Thursday, November 30, 2006

Snow day???

What is this white stuff???? Yesterday we were at 80 degrees. Today our high was 36. We broke a record. Now it's "plunging" into the low 20's with a wind chill in the teens. I live in Texas dad-gummit! I didn't sign up for this! It's pretty coming out of the air, though. That's the accumulation on my porch rail {I didn't venture too far out today}.

I have so much to do before I leave town Saturday morning I had a bit of a breakdown tonight. Maybe it was hormones. I don't know. Anyway, I had a good cry. Matt stepped up to the plate & took over dinner. He sat me down with a glass of wine and made me a mushroom & provolone burger with fries. Yum. Why is it that food tastes better when you don't have to do the work?

OK -I couldn't resist giving you a sneak peek. I'm working on several layouts for publication so I can't show you the whole thing...but I "cut" a little square out of a scan from today to share. There's a lot of pen work going on over here...

Well, I've been making so many of these clipboard calendars I've decided to turn one into a private class. I made this with Gin-X's Time of Your Life line - I just love the colors. I'm thinking of incorporating a second calendar project and calling the class Time After Time. Or maybe just call it I'm a Calendar Girl...

Big thanks to ScrapScene who wrote up the launch of my website! Thank you Angie!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What a difference a year makes...

One year ago today I was short of breath & not feeling well. I went to work. Worked late. When I came home was talking to my husband and fell over, mid-sentence. Paralyzed & terrified. I'd had a stroke. I didn't know if I was going to live, let alone walk {it only deadened my left leg}. I had a job I loved that I wanted to stay at "forever". I was dependent and passive.

Within 3 months I got my pacemaker. Within 4 months I was out of my leg braces. The job I loved so much broke my heart when they decided to close us down and now I was facing imminent unemployment. I found strength physically & emotionally I didn't even know I had. I've learned so much this year. I've grown so much this year. I have a job that I LOVE with a company I believe in. I am empowered, confident & independent.

This is what I know:
1. My husband, Matt, is an angel. He is my rock. He has had to endure so much these 12 months I'm not sure how he's weathered it. But he has never complained and not only has he helped me when I physically couldn't get around our house - he's supported me and believed in me and really empowered me to realize there was "life after Magic Scraps".
2. I can do anything. I spent a lot of my life with an - "oh, I can't do that" attitude. No more. I'm taking risks, learning & trying. And it makes me happier than I've been in a long time. Ashley especially has helped me learn a lot this year & we've grown closer because of it. Ginger & I have grown much closer this year as well - thank God for good friends.
3. I have a future. When I was initially diagnosed at 28 they said without treatment I would've died before 30. Since then my life was always discussed in terms of years, not decades. they tell me now I''m going to get "old and wrinkly". That's downright glorious. Amen.

So as a symbol of all that I've achieved this year I chose today to launch I designed the site myself {unheard of a year ago} and Ashley taught me how to upload it last night. It will be expanding more soon so bookmark it & check back.

Thank you, all of you - friends, family & scrapbookers for all the support you've given me over the last 12 months. I couldn't have made it through without you!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Heartfelt joy...

Well, today was a biggie - my final follow up on my pacemaker for the year. When I had my stroke a year ago I was down to 28. By February my e.f. {ejection fraction} was only up to 33 - so they gave me the pacemaker. 55 is the magic number that's "normal". My first post pacemaker check back in August brought me back into the mid 40's...but no one was prepared for today's readings. I did so well they had to test me twice.
59 then 60!!!!!!
I'm normal...that's unbelievable. We all expected imrovement, but that much - that quick? It's a miracle. They group by every 5 points so I'm technically a "55/60". They adjusted the timing on the voltage to 1 quadrant of my heart by 30 milliseconds and the change was visibly breathtaking. Whenever I'd seen my heart beat before it kind of shuddered and hiccupped because the timing between chambers was off. What I saw for the first time today was a healthy heart working as it was supposed to with all 4 quadrants beating as they should. Made me cry.'s my heart. {I love that they let me shoot video of it!!!!}

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Everybody likes calendars???

I hope so...more holiday crafting this afternoon. A cool find - one of my red dymo tapes was translucent. I'm also a big fan of the wood grain dymo - thanks Virginia!!!

I went out to lunch with my family yesterday for Thanksgiving - everybody's puny. Sharon was sick on Thanksgiving day, Amy's been getting over a sinus infection all week & Matt's coming down with - I dunno...ick? Maybe allergies, maybe a cold? Anyway, everybody was a little miserable - the rest of us tired & headachey {fun group - huh?}. Amy & Meg came home with us yesterday and we lounged & watched movies {Ferris Bueller, Total Recall & some Buffy the Vampire Slayer}. Other than that - some calendar making, messy painting & cooking. Where did the weekend go?

Some days bad things happen to good appliances...

In case yo' momma never told you this DON'T PUT PANTS IN THE MICROWAVE!!! pants + microwave = FIRE!!!

I actually knew this little gem of information...unfortunately my refrigerator was in the wrong place {under said microwave} at the wrong time. Here are some common sense rules that I now realize some people might benefit from:

- If your pants get wet - try a clothes dryer, hair dryer or towel.
- "Metal in the microwave" includes zippers & rivets.
- Synthetic fabrics can quickly & easily catch on fire. Parachute pant material seems to be especially flammable.

Thank heavens Ashley {not the culprit} was there & knew how to work the fire extinguisher. Um - that was Ashley's microwave, though. Looks like we're each down an appliance. I put the fire damage photos in a new flikr album - to see the carnage click here.

I was just about to bring it home, too.
remember the moral of the story:
never, ever put pants in your microwave...

Friday, November 24, 2006

Black Friday bonding...

Today was a real sisterly bonding experience. I spent the morning black Friday shopping with my 2 sisters-in-law {Terrie & Kim - in video} & my stepsister {Nancy - she was in the car for the first trip. As Matt said on the phone..."Oh, she's the smart one." We were in that line for almost 2 hours}. It was the most fun I've ever had that's started at 3:45 AM. We didn't find a ton of bargains, but nabbed quite a few good buys and all of us finished up with a great sense of accomplishment & a genuine desire to take a nap. I surprised Matt's cousin Shawna {blonde, pictured} at two stores this morning - she was out with her sister. At one point I thought I'd never do it again, but when I left I meant it when I said to count me in for next was a lot of fun. It was my first time at Firewheel Mall - I feel like I've been in towns smaller than this place - 785,000 square feet of retail experience spread out over several blocks...whew! We didn't even walk it all {thank heavens} but it was worth the trip out there.
My black Friday crazy shoping video

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Giving thanks...

Today I give thanks for my family &'s been a long day. We're home from an emotion-packed day in Bonham that has left us all pretty drained. We found out by phone that Matt's dad is going in for a series of heart tests over the next few weeks. Not knowing exactly what's going on is always a little scary, but he's being proactive about getting things checked out and there's nothing we can do right now but wait & pray.

I woke up early and scrapbooked before we left town this morning. My friend Angie is putting together a sharebook for her son Josh's tenth birthday. She's requested pages from teachers, relatives & family friends to reflect on his first ten years. I was pretty stressed about doing a good job because I was the only adult Josh requested a page from. He's a great kid. The sharebook format was really fun. They do the "layout" of the page for you and give you enough elements you could keep it plain or add your own stuff. You know me...I had to go a little overboard, but in my defense, I had so much that matched it would've been a shame not to use it!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Confessions of a Dollar Spot junkie...

I love the Dollar Spot at Target. I think it's called the "See Spot Save"- spot now, but I don't care...I still go trolling for bargains every time I go in. Nothing makes me happier than when it goes 75% off...I digress. Last night Martha & I went to Target & found great 2007 calendars - they were in a book format with the plastic "leatherette" covers - once you were done with the calendar you could slide in another or a spiral - kind of like a book jacket. There were large monthly ones and purse sized weekly ones. I bought a stack with a are two sets I did with them tonight. I try to make most of my Christmas gifts, so these are the beginning of the pile. The secret is in the adhesive I used to cover it - red line tape. Like the flocked paper? Also Target...not $1, but a big roll of wrapping paper - lots to work with. I found the matching memo pad in their stationary section {split it into thirds} and made a custom tie for it with ribbon. Added some fun rub-ons for a bit of further personlization & voila! I think they turned out pretty cool. I also bought a big spool of white boa fur from the Christmas aisle...that's gonna be fun to work with!

So happy Thanksgiving! If your holiday shopping takes you past Target pick some up!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Martha's calendar...

My friend Martha's on vacation this week & she came over for dinner & crafting. She saw the clipboard calendars I created for IP & flipped over them. She asked for a black & white one for her new office space {she just got promoted - go Martha!}. I did this up while she worked on a big pile of thank you cards for a friend of hers who just got married {that was her gift - cool, huh?}. This features custom calendar pages & month headers I designed {based on Ginger's date jumbles} as well as Junkitz papers & flowerz, Glossy Accents and a Making Memory fabric label.

We ran to Target to get a last few preThanksgiving essentials...yes...I broke down and bought Fact or Crap. Check it out - it's a lot of fun!

Paging Dale Ann...& kits for sale!!!

Dale Ann, I see you commenting on my blog all the time. I passed aong your comments about paypal & CKU Home Study & they have a solution for you to register.

Also...back in October when I put up the Conquering Christmas class I was teaching in Texas you said you wish I would offer them for people further out...well - guess what? I have some left over & I will be offering them for sale via paypal! The kits are $30 with a $5 shipping charge for that you get everything you need to make a great 3-yr holiday planner. Email & let me know who wants one - they're on a first come, first serve basis!

So Dale Ann - email me! There's a link on the sidebar...

Best Thanksgiving ECards Ever...

I was going to wait & post these on Thanksgiving - but I thought...hey you guys might want to send these out. Here are my top 5 e-greetings for Thanksgiving 2006:

5. Create the Perfect Thanksgiving Dinner - At first the lists seem kind of boring, but hang in there - each option makes for a great animated table scene at the end. Try 'em all! {American Greetings}.
4. Interview with the Leftovers - What does it feel like to be left behind? {Hallmark - you'll have to click the link}.
3. Fun With Taters - it is my Hoops & Yoyo holiday pick. Gotta love those guys. {Hallmark - click the link}.
2. I Will Survive - A turkey in full seventies glory singing I Will Survive...a classic! {American Greetings}.
1. Can't Stuff This - Brand new this year...They dressed up a turkey in hammer pants and spoofed the whole can't touch this video...a must watch! {American Greetings}.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Hopeless Romantic...

The more I look at this little book the more I like it. I named the class I created yesterday. Here's the description & a close-up:

Hopeless Romantic
Show them how much you care with this subdued and beautiful mini album - a personal treasury of your relationship. Not only could this be created as a gift for your special someone, its soft and classic style would compliment vintage photos, a celebration of friendship or would be ideal for pictures of your children. Get in touch with the softer side of scrapbooking with this Imagination Project workshop. Students will need scissors, a tape runner, a sanding block (or sand paper or an emery board) and a standard 1/4 inch hole punch.The book can be completed with black & white or sepia wallet sized photos {no set number - open format}. Three photos need to be able to cut down to 1 3/4 inches square.

I will be teaching it in Clintonville, OH at Cord Camera's concept scrapbook store Friday, December 8th from 6:30 - 8:30 PM. This one's a keeper & I'm going to add it to my roster of private classes that will be available this year.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

It's all about the staggered tag...

There's a new coaster shape at Imagination Project - the staggered tag die {page 4 in the catalog}. They make the BEST mini books. I have so many class ideas with these I can't do them fast enough! I just found out I will be teaching in Clintonville, Ohio in three weeks and needed a new project. I was in the mood to make something a little softer than usual and I let my vintage tendencies out to play. I love the finished book - I can't wait to fill it with photos! It's a "love" book...I know the easiest thing to do would be use vintage photos or wedding pictures, but I'm going to make this of my cousins growing up & how much I love them. Don't reserve a vintage look for older photos, try it with current photos in black & white. This features the Staggered Tag Book by Gin-X, Ornamental Papers by Blue Cardigan Designs, Ornamental Circle Coasters by Blue Cardigan Designs, Crackle Accents by Ranger, Vintage Photo Distress Ink by Ranger, and my new Giga Scalloped Square Punch from Marvy Uchida.

Got Points???

Imagination Project just rolled out an innovative new program - IPoints. IPoints were created to reward our loyal IP users. It's easy and fun, all you have to do is cut and collect the IPoints from our newest releases {every new product from now on & every reprint from here forward will have points}. IPoints can be found on Imagination Project products and can also be earned by taking classes taught by Imagination Project at CKU. You'll be able to redeem these points for limited edition Imagination Project product, iTunes and Target gift cards, t-shirts, great gifts and more! Details will be announced soon. This IPoint organizer {like a divided coupon holder} was originally designed by Laura Stoller. I gave it my own spin & changed out the papers and the look today...I'll be making these with the group in Massachusetts in a couple of weeks. This features Endearing Papers by Chloe's Closet, Derby Days Cotton Art Tape by Chloe's Closet and Antique Pink Andrew Coaster Letters from Gin-X.

Great times in Waco...

I went down to Crop, Paper, Scissors in Waco this weekend and had a tremendous time! My best friend Angie was able to come with me...she hasn't taken my classes since I first started years ago - it was really neat that she came. Her husband & boys were out hunting this weekend so she was going to be home alone. We've been trying to hang out for weeks - but every weekend for the last two months one or the other has been out of town. So we made it a road trip!

I made lots of new friends & I'm looking forward to going back and teaching there soon. I woke up with ideas for a round of January classes - so maybe Jan 20th? I'll be talking to Emmalie to set it up in the next few weeks...keep your calendar clear! If you're in the North Texas area, the store in Waco is worth the trip! The crop room is phenomenal - great chairs. And don't forget - it's only a short 18 miles to the Czech Stop {best bakery in the state}and 33 miles from the awesome outlet malls in Hillsboro. It's a great day trip! There's a painting clay place in the same shopping center as well as an On The Border & a Jason's Deli...great location.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Extreme Altered Coasters is up!!!

My first CKU Home Study class, Extreme Altered Coasters just went online! I am so excited to have had the opportunity to be one of the first professors in the program. It sells for $14.95 - with that you get the class on streaming video {which you have 10 days to view} covering 20 wonderful ways to alter coasters and there are downloads of a handout, visual altered coaster guide and a bonus list with 60 ways to alter coasters! I also have a gallery of over 30 layouts contributed by members of the Imagination Project design team featuring altered coasters. I'm really proud of the class I created for Home Study & I think it's a lot of fun. It's definitely a creative excercise. The class is set up very freestyle and all you need are a pile of coasters and the tools from the supply list you want to play with. Rocky Mountain Hobbies will be offering the kits for this online and carry extra coasters for you to choose from. I hope you can check it next class, my signature CKU Masters class {which I have extensively re-researched & expanded} - TrendWatcher will be released in December.

My top five...

OK, OK...Ginger made me do it! I've been tagged, or rather challenged to list my top five sexiest icons. Of course, I think my husband is my number one, but I have to follow the rules...Read about the girl's of IP's fantasy men on their blogs: Ginger, Laura & Barb. And, Ginger, I'll have you know my dad reads embarrassing...

5. Orlando Bloom - maybe it was the elf ears? I'm a sucker for a swashbuckler...back to back roles in LOTR & Pirates of the Caribbean sealed the deal for me.

4. Tom Hanks - I've loved Tom since Bosom Buddies. By The Man With One Red Shoe {1985} I was sure I would marry him...funny thing most people think Matt looks like a cross between Tom & my number 2 guy {lucky me}.

3. Michael Keaton - he made me laugh in Mr. Mom - I even saw Gung Ho in the theater for him...but nothing made me have a moment like when he wore the black turtleneck in Batman - you know the moment. I went right out & bought a black turtleneck for the guy I was dating - not the same...

2. Matthew Perry - Are we seeing a pattern here? Dark hair, nice eyes & quick to laugh - people who have a real sense of humor and can laugh at themselves - that what works for me. He made Friends an addiction. I'll watch anything he's in.

1. Colin Firth - wow - he made British turn bad boy. He exudes sexuality and romance out of every pore. And he's funny. I'd have to fight my best friend Angie for him, but he tops the list today. Quite frankly, he's a 10.

With that said there are some serious honorable mentions - Jack Black, Johnny Depp, Hugh Grant, Bruce Willis, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Kenneth Branagh & Kevin Pollak to name a few. Well, enough of that - back to reality. Who are your top five?

About the HUGE Scrapbook Garage Sale...

Wow, a little mention on my post sure generated a lot of here's the scoop! This Sauturday, Nov 18th at Magic Scraps {click for map} from 9 AM - 3 PM!!! Magic Scraps overstock liquidation, Scrapbook University final liquidation & individual tables from local scrappers! Come find amazing deals to create Christmas presents in bulk - or find something you've never used, but want to try...While you're here pick up a schedule of digital & hybrid scrapbooking classes for Polka Dot Potato and see the amazing print services they offer! The machine Ashley has in here is incredible & she can print anything & everything from photos to 12x12 layouts or your holiday cards!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Them's fightin' words...

I am ballistic, crazy-insane upset with my new internet provider {our neighborhood is transitioning}, Time Warner Cable. This is my SIXTH outage in FOUR weeks and they can't get anyone out to look at it until FRIDAY. aaaaaaaaaaaggh...

I have been working from the Polka Dot Potato Lounge today for the internet & good company. Man, this is a neat place - if you're in the DFW area come check it out. They just started regular lounge hours from 10-6 daily. Also there will be another ROCKIN' garage sale at the Magic Scraps location this Saturday. I will be teaching in Waco at Crop, Paper, Scissors {some seats still available!}, so if you're not in class, I hope you can shop the sale for my sake!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

An Imagination Project project...

Coming soon from IP...Well, I finished it. Every month IP does a retailer newsletter with instructions and pictures of project to create a class with. For the December edition {my first with them} I created a download of perfectly sized calendar squares to fit the project. To see more of this Party On 2007 Altered Clipboard Calendar either sign up to recieve the retailer newsletter {store owners only} or ask your LSS to subscribe & teach the class!

Thoughts for the day...

One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.
- A.A. Milne
Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.
- Arthur Koestler
The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.
- Linus Pauling
Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.
-Edwin Land
There is nothing new except what has been forgotten.
- Marie Antoinette
Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.
-Rita Mae Brown

Can you tell I'm in creative mode over here? I'm always terrible about blogging mid-project. Hope these quotes on creativity inspire you...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Game On...

Went over to Kate's last night for a game night. We played an awesome game - Fact or Crap - with the "take a drink if you're wrong rules" a result I hardly drank anything early on, because I SO ROCK at that game. Then we played "I never" and I found out that "I never" stands for I never need to play that game again {ouch}. Got to hang out with Kate, her sister Beeper, Kandice, Pam*, Ashley & a bunch of Kate's & Beep's friends.
*got to meet Pam's new man last night...a brave soul wandering into girl's night with 11 girls pretty well lit grilling him on everything from relationship history to most influential novel. He earned the preliminary girlfriends' stamp of approval.

I'm up & running working on a few projects this morning. Matt's headed back up to his uncle's after a meeting at work this morning & will be spending the night in Bonham so I made plans... I'm going over to Kandice's for dinner. I wanted to bring a bottle of wine, but I know nothing about reds so I headed out to the store for some help with a selection. I ended up with a bottle of Layer Cake for her and a bottle of Moscato Allegro for me.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I'm in the "Clique"...

OK, this was a great way to start my day...I was watching CliqueTV this morning & there I was {only for a brief second} in Lisa B's day-to-day. I'm in a blue sweater with my hair up on the set filming my Extreme Altered Coasters class for CKU Home Study {which should go live later today?}. It's after the interview, after the magazine covers, then blip - there I am. They shot a little Q & A on what I was filming, but I wasn't really expecting to make "the cut" into her busy day. If you're not already watching CliqueTV...go watch it!!!! Warning: it's highly addictive

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Strange turkey poppets...I love them!

Um...if you know me, you know I've been generally anti-poppet. There I said it. I'm not a hater, I just didn't get it. But, if you look at them enough, I have to admit they do kind of grow on you. So last night I went to bed early & totally screwed up my sleeping schedule. I woke up at 9PM ready to make I thought - why not? Thanks to Ashley & PSE4 I learned the "Magic Extractor" tool - which makes cutting the heads off your friends & family a cinch! Thanks to my turkeys I'm so flipped in my thinking, I think I want some of the poppet stamps!!!

Well, for some unknown reason, I make some kind of paper turkeys each year. This year they're poppets. The feathers are a Gin-X flower coaster that I touched up the edges with ink. I painted circle coasters with brown gloss acrylic paint and cut out the feet freehand. I extracted the heads & mounted them on raw coasterboard and cut & inked the wings from another set of cut up flower coasters.

CAN YOU IMAGINE these on a band of paper as napkin rings for Thanksiving dinner? What a riot to do place cards that way! Bless their hearts - I didn't warn the girls I was turning them into turkeys, but they were all good sports when they saw it. I never would've guessed it, but I have rockin' poppet hair...I think there may be more of these - hmmmmmmm...

Monday, November 06, 2006

I love my online thesauras...

Obviously, I am struggling my way through a mega-writing session if I am professing my love for my online thesauras after 10 PM... I love the technical writing aspect of what I do - I really enjoy writing instructions, directions, product guides & presentations...but sometimes I just run out of words & steam...

here's what I tend to overuse: attach, create, adhere, use, sturdy, flexible, versatile, design, inspired, commitment, innovative to name a few.
here are my favorite words of the day: pliable, pioneering, original, secure, strapping, fronteir, supple, progressive, fasten, motif, adaptable, develop, construct, customize, diligence, imaginative.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Working on the "home office"...

This is my first experience of truly & totally working from home. I'm realizing that I lacked a few major office necessities and am re-jumbling my room to accommodate them. Like I didn't have a printer or a fax. That's a real problem. So I consulted my dad {who knows all when it comes to technology} and he pointed me to this sweet {on sale} all-in-one by HP. It prints, faxes, copies and scans - I'm in business!

My paper trays are on the floor right now as are some of my other things - I'm going to try to reshuffle some more tonight, but I don't want to stay up too late. I'm still kind of wound up from watching Desperate Housewives - were you tense? I was tense. I even cried.

Another addition was an awesome oversized clock{Target clearance: $7.38!}. I had no clock in my room & when I'm creating samples & projects I loose track of time since the computer's off. The yellow of her hair & of the printing is the exact color of my walls {torchlight & honeycomb} - it's a whimsical fit for my funky studio. It's a mess in here right now, but I know it's just half-way to fabulous...anyway - back to work!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Daddy & Daughter Dance...

This is some good stuff - this is the video of Matt's youngest sister and father dancing at half time at their last New Braunfels home football game. Now Matt's dad is in good shape, but he's, well, he's more "mature" than the other fathers {about 20 years more "mature"}. He did an amazing job. OK - where's Matt's dad? Well...go from the starting shot - just right of father's arms are more down to his sides than the others are. See him? Now look one dad to the right who's arms are a little more up than everyone else's - that's James. Matt's sister Tammy is the blonde dancing in front of him. It certainly was a night to remember. Years of dancing have taken their toll & Tammy goes in for her 3rd knee surgery on Monday - she's in our prayers. But as for this weekend - way to go Tammy! and way to go James! go Blue!

Conquering Christmas in San Antonio...

I had such a blast at Scrapbook 911 in San Antonio teaching Conquering Christmas this morning! First of all the store is GORGEOUS! It was totally unexpected, tucked away in a more industrial area - then - BAM - mecca o' scrapbooking in the middle of not where you'd expect! Beautiful building, lots of parking, humungo crop room and such good stuff...ooooooh, I shopped!

Some of the ladies were former CKU students of mine - one even drove in from Corpus Christi to take the class {wow} - all of them were fabulous. There's an extra room off to the side of their large crop room & I even had students in the overflow room who were such troopers.

I loved teaching this class. I'm a bit of an obsessive list maker and was thrilled to be able to share my holiday organization planner with so many ladies right before the season got started. I got a real kick out of seeing how many of them started adding personal touches to it right away...altering envelopes, making extra pockets, adding lists specific to their own holiday traditions...Keeping a record like this really makes you feel in control of what usually turns out to be a hectic holiday season. It was a great 2 1/2 hour class - but when we finished most of them said they were going to keep adding more personal touches to the book into the afternoon. We also talked about the importance of recording your memories of the holidays as they happen; not only as a jumpstart for journaling later, but also as a way to appreciate and reflect on the blessings of the season. I threw in a few of my favorite holiday recipes into the handout to kick off a section of the planner set aside for recording favorite food traditions in your family.

What is your favorite holiday dish? When you think of Christmas - is it Christmas cookies or Pea Salad? Bacon Cups or Creamed Spinach? Blog about it here then go write it down - make a scrapbook page about carries memories and feelings of comfort for all of us...

Thursday, November 02, 2006


See the video!

There's a turtle in the house...Rusty {my husband's twin} just dropped off his turtle "Stomp" for a bit of a turtle vacation at our house! We are "turtle sitting" for the next week or so - and this is our first pet experience as a couple. Apparently neither of us has much of a desire to actually touch a turtle, but he's safely tanked now so it's OK. He's just swimming around now, doing his turtly-thing getting acclimated to his new environment. We have been assured that Stomp will be fine overnight when we leave tomorrow. I will follow up with more turtly reports.

No turtles were harmed in the making of this video and Stomp performed all of his own stunts...

Rockin' SAT scores!!!

2270!!!! My cousin Amy got a 2270 {out of 2400} on her SAT's and we are SO PROUD!!! She was in the top 99% in the reading & writing and the top 89th% math. Amy is thinking about majoring in voice and singing opera as a soprano. A few weeks ago she placed first in the regional choir pre-auditions and in the top ten of the second round. That gives me an idea...I'll tape them singing for you some time...

Amy was born when I graduated from high school {when my scores were 1140/1600 -99% in reading & writing and 32% in math - oopsie}. I can't believe she's a senior now...I can't believe I've been out of high school 18 years...

Halloween happened...

Well, my internet has been down & I've been adjusting to the working world again - so I feel a little out of touch. Halloween happened - not many trick or treaters this year. Did up a little "display" for the ones that came over & I think it turned out pretty cute. I forgot to take it down the next day and our poor cable repair guy must have thought it had some kind of significance because he either saluted it or crossed himself each time he passed it while trying to fix the internet.

We did have some family treaters - our nieces & our cousins. You can see Haley made a darling 50's girl and Amy went with her baby doll stuck to her behind {she's a baby sitter!}.

Later, after my cousins worked a haunted house they headed over for candy with my Aunt Carol and we had a nice visit. See the mark on Amy's cheek? She's in AP Chemistry and did chemistry demonstrations for the underclassmen all day and got some kind of chemical burn {temporary} on her face and all over her hands and some up her arms. As usual, she was in great spirits in spite of it all - she said it didn't hurt anymore and really enhanced her "look". Meg faced the harsh reality that at 15 she is too old to go door to door {although she did try at a few doors}. She wore the cloak to school and was told that costumes weren't allowed. She successfully argued that a cloak is a type of coat and/or sweater and is not mentioned in the RISD dress code - and she would've gotten away with it too, if her friend Jake hadn't walked by and said "cool costume"...