Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Atlanta, GA

I leave in a few hours for the expo in Atlanta.

I have some friends whose homes have been damaged or lost in the hurricane. It hadn't hit the gulf shore yet when I got home, and watching the devastation unfold has been heart wrenching. My prayers are with everybody who has been touched by this disaster. Some of my other friends are in areas where the flooding is still coming through. Be safe.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

pages of late

I was thinking about using these to enter the master's contest, but I didn't get a fifth layout completed in time. Everything was made using the Pages by Design templates. I am okay with not entering this year because I know I can put together a stronger entry than this. I just have to start earlier next year! I am hoping to see a Pukester sweep again in the final calls, though, so I am happily cheering on all my Pukester budies who DID get their entry in on time this year!

This was going to be my joy and comfort page. I really do like how it came out, and the scan doesn't do it justice. I called Jack on his cell when he was at Walmart and sent him on a search for pink ric rac... LOL... what a good sport he is. He found this chenille stuff, which was a really fun texture that I hadn't counted on! The title is strips of cardstock and Creative Imaginations epoxy stickers, I used Kalaidescope papers by MME, a Creative Imaginations priceless rub-on, and a Junkitz token. Journaling reads:A trip to Pebbles and then to the bank wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t stop in the bread store and get a complimentary slice of freshly baked bread with butter. It doesn’t matter which of the kids I have with me, they all insist on this part of the routine. It is always a pleasant break; a chance to sample new recipes, chit chat about our lives, and buy some fresh bread to bring home. Our sidetrips to the bread store have become as much of a family tradition as any of our holiday traditions are. I love these everyday moments that shape and mould our family routines. I appreciate the simple joy in life, and the kids’ reactions to things like trips to the breadstore tell me that they do as well. Enjoying some homemade yumminess together on our errand runs is more than a sampling of some creature comforts. It is a bonding experience that builds lifetime memories. The weekly shopping and banking are family necessities, but the moments in between, the slices of life if you will, are the things that the kids will remember and share with their children and grandchildren. The “big” things in life are important.. births, weddings, epiphanies, etc. It is the everday little things, though, that bring me the most joy and comfort, and assure that life, whatever it brings, always goes on.

These were two of my fvorite photos from St. Augustine. They were cut off in the scan, but there are some Jolees ink bottles in the bottom right corner.LOL.. part of my time issue with this layout was that I didn't want to use 18th century ink bottles on my 16th century page. It was a simple layout... new Basic grey papers, Doodlebug stitch rub-ons,a little jute tied on the swoop corners, and I used homemade rub-ons to make the title before I printed the journaling over it. Journaling reads: It was a special treat for me to sit and watch this real life history professor write my name with authentic ink in the 16th century style, and to hear him tell me what life would have been like for a 16th century scribe. He teased me a little about my Anglicized version of “Wellborn,” but mostly we talked about kings and queens, church and scribes, and the perils and trials of colonial life in an unknown land. It was a rich learning experience for me, and someday I want to return to St. Augustine to explore the Spanish colony completely.

I had fun making this layout. I took thumbnail prints with me to St. Paul and had it all planned out before I got home. The papers are Rusty Pickle and Pressed Petals. Filmstrip frames, flower, paperclip, and photo anchors are Deluxe Designs, and the chipboard letters are homemade with MM foam stamps coated in UTEE. Journaling reads: When I was a little girl, my dad called my mom “”"Ladybug" and I was his “"Littlebug".” Throughout my life I have used ladybugs as my own personal insignia. Then my girls were born and they became my "Littlebugs" and my“"Babybug" . I have dressed them in ladybug clothes, decorated their rooms with ladybug themes, and essentially passed my own insignia onto them. I took these photos ofBeth to show her soft downy hair before her first haircut, and it hit me that this is my last baby, my last little girl, my last babybug. The ladybug naming has stopped for this generation. Someday, though, maybe my littlebugs will have little girls, and I can call them my “"grandbaby bugs."” Don’t grow up too fast though, Babybug.
I can wait patiently for that day!

This one has more homemade chipboard letters, but this time I coated them with shimmery modeling paste and the effect is really cool in real life. too bad a lot of it gets lost in translation during the scanning process. I made the clock with cardstock, modeling paste, MM rub-ons, Creative Impressions mini paperclips, and real clock hands. I can't remember who the paper is from. Journaling reads: If the midnight hour is striking, it is a fair certainty that Kyle will be climbing in the bed between Jack and I before too long. He has been doing this for the last couple of months, and I find it very endearing. I know it is just a stage, that these few hours of snuggling in the middle of the night will come to an end, but it is a stage I will cherish while it lasts. I don’t know if it is because he wakes up and is afraid of the dark, or if he is more comfortable in our bed, or if it is just because he needs a little bit of extra time with us. It doesn’t really matter, though. I just know that when he spoons up next to me and pulls my arm over his chest to cuddle him close my heart melts. The rhythm of his breathing lullabies me back to sleep, and reminds me that time is marching by. I miss the baby that he was, I enjoy the child he is, and I look forward to the man he will become. But for now, in this moment, he is my little midnight visitor, and if this is the extra TLC he needs right now, then I will let him have it.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Meme challenge #9

Meme challenge #9 was posted today... I have missed a few of these... LOL

The challenge this week is to list ten places you would like to visit. Mine are listed in no particular order. These are all places that I still haven't been to. It was really cool to realize that I actually got to visit a lot of the places I wanted to see this summer on the road!

1. Williamsburg, Virginia
2. the redwood forest
3. Mount Rushmore
4. Alaska
5. a dude ranch
6. the Statue of Liberty
7. Nashville, Tennessee
8. Utah's Rennaisance Festival
9. the Smithsonian
10. Niagra Falls

I know, I know... these are all within the United States. Truly, I would love to visit Ireland, Scotland, England, and France, especially to see the castles and other historical things I adore, but that requires flying over the ocean. (see post below) If the opportunity came up to go see any of these places, I would swallow that crazy fear and get on the plane, but in the meantime I am quite happy to explore all the nooks and crannies of the USA.

Double tagged

I was tagged by Katherine and by Caro while I was gone. So here they are... five random things about myself.

1. I am terrified of being in the ocean. That means there are a lot of things like surfing, snorkeling, deep-sea diving etc that I never plan on doing. I am okay with that because it also means I will never be fish food.

2. I am a history nerd. I like to read historical novels, biographies, true-story things, I like movies based on real stories, I plan trips around the historical things I can go visit, and I know a zillion and one random trivial history facts that will never do me much good other than being able to score the history piece of pie in Trivial Pursuit. However, when I am old and my kids are gone, you might find me volunteering in one of the colonial villages you can find back East.

3. I love tapioca pudding. The cooked kind. I love any pudding, but tapioca and I are on a first name basis.

4. I tend to go in a lot of directions at once. Even when I am doing nothing but thinking, I think about a bunch of things all at the same time. Occasionally when I am tired, this causes some really strange sentences to come popping out of my mouth.

5. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, one of those rare natives you will find here, but I am a Midwest small-town girl at heart. When I go to Michigan, Illinois etc I feel like I have come home. Plop me on a farm with some chickens and goats, and I would be content.

And now I am tagging my friend Sue. You're it!

The Mouse, The Boat, The Weather

When I first signed up to go to the Orlando show during the month of August, Jack teased me and said that a hurricane was going to show up in Florida that week since I was there. He was right, but Katrina didn't make her way up to where we were which was good for us and not so good for the people she did decide to go visit.

After set up on Thursday, Gayle and I went to see the Titanic...the Exhibition. There were two hundred artifacts from the Titanic there, plus several reproductions of other artifacts, tons of photos, and many of the props from the movies that have been made over the years about the Titanic are on display here as well.
The tour guides dress in period costumes and use the approriate accents. Doesn't this guide look like he just stepped off the docks of Ireland? It was really funny to buy our tickets from the lady to get on the ship and hear her speak to us with an English accent. She was then our guide during the second part of the tour, and spoke with a Southern accent.
You may recognize this staircase... it is the reproduction used in the Titanic movie. The details in the engravings on the woodworkings of the ship were incredible.
This is one of the state rooms that was available on the Titanic.

On Friday one of my online friends, Dorothy, came and found me to say hi. After my classes were over we had lunch and visited for a while. Then her friend Nancy asked if I would like to go to Disney World... now who is going to say no to that???? Nancy was able to get three people into Disney World, so after the show closed that night Gayle and Lindsay and I went and spent the last three hours of the night playing in the Magic Kingdom. Thank you Nancy! We had a wonderful time!!!

The next day my classes ended at 1:00, so Nancy and Dorothy came and got me and took me shopping at the Behind the Scenes stores where Disney employees get some great deals! I bought all of Faith's birthday presents, things for each of the kids, and I wish I had more money... the bargains were incredible for the things that were available! Nancy and Dorothy and I had lunch again, and then I had to go back to help with the tear down of the booth.

This is the organ from the Disney movies Haunted Mansion, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and Rose Red. The lady working in the Behind the Scenes store saw Nancy and I taking our picture under Mickey's statue, and came and got me to show me the organ. She must be a scrapper at heart... LOL ... or a fellow history buff.... or both... Cool

Monday, August 22, 2005

home again, home again, jiggety jog

We rolled back into town about midnight last night. I am exhausted, but this was a wonderful trip. I have missed my kids a lot this summer, and I loved being able to bring the three older ones along to see what I do and then take them to see things we can't see at home. I was really proud of how well-behaved they were, but they really are good kids so it wasn't a surprise. I took over 300 photos, but I have only added a few from each part to the blog. I bought another license plate album (Katherine... they have Mark Martin albums now!) from Shoestring Productions to make an album about this trip.

I came home with one extra souvenir from California. I was driving down a lonely stretch of highway through the Mojave desert when suddenly I saw flashing lights in my rear-view mirror. I was ticketed for going 90 in a 65 zone. Personally, I think it should be illegal to change the speed zones up and down the highway when it doesn't change at all, and you should only be ticketed for speeding when it feels like you are speeding... LOL... that little rental car didn't feel like I was doing 90! Do you think I can write the ticket off as a business expense?????

Tomorrow I have to do laundry and repack to head off to Orlando on Wednesday. Hope you enjoy the photos!


The last thing we did before we came home was to stop at Jack's mom's grave and visit her. We picked some sunflowers from the huge sunflower field and the kids left them there with her. I was very touched by the kids reaction to visiting her, and we spent some time there telling them stories about the Nana that only Matt was able to know before she passed away.

people we saw

Faith and Jennifer O's (the chalk lady) little girl Megahn really hit it off. They kept each other busy during tear down, and then they gave an impromptu little singing performance for the other vendors during dinner. That is my girl... not a shy bone in her body! LOL

It was wonderful to get to spend some time with Jack's family while we were there.Here the kids are with my father in law, and two of my nephews. The kids didn't want to leave their cousins when it was time to go.

Matt was invited to his friend Noah's installation as Master Councilor in DeMolay before we left. It was a coincidence that it was the same day I was going to be there teaching in Pleasanton and that the Masonic building was only a mile down the road. So Matt was able to attend the installation, and then he spent the rest of the evening swimming at Noah's house while we finished tear down. This also gave Matt a chance to see some other boys he had become friends with while he was in Sacramento last month for DeMolay Leadership Conference, so he was a really happy camper.

Here they all are getting ready to leave. I love that DVD player... I didn't hear a peep from them until Bakersfield!

places we saw along the way

We stopped and saw all kinds of places along the highways of California.

This is the world's largest thermometer, found in Baker, CA. I have seen it several times, but this was the first time the kids had really noticed it.

We found this building that is shaped like a shoe in Bakersfield. It is a shoe repair shop, and the lace is a 50' rope.

This is an original one room schoolhouse in Dublin, CA. It was going to be torn down when the freeway was put in, but some local historians helped get it moved across the road and now it houses a really nice pioneer museum. I took the photo of the old desks for my banner in the museum. I find myself always looking at things in terms of how they would look as a banner now... LOL

I fell in love with this hotel in the historic part of Pleasanton. Think I could convince the powers to be to book us there for the show next year???

Many of the pioneers who settled the Dublin area are buried in the Dublin cemetary. This was one of the bios posted throughout the cemetary.

This bulldozer shaped building is right by my in-laws' house in Turlock. Kyle would have loved seeing this.

This church is 150 years old. It is connected to the Dublin cemetary.

This was a trip bonus. As we were driving down I-15, the West Coast Chopper guys drove by us in their truck and trailer. We waved like crazy. Kyle would have REALLY loved that since this is his favorite show.

This barn is also about 150 years old. It was the first jail in Pleasanton. Now it is a beautiful little cozy garden type store.

The boys thought the airplane graveyard was pretty cool.

set up day

The kids knew they had to earn their keep at the show... LOL. We put them to work during set up and they were really good about it. Chet sorted all of the paper embellishments into baskets by color and type, and he even made sure they were all facing the right way in their baskets. Faith helped bring stuff to us to hang up, and then she was put in charge of hooks. She loved handing them to Gayle as she needed them. Matt did a lot of talking to Kandus, and he stayed busy hanging product.

Scrapbook Expo had a big BBQ lunch for all the vendors on set up day, which was really nice. After lunch, they had the vendors play a game to try to win some choice prizes. Faith couldn't wait to play, and when it was time to race to a square she was faster than most of the adults. She represented Deluxe really well. She won a huge pack of Playdo and accessories for "playing well with others" when all the prizes were handed out.


I had a lot of really nice people in my classes again, but it was really great to see Kathy again. I always love seeing her.

The kids were really really good during my classes. The boys took the play-do that Faith won the day before and made chess pieces out of them. Then they drew a gameboard on the table and kept themselves occupied playing chess.

Faith loved passing out the "door surprises" as she calls them. She sat the rest of the time putting together layouts for her scrapbook.

San Jose

Thursday afternoon was spent exploring some of San Jose. We started at the Winchester Mystery House, which amazed the kids. Faith liked all the strange doors and oddities such as a window on the floor. Chet thought the little stairs were cool, and Matt was interested in all of it. I took a lot of photos of the Vistorian hardware and this is one of the drains in the sinks. Mrs. Winchester's favorite number was 13, so it is repeated through the house. The sink drains all had thirteen holes in them.

We stopped at the San Jose mission on the way back. The museum was closed already, but we were able to walk around the grounds and see the tombstones and garden. I love visiting missions, and never get tired of seeing them.

San Francisco

After classes on Friday, we headed up to spend the afternoon and early evening in San Francisco.
We really enjoyed all the exhibits in Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum. I had been warned not to make the funny faces in these mirrors, but I didn't mind letting the kids do it. When you get on the other side, you find out that these are two-way mirrors, and everybody in front of you on the trail gets to watch you try to make the rubberman faces... LOL

The street performers were so fun. The metal robot guys were the kids' favorite, and I enjoyed listening to Jill Knight sing. She has a gorgeous voice, and I like to hear her sing recorded artists' songs. Her own songs were pretty depressing, and she sings them with a big smile, and that made me laugh.
The Golden Gate Bridge is behind the kids in this shot, but it is hard to see.

We saw a lot of things in San Francisco, but there are too many photos to add here. We went to Ghiradelli Square, The Cannery, Pier 39, the maritime museum, the San Francisco amusement park games museum, Fisherman's Wharf, Ripleys, the Wax Museum, we saw Alcatraz and the Golden Gate bridge across the water, and we watched all the performances being acted out or sung.

Monday, August 15, 2005

San Francisco or bust!

I am leaving again first thing in the morning for the Bay Area show. I am bringing Chet, Faith, and Matt with me, and we are going to be visiting family and doing a lot of sight seeing on the off hours. We are all really excited about our trip... what a great way to finish up the summer! I will bring home lots of photos, hopefully plenty of funny stories, and three really tired kids on Sunday. See you then!

Birth announcement

Miss Skittles had her babies. She had six, but she accidentally smothered two of them. These are the four survivors, and they are so tiny! She had two white ones that have her markings and two darker ones. It is sweet the way she gathers them in her paws and hugs them to her.

This was just a photo of me from the weekend that I didn't think looked as bad as the rest!

The City Planner feature with summer pages is going up on the front page of Scrap Village today. I got home last night and got my page finished and uploaded jsut in time! Now I have to finish that Masters entry and mail it before the PO closes today!

Home again

I am home from Tulsa. It was a long weekend, but there were a few really good highlights. I loved my classes... everybody was so friendly and we had a lot of fun. If you were one of the ones who took photos, send me a copy please!

I tried and tried to find something closeby to go and see while I was there. This statue of Will Rogers was about all there was... LOL. He is outside of the movie theater. Johanna, Sherrie, and I went to see the Wedding Crashers. Let me tell you, that is the funniest movie I have ever seen. I laughed so hard me stomach muscles were sore for hours.
Who names their business Kum and Go????????
There were several bunches of wild sunflowers on the way to the convention center. They were waving to me so prettily that I had to stop and get some photos.
Another highlight of the weekend was that there was also a Sonic on the way to the show. I got to start my day right with a diet cherry coke every morning!
The best part of the show was that Johanna was there. She signed up to TA for a couple of my classes, and we spent lunches and dinners together. It was so good to see her again, and when she left I actually cried. I cried the last time she left too... she has to quit leaving... LOL

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