think that was a scare tactic, more than anything. I understand how off guard we were with Hurricane Charley...man, do I understand that. And then of course, the devestation to MS and LA last year with Katrina. But, I think the media is really hyping this stuff up now...getting people worried about the little storms now. Crying wolf, per se. And it's really frustrating.

Take school closings today. The kids and I have home all day and have had a bit of light rain this morning but only clouds since around 10. I wasn't going to go anywhere but when there was a HUGE break in the weather, I took off and ran a few errands that I wanted to get taken care of. The kids COULD HAVE gone to school today. They could have done a half day thing...getting everyone home by 2 this afternoon. It's 2:30 now and it's still not raining. I suppose we're supposed to be seeing some wind and lots more rain as the afternoon/evening progresses...but bottom line, today was a waste of a "bad weather day". Now we've lost our day before Thanksgiving for the 3rd straight year in a row.

OK...enough of me complaining about that. My kids really haven't been a pain at all today. I had them both clean their rooms that they've destroyed since school went back in session. I didn't even get all the complaining, etc. that I usually get. Emily finished her room and went across the street to play with her friend. Josh did most of his room (cleaned it to his specs anyway) and has been talking to his girlfriend online. He asked about going to her house but I told him that I was worried that he'd get over there and the weather would get bad and he'd be stuck there and not be able to get home at a decent time. First I told him I'd think about it and then I told him that he could go for a just a couple of hours. He just said that he was going to stay home and probably take a nap. HE DIDN'T EVEN FLIP OVER THAT ONE!!! No attitude or nothing! I love it when that happens!!!

Anyway...I'm off to start another load of clothes and to toss a Cherry Cobbler in the oven. Nothing like a bit of comfort food during a hurricane, huh??? ;)


Serious case of buyer's remorse...

DH and I were talking yesterday about how time seems to go by so much more quickly as we get older. This is soooooooooo true. Sad...but true. And here we are...another Monday...the end of August. Heck, it's almost Christmas again already. Didn't we just put that tree away? (no, we're not one to keep it up till July. I promise)

I thought I'd update this little blog thing before I head out for my day's adventures. DH and I did something really really stupid yesterday. Ya see...Alex has wanted a big screen TV for a LOOOOOONG time now. He's watched the sales on them regularly, kept me posted on any changes in technology, etc etc. The TV that he wants started at about $4000 but has worked its way down to about $2600 now. I want so badly to make this happen for him. He works so hard...makes good money...provides for and does so much for all of us. I've really been thinking alot about splurging and getting the TV. But, with the TV, will have to come an entertainment center too. Because the TV is way too big for the center that we have now. The entertainment center that he really likes is close to $4000 too...but we found another one that we like that's about half that.

So, yesterday, we're out and about...just the two of us...we thought we'd go by and see what they had at Best Buy. How much the TV was now. Well, like I said, it's down to about $2600. BUT...now they have a 55 inch one too. We were stuck on the 50 inch set for all this time and now DH says that he "really wanted" a 55 inch set because 60 was too big. And before, they didn't make a 55 inch one in that model. etc. etc. Well, this 55 inch tv set is $3300. Well, shoot, what's another $700 right???? A LOT!!!

We spend way too much time there, talking with the sales guy, going back and forth on what we want to do. We're almost out of debt on all of our cards now but we decide to see about re-instating the Best Buy card...hey, they've got 2 yrs. no interest. OH BOY!!!

It takes forever for them to get all the numbers put in...seems they just got a new system and they were still trying to work out the kinks. (should have taken this as a sign that we didn't really need to buy this) AN HOUR LATER, we're finally signing the credit card slip and have a set up and delivery date of Wednesday. Now we're off to the furniture store.

The guy at the furniture store puts in all the numbers, gets the total and then boom...a big rumble of thunder and his computer shuts down. (another sign???) It comes back up, right back to my screen...no need to re-enter anything. I give him the CC and we're off again.

DH and I both get in the car and we start talking about what we just did...here we've just gotten ourselves pretty much out of debt and we toss out close to $7000 on credit cards again...like we've just got it to blow, right??? Alex said that he felt really bad about that...and he wasn't sure why. We only talked about it a little bit more last night and never really got anything resolved.

After tossing and turning all night last night...thinking about this stupid TV and entertainment center. Thinking of all the things that are coming up in the near and not so near future. I almost got up and put everything out on paper at 11 last night. First thing I asked Alex this morning was "do you think we should cancel everything???". I think he was waiting for me to pull that trigger...he didn't want to make the decision. When I told him that I thought it would be ok to do it, he started spilling all that he had going on in his head about it too.

Soooooooooooo...I'm off to take care of all of that today. OH BOY. Gotta love it!

I really wanted to start the Woman's Day 30 days to a clean house today. I still could really...spend an hour getting this stuff done and then go do all that I need to do. I have about 5 loads of laundry that need to be done and Alex needs shirts dropped off at the cleaners too.

Does the excitement ever end???


Boring blog...

I've decided that I have a rather boring blog...just the look of it is boring! I wanna know how to add my own header...and then I want one of those slide things with my layouts and stuff on it. Who's gonna help me do that??? Laurie, Stacy, Michele???? Huh huh? Come on...I know you guys are tired of looking at this boring thing, right?

Speaking of boring...my day is boring today! I'm in a funk! Probably has a lot to do with the crap between Josh and I last night. Damn, being the mom of a teenager who is extremely jealous of his 6 yr old sister is the pits. I mean, I'm sure just the whole parent of a teenager thing sucks on it's own, but man oh man...Josh has ZERO TOLERENCE for Emily...unless it's on HIS terms. And if his girlfriend is around...it's even worse. Yesterday, he got onto Emily and then onto me for not disciplining her...when I really couldn't get a word in over his...and that led to other things...and lots of screaming and yelling...and a horrible swear from Josh directed AT ME...and a backhand from me to him. Damn, I hate that...my mother backhanded me a lot when I was a teenager and I swore that I wouldn't do it to my kids. But when your 15 yr old is sitting next to you in the car and tells you to quit being a "F***ING SMARTA**" what would be your first reaction? I was pissed at him AND at myself for the rest of the night. Then DH got on him for being disrespectful to me...and got on to Emily for not listening. It was NOT a good night in the Baker household. Sure hope it's better tonight!

I've been pretty lazy for most of today. Still haven't put away everything that I got from the party. I've got it all in one spot and have found homes for a few things, but not all. I want to make a list of stuff for thank you cards and haven't done that yet either. The house is pretty clean...could use a good vacuuming, but that's basically it, except for the laundry. (story of my everyday life)

I'm waiting for Laurie to IM me...I want to scrap...and she wants to scrap too...I would love to challenge with her. Come on Laurie...whatcha waiting for?????


Lordy Lordy...I AM FORTY!!!! (but it's a good thing)

How'd that happen? I'm 40 yrs. old now. FORTY...time flies when you're having fun. And fun, I've had. I don't feel bad about being 40...not at all. I spent a lot of time reflecting this weekend. Reflecting on all that I've done in my 40 yrs. Alot of great things...alot of not so great things. Alot of things to be proud of and even a few that make me not so proud. I've been told that I look great for 40...I feel good about myself for the most part. I could stand to lose weight...and with that, I'm sure I'd feel more confident in myself. But, I have a husband that loves me very much. Four awesome kids that also love me and that make me EXTREMELY proud. I have alot to be thankful for in my life and I want to start this next chapter of my life off by reminding myself each day of how well I have it.

Alex put together an absolutely amazing party for me for my 40th birthday. I was blessed with the presence of about 70 of my closest friends and family. Gosh, I sure have some great friends. Kris helped him by getting out the invitations, but Alex did all of the rest of the stuff on his own. He asked for opinions from me while planning it, but he did all of the planning, putting together and throwing of the party. And man...it was AWESOME!!

He rented a frozen drink machine and served up Margaritas and Pina Coladas. There was a TON of beer, wine and other beverages of choice. (and plenty left over too) He had the food brought in from Smokey Bones...ribs, chicken, pork, brisket and turkey...and sides to go with. He put together custom made music CD's just of the types of music that I like, and then transmitted it to the wireless speakers outside. He put together one top notch party, I tell ya! Everyone commented on what a great job he did too...so very deserving of a good pat on the back. And all of that, he did for ME...told you he loves me!

We had so many great folks here to help me celebrate. All the old gang from the other house...the "Mayberry" clan as we called it. It was so great to hang out with all of them again...Jerry and Susie, Al and Holly, Tony and Joy, and even Steve Thomas came. So good to see him...sure wish Denise could be here too. I still miss her alot. We had the neighbors from this house here...most of them have lived here for YEARS and hardly knew each other. I watched them sit together and chat like old friends. I even had my mom and sisters here too. Its been a long time since the 4 of us have laughed as hard as we did last night. Even with Shelli smearing icing in my face and up my nose. :D

And of course, what would the party be without my Ya-Ya's???? The scrapping group that tops all scrapping groups. We're more than a group of scrappers that get together monthly to scrapbook...we're a sisterhood. A group of friends that would certainly be there for the others in a time of need...a group of friends that share laughter, secrets and have had our own share of tears too. These girls pulled together and surprised me with a hell of a celebration of their own. They blindfolded me and when they took the blindfold off, they all had a sparkler in their hands and sang Happy Birthday to me...then presented me with an "official ya-ya birthday hat" that had been cleverly made by Joy. OMG...this hat was so cool...gaudy, but so cool. And so very very special. I will need to find a special place to display this special symbol of the friendship we all share.

Jorge came over too...he took over 150 pictures of the party. I think it was like 188 pictures, actually. Mostly group shots of the party guests...lots of great shots of people smiling and having a great time. Lots of funny shots of me...having fun...being goofy. I should put together some sort of mini album of this party. So that the memories are all there...never to be forgotten.

This morning...the morning after...no kids (they stayed overnight with a friend), no dogs (we boarded them with the vet)...Alex and I got to spend some good quality time together. Just the two of us. We slept in...or maybe I should say "I" slept in. When I got up, Alex had already cleaned up alot of the party mess and had made coffee. We sat and talked about what a great time we both had. We enjoyed coffee together...read the paper...enjoyed each other's company. Had a great day. We even took a nap this afternoon too. I sure needed it! I'm getting too old to party like that. LOL

Now, the kids are home, the house is put back together (for the most part), the dogs come home tomorrow. Time to get on with things...get back on a routine, get on with life. And even though that life is sometimes crazy busy...sometimes a little overwhelming...it's a good life. A life that I wouldn't trade for anything else.

I think I'll be happy at 40!!


The first week of school...

...is almost over already. And it has been a success too, I might add. Josh is thrilled to be back at school and can't wait to be cleared for Crew Practice. They're starting practices next Monday but he still needs his physical and that will need to be cleared through the school before he can practice. (I still need to get that Crew packet filled out too)

Emily seems to like her new teacher. She's not said anything at all about anyone being bad in her class...so that's a good thing. Last year, she would tell me each day, within minutes of getting in the car, who had to change their behavior apple. She's had homework two days this week and getting her into the routine of actually getting it done when she gets home is quite the challenge. She doesn't understand that homework is a MUST...and not just something to blow off and not do. Of course, this is still something that I work with Josh on too. LOL

Dance has started again too...TWO classes this year. TWO days a week, TWO payments, TWO costumes. At the beginning of the summer, Emily didn't want to dance at all this year. She wanted to try "Karate" instead. I signed her up for her introductory classes and she had a great time, but then decided that she didn't want to do that either. We finally told her that she needed to give dance another shot. She loves to dance, but I think she was bored with ballet. Now she's in Tap and a ballet/jazz combo that will do a jazz number in the recital next June. She went to both classes this week without a fight and actually had a great time. She even told Josh that he would think that her jazz teacher is "hot". ROFL!

With so many errands and things this week, I've not been home long enough to clean my house. This is beginning to DRIVE ME NUTS!!! I can stand a little bit of a mess for a little while, but days long...NOPE. It starts getting to me. But, unfortunately, not enough to bust into it when I get home. I'm wiped out trying to get back into the early to bed and early to rise routine again. The kids are going to bed without any trouble, for the most part...it's just ME that needs to get back in gear now. I need the energy to clean my house.

Maybe I'll get up and get started on it now. Alex is out of dark socks and I'm sure he'll be mentioning t-shirts and underwear soon too. I think I'll start with a load of laundry...and then a coat of paint on the final two doors still needing to be finished.

Aye aye aye...a never ending list!


Bye bye summer...hello blog!

I know I've been a super bad blogger in the past, but this is ridiculous really. I haven't blogged since school let out? Really??? HA...can't believe time flew by like that. It's not like I spent the summer not getting online. I spent a good amount of time online, just not updating the blog. I did manage to get a few things done too...got both Josh's and Emily's rooms cleared out and deep cleaned, cleaned out my closet, am in the middle of painting all the doors in the place AND I even got a bit of scrapping done too. Oh, and I can't forget the weekend trip to Vegas too! (to scrap even!!)

The kids are back in school...today was day #2. I have 1st and 10th this year...and of course, Brooks being a JUNIOR in college this year and Kyle being a college FRESHMAN. HOLY MOLY. I'm getting old!

Ooops...gotta run. Just realized that Emily has dance in just 15 minutes. Here goes the craziness.


Last of the Teacher Gifts!!!!

It's done!!! IT'S DONE! Emily's teacher's end of the year gift. I've had this idea in my head for months and was actually going to teach one of these at the LSS before I left. I ended up just holding on to it to finish it for Mrs. Phillips instead.

I saw a Valentine's Canvas like this at a cute little stamping store near Orlando. (Impressions of the Heart) I just took the accordian idea thing and made it into a teacher gift instead.

It's a 6x6 canvas, painted and flipped. So you're actually looking at the back of the canvas here. I folded cardstock to make an accordian book that pulls out from the center. The canvas is painted red, front and back...yellow cardstock used as a frame to kind of add a little more than "just red". The ribbon that I used was from Michael's. The 3-D embellishments are from Joann's. Oh, and I doodled with my Souffle pens too. Stamped the KINDERGARTEN title with Staz-on and did the CLASS OF 2006 in Souffle too.

The accordian album inside opens up and there is a picture of each child from the class on each page. I used PSE to add the names of the kids to their picture. I didn't take a picture of the back of the accordian but I cut our "YOU ARE THE BEST" with the Wishblade and put it across the back of the accordian.

I really am thrilled with the way this has turned out. I'm SURE the teacher will like it too. She's loved the handmade goodies I've done for her this year. This was a fun one!!

Thanks for looking!!


Here's what I've been working on today/tonight. Another set of cards to give as a teacher's end of the year gift. Another set made at the request of a friend/neighbor. I've done a total of 4 of them now. I think this one and the other one that I shared are my favorites. I love the colors of this one.

It's almost midnight now and I still need to add the finishing touches to the gift bag to go with these cards and then I'll be off to bed. I still need to finish Emily's teacher's gift...but I think I can get it done in a couple of hours tomorrow morning. I've got the pictures printed and the canvas painted...I'll just need to finish the mini accordian album with the pics and then add a few details to the canvas. I sure hope it turns out the way it's pictured in this cramped mind of mine. If so, it'll be really cute. I sure hope the teacher likes it!

We've got our end of the year party in Em's class tomorrow. The last day of school is Tuesday! I can't believe it! And I'm certainly not ready for summer vacation!

I have Kyle's graduation on Thursday and then he'll be here for about a week. Not sure what we'll do that week, but I'm sure we'll have fun! I always have fun when my boys are here. And Kyle is such a crack up...there's never a dull moment. Can't wait!

We had Em's dress rehearsal yesterday. Even though I didn't get the curls right in her ponytail, she still looked all too adorable! I can't wait to see the pictures taken by the photographer. And our class picture will be so cute! Each of the girls dressed as a different type of doll. We have a cowgirl doll, a raggedy ann, a nutcracker...and a few others. Our instructor's hubby is playing a doll maker and when he falls asleep, the dolls come to life. Very sweet...but Em's ready for the recital and to move on to Jazz next year. Oh, and let me just say...I love the colors of her costume, if I do say so myself!

Josh had his girlfriend over on Saturday. He really likes this girl...and has liked her for most of the school year. But...she's on the crew team too. And they were trying to hold off till the end of the year to "go out" because they didn't want it "in the boat". She really held him at a distance till just recently too. Last week, he went over there for a couple of hours one evening and then she spent the day here on Saturday. (and they've been on the phone together quite often too)I was so proud of him...he asked her what her favorite breakfast foods were and got her Cheerios, Bagels and Smoothie stuff too. When she got here, he made her all three and they sat on the couch watching movies all day. He was happy to have her here. She's a sweet girl and I like her parents too. I guess this is all a good thing. But I'll say now...Josh better start making some of his own money if he's gonna have a girlfriend. I will not be forking out money left and right. LOL

OK...it's even closer to midnight now...I'm outta here and off to bed shortly. 6am will be here all too quickly.

Thanks for reading!


see what I did today???

I've been working on a card set for a neighbor
today. She ordered 4 of them for teacher's gifts and this is the second set that I've done for
her. I made a cute little gift bag to go with these, but I need to add a few finishing touches to it
before I'll call it "finished". They really are straight...just scanned kind of whompy...I was in a hurry.

Now...to go get the kiddos from school. So much for today. LOL

5/17 Edited to add a picture of the gift bag that
these cards will go into.

Still need to do two more sets. I should get busy!

Just around the corner...

is summer vacation! YIKES!!! Just one more week of school. No more will I have a kindergartener or a HS Freshman. This school year has flown! But, I gotta say...it's been a pretty good year for Josh (for the most part) and a great year for Emily. Her Kindergarten teacher has been awesome! We're really going to miss having her!

This is the last week of being home by myself each day. Time to get chore charts together and work on getting some sort of routine for me and the kiddos. But even that won't happen till after Kyle leaves. He graduates next Thursday and will be spending the following week here with us. It'll be great to see him too! I can't believe Brooks AND Kyle will both be in college next year. HOLY MOLY, I'm getting old!

Today, I'll be doing laundry (same as every other day) and working on getting a few things put up from the weekend. I also need to work on some card sets that I promised someone that I'd make for them for teacher gifts. I'd like to get those outta the way today and get them off my plate. I've got a project started to give to Em's teacher too...want to get that outta the way too. Maybe I'll be a little creative today...and forget about the cleaning and stuff. HA!

I'm also in the middle of sorting and tagging ALL of my digital pictures that I have on disc right now. WHEWWWWW!!!!! What a task! I've been digital for well over 5 yrs now. I haven't even put a dent in the number of discs that I have and I've already tagged close to 3000 pictures. It'll be nice to have them organized though and know where to find what pics. I'll work on that a bit today too.

If I'm going to get anything at all accomplished today though, I'd better get moving!

Thanks for reading!!


Another Weekend on the Water!!

Has it really been two weeks since I last blogged? I can't believe it! I chatted with a friend last week that I hadn't talked to in a while...she said she'd been busier than "a hooker with two beds". I almost spewed coffee all over the monitor when she said that but, OMG...I can soooooooo relate. I keep thinking that I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Thinking that the weekend of June 3rd will be the last of the really busy weekends for a while...then something else pops up and just shows that that light at the end of the tunnel really isn't anything more than another oncoming train!! Right now, we're waiting to hear whether or not Josh will go to Cincinnatti the weekend of June 10th for a Regatta. There was talk about going if they qualified this weekend and that they did. Now it's a waiting game while the coaches and board discuss what they'll do now. Unfortunately, they tend to dangle the carrot and then yank it away when the rowers get close. It's what they did with Nationals...they talked it up all season long and then decided a few weeks before that we weren't going. Don't get me started on that one!

We spent most of our weekend in Tampa again, on the canal. This time for the SE Regionals. Alot of folks don't like this venue, but I really like that you can see almost the entire course, no matter where you sit...and with the boats going right in front of you to go to the start line, it sure makes for some fun pics!! And some good cheer for the boats too!

The coaches decided to race 4's for this race. They usually race 8's, with some 4's, but this time, we strictly raced 4's. Josh's boat was the "second 4" which was apparently like a Varsity B group. There were two freshman and two sophomores in this boat. Making it the only boat with underclassmen in this category. And...they took FIRST place...moving them into the finals later in the day...they ended up taking THIRD overall. It sure was exciting to watch that!! Oh, and the name of the boat that they won in????? EMILY...of course, Em thought that was sweeet!!!!

Boone had a few boats that did very well in the regionals. It's going to be interesting to see if they follow through and take these kids to Cincinnatti to race again. If not, we'll be Regatta Free till
October...when we head off to Chattanooga, TN for the "Head of the Hooch" Regatta.

Alex, Emily and I ended up driving home Saturday evening since Josh's boat wasn't in any of the Sunday races. I kind of wanted to stay in the hotel for the extra night, but I'm glad that we came home after all. I was able to sleep in for Mother's Day and ended up having a very relaxing day! Alex made me a yummy breakfast and then we watched Walk the Line together. (love Joaquin Phoenix!!) I sorted pics in Photoshop Elements all day and watched Yours Mine and Ours with the kids, later in the afternoon. It was definitely a LAZY day for me...but, I deserved that...I told Alex to treat me like the queen that I am...and he and the kids did just that! Gotta love it!

But...now...it's time to get a move on. I still need to unpack from the Tampa trip, catch up on laundry and work on Teacher gifts...the kids have just ONE WEEK left of school. YIKES!

I'd better get busy!!

Thanks for reading...and be sure to leave a comment so that I know that you're reading! :D


Pictures, a layout or two and a bit about the weekend...

I left on Friday to drive Josh and a couple of his team mates to Tampa for the Florida Scholar's Rowing Association Regatta this weekend. There were 40 teams competing at the Tampa By-Pass Canal near Brandon. We got over there around 2 on Friday, the teams all took a practice "run" or two and we headed to our hotel, then to dinner and back to the hotel for the night. We had to be up and in the lobby to eat a quick breakfast at 6am. Our school had it's first heat at 7:24am. YIKES!

The weather was pretty calm early in the morning but by mid morning, the winds had picked up. Thus making it a rather challenging day to row. Josh's boat wasn't racing till 1:08 originally but ended up not hitting the water till almost 2:00 due to the delays from the wind. These were the same kinds of wind we dealt with at the Hood Cup back in March...and then, the races got scratched. It would have really been a P.I.T.A had they cancelled any of the races on Saturday. The delays just caused us to be at the canal much longer than we'd planned to be. But...it was fun anyway. And I got some great shots too! Our tent was set up on the shore just past the finish line and the boats all passed just in front of us as they headed to the start line and then again as they finished and were heading back to the launch dock. Very very cool, IMO!

See how close I got??? These were taken as they were headed to the start line. Sure wish Josh would cut his hair and keep it cut. LOL

This picture was taken as Josh's boat was heading down the canal during their race. They finished 5th of 6...there's a story behind that one...but I won't get into it. Put it this way, another boat should not be able to stop the race if their seat happens to conveniently come off just after the start. Of course, the high winds didn't help at all either!
We got back around 10 pm Saturday night...I was absolutely exhausted and was sound asleep by 10:30. Only to sleep till after 11 on Sunday. I just could NOT wake up! Alex said it's because I get somewhat dehydrated when I'm out there all day like that. I drank water...but I really wanted to stay away from those porta potties as much as possible. YUCK! Being in the sun like that always wears me out though. It just takes so much outta me.

We have one more race this season. The Southeast Regionals are coming up the weekend of Mother's Day. Gotta love the sacrifices we make as moms! That regatta is also in Tampa. And its gonna be another long one! Let's hope for calm winds, lower than normal temps and of course, LOW HUMIDITY too! That's really not asking for much, is it?


21 days!!

I've decided, after OOOHING and AHHING over Michelle's entries for the last round, that I'm going to do the The {21} Challenge, Round 3. This time, Rhonna has chosen a word and we're to do our 21 days based on that word. The word couldn't be more fitting either...HABIT! And we've all heard that it takes 21 days to break (or make) a habit.
So...I've done my day one layout. (and am planning my day 2 layout too)
I found the quote on Two Peas and it just hit home so well. We all need the motivation to get us moving...but it IS the HABIT that will keep us going.
I leave in a month to go to Atlanta for Kyle's graduation from High School. How did I get old enough to have 2 HS grads??? Not to mention, a third well on his way now. Sheesh! Anyway, at the graduation, I will be seeing my ex husband, his wife and my ex in-laws. I think I was at my lowest in self esteem when I was married to my ex and really let myself go for a long time. When I went to Brooks' graduation a couple of years ago, I tried my best to look and feel good. I might not have been slim, but even with the extra weight that I had back then, I made sure that I felt GREAT. And I really think that I did. (and I even like the pics that were taken of me then too)
Now, with Kyle's graduation just around the corner, I've put on a few more pounds and am not feeling the best that I could feel. So, I'm setting a goal to get to the gym to work out, to eat better and be sure to take my vitamins. By doing The {21} Challenge right now, I think it's going to help me get to the point where I feel good about this trip...and can face those folks with my head held high and with my confidence beaming. I don't think the timing for this could be any better really.

Thanks, Rhonna!!! (and Michelle too, for trying to motivate me the last round)


Here we go again...

Started this post earlier today but it didn't seem to post..anyhow. I was in a hurry to get out of here this morning to take Sunny to the vet specialist on the other side of town. She's been limping on her hind left leg and I wanted to make sure there weren't any problems with her arthritis or anything like that. They did x-rays and said that there really hasn't been much change since her x-rays last year and that she's probably just a little sore from the hip arthritis. He did put her on a daily arthritis med, Deramaxx...instead of the Rimadyl that she was on occassionally before. I didn't like to give her the Rimadyl unless she was having a really bad day because it has been known to cause liver troubles. The Deramaxx doesn't have these liver issues and is supposed to be a little better. Here's hoping we can see a difference. I hate seeing her waddle the way she's been waddling. Of course, she HAS gained a few lbs since Koda moved in...I'll have to work on getting a few lbs off of her too.

I went to the Scrap retreat this past weekend. And man, what a great time I had! The gals from Club Scrap came to Kissimmee and put on one of their "rolling retreats". It was pretty much all inclusive...meals, workshops and make n takes...everything but the hotel room. But even that wasn't too bad cuz there were 8 of us that we split 3 rooms up with. We made a drop spine box, a ribbon bound 8x8 album, a beaded pendant and then did 10 layouts using one of their monthly kits. On top of all that, they had some really cool make n takes too. IT WAS AWESOME!!

We had open crop time both friday and saturday nights. I was happy to complete two complete two-page spreads and started on an altered composition book too. We stayed up each night till midnight and getting up to be downstairs for a 7am-9:30 am breakfast was TOUGH! (but we did it!)

I mentioned there was an open bar at dinner...well, that in itself was a riot. On Friday night, the bartender had a frosted bowl on the bar to be used for tips. Half the gals had been through the line already and he didn't have a buck in it yet. So...our table rallied together and put a few ones in there to get him started and he sure appreciated that. All I had was a $10 so he let me change it after a few bucks were in there and I left him another $3. Lets just say that he took good care of us BOTH nights! Each time I went to the bar, he gave me TWO Coronas. Not sure if he really thought that I was drinking them all...even I couldn't do that! As much as I love Corona! I was drinking one and sharing the other with someone else at our table. Saturday night there were quite a few Coronas consumed at our table...we even took a picture of the bottles. Nancy tried to make a pyramid with the bottles, but we decided that probably wasn't such a great idea. So we just stacked them like bowling pins instead.

As always, time spent with the Ya-Ya's was filled with laughter...and on more than one occassion, the laughter led to tears from laughing so hard. My friend Nancy Gr...is a HOOT! She's so full of energy and just has the absolute BEST sense of humor! I love that gal!

Oh, and I got to sleep on a SLEEP NUMBER BED! I was so excited...you know, it's the little things that thrill me. Darn it...forgot to take a picture of that though! Also forgot to take a picture of the bartender. Shoot! Oh well...I'll have to be sure to journal all about those things on my pages.

I came home to a happy family and a clean house...showed off my goodies to Alex and the kids and took a 3 hour nap...only to wake up long enough to eat dinner (that Alex made) and watch a quick 30 minutes of TV...then I was off to bed for the rest of the night. I felt so much better this morning, that's for sure!

I almost forgot to add that by the end of the weekend, I'd joined the Club Stamp club. So, now, beginning in May, I'll get a kit with a fun crafty project in it and a bunch of exclusive Club Scrap goodies too. I bought a few of the kits that they had for sale this weekend and can't wait to get unpacked and make some of these things. I want to finish the pages in the 8x8 album and I want to decorate the box too...maybe for a Mother's Day gift. First though, I will certainly have to get the stuff unpacked and then all put away and organized once again before I have room to do anything crafty in this scrap room.

I plan to scan and take some pictures of the goodies that we did this weekend. Once I get those done, I'll come back here and post them. But, for now...I'm headed into the pool with the rest of the crazy people in this house. The pool temp is already at 83*. I said I wouldn't get in till it was 86* but I think I can brave it to spend some good quality time with the family.

Until later...thanks for reading!


A cool challenge!!!

My friend Jessica Bolton, owner of Eclectic Scraps posted an awesome photo+scrap challenge on her blog today. I won't go into the details of the challenge...you'll have to go see for yourself! Just follow that link and you'll see what I'm talking about. And I challenge YOU to do her challenge too!

This is the layout that I created for that challenge. I took random shots around the house and then just took snip-its of each photo. In case you can't tell, there's a shot of my family room, crockpot, my van, a folded pile of laundry and a cluttered mess on my scrapdesk before I cleaned it up earlier. All things that have to do with "ME". I used Jessica's SIGNATURE kit, available at Eclectic Scraps and I used PSE 4.0. I'm pretty happy with the way this layout came together. It's nice to do a bit of digi scrapping again! (I hadn't been doing much of this since we took a hiatus over at Scrapforums)

Thanks for such a great challenge, Jess! I look forward to more of your challenges coming soon!


Chapter Closed...

Well, I gave it a shot...I taught scrapbook classes at the scrapbook store. Surprisingly enough, I LOVED to teach those classes. It was coming up with the ideas to teach that kicked my butt! I was finding it harder and harder to come up with stuff and finding that while I was putting so much thought into those ideas, the rest of my scrapping and projects were sitting untouched. I have been thinking about all of this since before my card class last week...but I finally talked to Liz about it on Friday. I just couldn't continue to beat myself up over it all. Liz was very understanding and said that she knew how hard it was...she said that I did a great job with the teaching end of things and that I was a very creative person...but that she understands that teaching isn't for everyone. I was very happy that she was so good about it all...I didn't want to burn any bridges with her or the store. I like Liz and her store is one of my favorites...and definitely the closest. I didn't want any of that to change, and it hasn't. Thank Goodness!

So that chapter in my life has been closed. I'm feeling a great sense of relief and can now put the time into the "funner" side of things again. Like my DT schtuff! I did TWO projects just last night for the Scrapforums DT. I'd had the sponsor stuff sitting here but didn't allow myself to play until I had my next class project completed. But...now that that's off my plate...I played with the Craft Diner stuff last night. I did this layout with LOTS of doodling...I just love my new Glaze pens and really really really want to get the Souffle set to go with them. (but I'm trying not to spend much till Vegas in June) I smeared my friend's face cuz I didn't know how she'd feel about me plastering her up all over the net. Oh, and the title was cut using my Wishblade. Have I mentioned how much I love that little machine????

This little notebook is the other thing that I did with the Craft Diner sponsor product. This was originally a $1 journal that I picked up at Michael's a while ago. I used the Craft Diner papers and altered it to make a fun little inspiration notebook. I think this one will go in my car for me to use when a thought hits, etc. I really enjoyed making this one! I love to alter stuff.
Brooks called me on Wednesday and asked if it was ok if he and his college roommate, Adam, came down for the weekend. This was a fun surprise and a much welcomed one! They got here Friday afternoon around 3:30 and will be leaving sometime today. We spent the day at Travel Country Outdoors yesterday (a few hours of it anyway). Brooks needs a backpack for his job this summer and wanted to be fitted properly for one. So we took care of that. It's been so nice just hanging out with them. Brooks is so busy with school and working these days that his visits are pretty few and far between. And Adam is a very nice young man...a great inspiration and role model for Brooks. It's been a great weekend!!

Well, I promised Brooks that I'd go to church with them this morning...so I'm off to get in the shower. We were supposed to go to the 8:30 service but we all overslept...oops. So we're off to the 10am service instead.


C R E A T I V E!!

That's what I was tonight. Even though I said I wasn't going to start anything till I had my room done, I had to make something for someone's b-day. Tomorrow is the birthday of the lady that helps in the kindergarten classes at Em's school and I volunteered to make her something. I had a journal that I picked up months ago, on clearance, at Michael's. It had been tossed in the "alterable items" cupboard and it was the first thing I thought to grab when I was thinking of what to make her. I thought about doing a card set or something, but decided that the journal would be more fun. I hope she likes it too!

This isn't the best scan but it was tough to scan it because it was so bulky.

The best part about this journal??? I actually used a bunch of the stuff that I bought at the Expo on Friday. That, in itself, is amazing. Most of the time, the stuff that I buy ends up sitting here and aging (like wine) before I use it. You know...I gotta give it time to mingle with the other stuff that's sitting here. LOL

I had to run a few errands today and while I was out, I picked up the Dyson Vacuum cleaner. Alex and I had been talking about getting one for some time now and he used the old Orek this weekend and told me today that I could go ahead and get the new vacuum whenever...that he thought the old one was a piece of "you know what". I needed to run out for a while anyway...why not get it today while I was out. AND...I had a 20% off coupon for Linens and Things too. They apparently used to list Dyson as one of the brands that the coupons couldn't be used for...but it wasn't listed on my coupon, so they took it. HAPPY DAY!!! I saved just over $100 on my new vacuum...I'm psyched!

I came home and of course, vacuumed the house...I was AMAZED at the amount of stuff that came up with that thing! Alex said that our bedroom carpet looked like it had been cleaned. I know it's sick to say that I think I'll enjoy vacuuming...but I think I will. Just to see that stuff in the barrel of that vacuum is incredible! I might just do it again tomorrow!

I took part of my savings and spent it at Target on a small computer cart that I'm going to use as an "island" type thing in the middle of my scrapbook room. I stand when I scrap and I think having the island there and being able to walk around full circle to grab stuff, will be perfect! This will also allow me to use the scrapdesk that I have now for more storage and stuff. I need to put the cart together...hopefully tomorrow.

I have my annual dr's appt tomorrow...oh boy. Love this time of year...NOT! Hoping to get a few things done before I have to leave...and of course, when I get back too. Will need to do a few cleaning things with the girls over at Scrapforums. If I don't post the cleaning thread and challenges, those girls will hunt me down, I'm sure. Tomorrow's early day for the kids though...I don't like that part of Wednesdays! It always throws me off and I never seem to get much done on Wednesdays. I guess I'll just need to try my best.

YIKES...it's already 12:25am. I'm up wayyyyyyyyyy past my bedtime! Nighty night!


Ooops, I did it again...

Neglected my poor blog once again. And man, have I heard about it! I've had THREE people remind me to update again...and that's just today. I figured I'd get in here and blog a bit before I head off to finish folding the latest load of laundry.

Last week is a complete and total blur! I was so busy, I wasn't sure if I was coming or going! I taught my card class on both Tuesday and Thursday at Memory Lane. This was supposed to be an easy class and was scheduled for 2 hours...it ended up going for 3 1/2 hours almost. This was the first time this had ever happened to me...I'm usually right on with my times...but man, I didn't think that class would ever end. I learned from that one and came home and cut everything for Thursday's class. The Thursday class took 2 1/2 hours but it was so much smoother and one lady even said that it was the "best class she'd ever taken". Brought tears to my eyes, LOL. I was really doubting myself at that point and her comment really made me feel good. I'm currently working on a cute little canvas/accordian book to be used as a teacher's gift. I have it started...need to get it finished and on display at the store.

On Friday, I went to the Scrapbook Expo at the Convention Center. I was supposed to go with Kerri but she had family coming into town and had to back out. She would have had fun though. Even though I spent WAYYYYY too much $$...I spent the ENTIRE day there...looking at almost every booth, buying fun stuff that I can't get locally and I even signed up and took a class. (taught by the very same girl that taught at Memory Lane last month that I loved so much)

So, I get to the Expo, go in, and decide to do the usual trek...down one row, back up, down the next...well, I should have known better than to start with the Embellish It booth...stocked full with the awesome new lines of Basic Grey and Bazzill. There went that chunk of change. Then, just across from THAT booth was the Rusty Pickle Booth...had to get some of their cool paper and of course, their very cool little mini books. Basic Grey and Rusty Pickle...yum!

I had read about Rhonna Farrer's awesome new stamps last week and knew that I'd be getting some of them as soon as I could find them in stores. Wasn't I the happy scrapper when I found them at the Expo!?! I grabbed up two sets of them and have them hanging right over my scrapdesk...waiting to be used. I figure, with them hanging there, I'll use them quicker than if I were to put them away.

On Saturday, I spent the entire day working on cleaning out the scrap room ONCE AGAIN. Kerri came over here a couple of months ago and we spent days working on micro organizing the little stuff. It took FOREVER but it was all pretty organized, I've got a place for everything now, but unfortunately, the places that I have for everything, are now busting at the seems and I'm once again running out of room. So I spent Saturday cleaning up in here a little bit and then yesterday I went through a bunch of stuff and pulled the things that I know will never get used. I'm going to donate it to a local charity that takes in troubled teens...I've heard they want to start a scrapbooking program for their teens and I think they'll be able to use the stickers, patterned paper and cardstock that I'm getting rid of. I'm hoping that this will help me to get some room back in here...and help me keep things organized. Cuz I can't stand the mess this room gets to be!

I have a few DT projects that I need to work on this week. I'm trying desperately to finish the cleaning out before I start on a page or two. I know that once I start on a page, the other stuff will once again fall to the back burner and it'll get piled up once again. I'm so inspired to get creative again...but I really do need to finish what I've started. I'll work on this sorting stuff tonight and see if I can't make a bigger dent. Then maybe I'll start scrapping tomorrow!

OK...there's a bit of an update. I'll try and post more this week. I'm sure if I don't post again, Erin or someone will bust my chops again. :)

I'm off to sort through patterned paper.