Tuesday, November 29, 2005

In print

Some of you know I work for Desert Saints Magazine, which is a local LDS publication. I didn't realize it, but the magazine now has a blog! Here is an article I wrote this month on staging better photos, and here is my monthly column,Jennifer's Gems, which features this year's Christmas card. Last month I wrote this article on being a blood donor, which is a topic close to my heart.Here is the link to the main page of the blog to read the other articles as well.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

It's Christmas Time!

I am so happy to see the Christmas season arrive this year! This is going to be a very busy month, but that is a good thing. Everything the kids have been practicing for is about to happen. They have their Sign Design performances, choir performances, plays, Lego League competitions, and a bunch of other Christmasy activities coming up, and we are all excited.

The kittens are in the spirit as well.. LOL... I didn't set up that photo in the banner... they stole my poinsetta banner, and I found them sleeping with it. They woke up when I took their photo. Anakin, the one who is mostly white, has one green eye and one blue... kind of cool.

We had a relaxing Thanksgiving. I made most of the dishes on Wednesday night, and started roasting the bird, so Thursday I got to do some sewing while Jack watched his Cowboys play. I got all of the kids' pajama pants cut out. I made one set of identical bottoms for all of us to wear on Christmas morning, and then cut out a couple of extra pairs in misc patterns for the kids to wear through the winter. I am just making the PJ bottoms this year, and giving them all white t-shirts to wear with them. I also needed to get Faith's hippo jammies ready for her solo performance, so I made those and appliqued some slippers to match them. I will post photos of those tomorrow.

We do have a lot of outdoor activities this month, and I wanted to make the girls something really warm to wear. Faith has been wanting a cloak like Red Riding Hood's and I found a pattern the other day at Walmart. I ended up making one for her and an identical one for Beth. The outside is aqua fleece, the inside is a celery green floral flannel, and then I used Making Memories ribbon as the tie to keep it closed. I figured she would just wear it to things like the live Nativity, where it gets so cold sometimes and we all hunker down under our blankets. She loves it, though, so she wore it today instead of her jacket. I was surprised by the responses we got! I had teenagers asking me to make them some, including Matt who wants a black one to wear as a wizard cloak. One of the teenage girls wants me to make her a pink and black one. I expected people to chuckle a little as my little cloaked girl came by, but that never happened. I never expected people to ask me to make them one! It works very well, too.... Faith stayed cozy under her cloak when the wind was making Matt, Chet and I shiver! I might just make myself one to wear to the outdoor stuff since they work so well... LOL

The hood is actually a little bunched up in this shot.. it folds around her face a lot smoother than that.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

family party

Faith is still going to have a birthday party with friends, but due to the timing, we are waiting another week. Having her birthday right next to Thanksgiving just really throws off party plans sometimes... LOL

We did have a little family party with her the other night, though. We gave her the princess stuff I bought when I was at Disney World a couple of months ago, and she loved it all. The crown was her favorite part, though... LOL.. she does like to be royalty! We made a cupcake birthday cake, and she blew her candles out very slowly so I could try to get a good picture of her doing it. She is such a good sport that way!

Beth loves all the princess stuff as well, and she was irritated that none of the presents were for her. Faith walked away for a couple of minutes, and Beth quietly snuck over there and started gathering up all the presents that she could hold. Don't you just love the look on her face when she realized I was watching her??

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

CHA designer dinner

I don't know who is crazier... Jessie for asking me to put together the CHA designer dinner, or me for agreeing... LOL... but somehow it has come together that way and yours truly is trying to put together a dinner party for a group of people that already totals more than 70, and I am not even 24 hours into the sign up process. So I am crossing my fingers that I don't somehow screw this up in a royal way, that all goes well, and plunging in. Today I set up a newsletter group, an email account, and a blog, and then I started compiling a sponsor list. So.. if you want to come to the dinner, email me! And if you want to donate products for the goodie bags, email me! And if you just want to wish me luck and laugh at me for doing this, email me! :0)

The kids and Jack and I have been sick the last couple of days. They all have that nasty barking croupy cough, and I feel like somebody is clawing out my throat. Fortunately, it doesn't seem to be getting worse, so I am hoping we will all be in chipper moods for Thanksgiving dinner! My turkey is thawing right now, and tomorrow I am going to start roasting him nice and slowly so he falls apart on Thursday. Tomorrow I also plan on plotting my shopping strategy for Friday. Jack and I went Black Friday shopping for the first time last year, and LOVED it. Who knew I would enjoy shopping in crowds??? It was fun, so I am lookig forward to it!

And I have to start thinking about what to wear to the company party. Jack's company has weird parties. It is a huge company, with a very diverse group of people, so some come in jeans, some come in tuxes, and some roll out of bed and show up as they are... LOL. So really, I can wear anything I want to, but since it is the one night of the year that we are going to a party for all grown-ups, I do like to try to look nice. I am in mourning planning for it this year, though. It is a tradition that our friends Billy and Johanna and Jack and I would go on a doubledate to the party. Then we would go to the movies or shopping or anything else kid-free afterwards, and just have a great evening together. And now Billy and Johanna are tucked out in the middle of nowhere living the country life, and we have to go alone. I love Jack, I do.. I don't mind spending a night out alone with him at all... but I miss our Christmas party, call in the middle of the night, Sunday BBQs, kids birthday parties, spur of the moment outings, handyman project helpers, let's get together friends. I really do.

talk to ya soon!

Monday, November 21, 2005

It's almost here!!

I love Christmas time! It is my favorite time of the year! I have had this project in my head for week's now, and I am so glad I got to finally make it! I am thinking of making some more of these and selling them on Ebay. There is also a craft fair coming up, and if I get my act together, I am planning on selling several different items like this there to make some extra money. My problem is pricing. I have no idea what something like this would sell for. What do you think? Occasionally I make something like this and I am a little tempted to start my own company again and sell rub-on sets to make stuff like this, and then I slap myself and ask myself what I was thinking... LOL

I painted a pizza pan, used a ton of different letter stickers and rub-ons (Making Memories, Creative Imaginations, My Mind's Eye, MAMBI, Scrap-ease, Doodlebug, and American Crafts... there could be some others in there too... LOL), the Santa is a sticker I have had for a while, I made the clock hand (I think I will make it skinnier for future versions), and the paper is Bo Bunny Press. There is an MM deco brad on there too. I even made a homemade rub-on for the quote.

Now I can't wait until the first so we can start using it! I might make one for each of the kids so they can each turn their own every night.

Happy birthday, Faith!

Today is Faith's 8th birthday! She is so excited! Now she can be baptized, join Pledge for Rainbow Girls, go to Activity Days, and all the other great things that 8 brings. And all I can think of is that the time is just going by too fast. Happy birthday, sweet girl! We love you!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Double tagged

I had a chance to sit down and go blogsurfing a little bit tonight, and found myself tagged at Sue's and Chris' blogs. So here am by the twos.. :0)

2 - names you go by: Jenn or Jennifer usually, but I was nicknamed Lucky the day I was born, so I use that occasionally as well.

2 - parts of your heritage: I am a pure mutt. I know there is some Irish and some French thrown in there somewhere.

2 - things that scare you: the ocean, snakes

2 - of your everyday essentials: Diet Pepsi, alone time

2 - of your favorite bands or musical artists: Montgomery Gentry, Bon Jovi

2 - favorite songs: It changes all the time... right now I like Catch My Disease and Streets of Heaven

2 - things you want in a relationship (other than real love): Laughter and togetherness

2 - physical things that appeal to you (in the opposite sex): legs...the longer the better, and if they are in a pair of jeans and boots, well... yum... LOL... and I like broad shoulders... the kind you want to run your hands over.

2 - of your favorite hobbies: Next to scrapping, I like to make jewelry and I enjoy primitive stitchery. I like reading better than both of those, though.

2 - things you want really badly: a house of my own, a good friend who lives close by

2 - places you want to go on vacation: Ireland, Alaska

2 - things you want to do before you die: Take the kids on a huge fieldtrip around the country to see the majority of the major attractions.
Become fluent in sign language.

2 - ways that you are stereotypically a chick: I tear up during sad scenes on the tv or in movies, or even to sad lyrics in music. I love jewelry.

2 - things you are thinking about now: That I have to work on this Christmas class. That I don't want to work on this Christmas class... LOL.

2 - stores you shop at: Walmart and Target.

Fashion File Challenge #8

Tonight I think this layout works. Tomorrow I might hate the color combo, and I am pretty sure I will hate my handwriting being on there, but tonight I am too tired to worry too much about it... LOL I figure if My Mind's Eye is going to rub red on their aqua blue and lime green paper, and Basic Grey is rubbing aqua blue and lime green on their red paper, it must be a workable color combo.

BG and Kaleidoscope papers
BG letter stickers
Deluxe Designs snowflakes
Making Memories ribbon slide
Creative Impressions brads and photo turns

We had a really busy day today. Jack and I got up early to make it to an appointment on time. Then the kids did a good job of getting the house picked up, so I took the oldest three to go see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. That was a good movie. Matt thinks it is the best of the four so far. (Chet wore his HP robe again... I always think that is so cute... LOL) The little guys did a good job helping too, so next week I am taking them to see Chicken Little. Then Matt went to dinner and bowling with some friends, and I had to go pick him up at 11 pm. ( I really enjoyed riding home with him and hearing him tell me about his night. I like the one on one time that taking him to and from activities gives us.) I just now finished up this layout, and I am going to go crawl into bed now. Good night all!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Fashion File Challenge # 9

I still haven't finished challenge #8, but here is the most current one! I loved the geometric shapes on the little dress, so I used the dot paper from All My Memories, and then cut some of the square shapes to use with my title. THe journaling is one of my blog entries (that is part of what I love about blogging... instant journaling when you need it!) The title stickers are a combo of American Crafts and SEI, and the twill stickers are AMM. The blue patterned paper is from KI. I cut the blue twill off of a pair of pajama pants. I wanted the page to look dirty because of the mud theme, so there is brown paint on everything, but I wanted the colors as well to avoid an overdose of brown.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Gearing up for Christmas

I had a little photo shoot with the kids today so I could get my Christmas cards ready. Maybe I will actually get them mailed this year! I need to have another shoot so I can get some better individual shots of Matt, Chet, and Faith.

These are just three of my favorites from the shoot. I didn't pose Todd for this one. He was pouting because he wanted another candy cane... LOL

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Fall layouts

These are a couple of layouts I made for the fall feature at Scrap Village. I have a busy day today. I have to finish my layout for the Desert Saints article, get the boys to Lego League, and finish prepping for a class tonight. We are making the "love" sign that I hve in my scraproom. Have a great day!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Letters from Home

So I got up this morning and checked my email, and found this little note from Matt. He and Chet woke up early this morning to play their online Stars Wars game before we started school. I heard him giggling, and I am guessing this is why... LOL I thought his attempt at being evil was pretty funny.


Why dont you go back to Endor you hairy Wookie Wait a minute Wookies dont live on Endor so go back to Kashyyk you hairy wookie.You shot my car with your stupid crossbow lazer gun,and you ate my Dog so go back and scrapbook with your wookie friends like Gaylebacca , Morandful.

Darth Matt

Ps and you ate my Tie fighter

Could a mother ask for a more loving son????

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Pleasant Saturday

I had a nice day with the kids yesterday. Chet and Faith had a chimes performance at my mom's church yesterday, and then they spent some time playing with the other kids there while my mom and I browsed through the bazaar sale they had going on. After we all ate lunch together, it was time to go to Sign Design practice. It was a quiet practice since I only had the two of them with me. Matt spent yesterday with his friends from DeMolay working on a service project at the Moving Wall, and Kyle had pinkeye so he stayed home with Jack.

Kyle loves puzzles, so we bought this one for him for his last birthday. We got it back out this weekend, and are working on finishing it so we can glue it to a mat and hang it in his new room. I don't think I have ever worked on such a hard puzzle! This one has a thousand pieces. We have put together 5000 piece sets before without much trouble at all, but this one uses the same colors over and over, and it is stumping us... LOL. We are making progress on it, though, and maybe we will have it finished this week. I love how excited the kids get when they find a piece that fits. I love puzzles... they are such a relaxing way to spend family time together.

My mom found some very pretty suede fabric on sale half off yesterday, and surprised me by picking up six yards of for me... two yards each in three different colors... dark green, deep orange, and tan. I love them all. I am going to start with the burnt orange fabric and make this skirt. (The shorter length) I just need a stretchy knit fabric to make the top now. If I have enough leftover I am going to make some for the girls as well in a similar style. They would be nice outfits to wear for Thanksgiving dinner.

Mom also decided to surprise us and stock our freezer with meat because Smith's was having a huge meat sale. (It was all on sale, and then another 25% off when you filled a paperbag with meat.) I am set for a couple of months with roasts, chicken, porkchops, ground beef, ground turkey, ribs... you name it. Thank you so much, Mom... it means the world to me!

Kyle still has pinkeye, so I am dropping the older kids off at church today and staying home with the younger ones. Maybe Beth and Todd will nap at the same time, and Kyle and I will get a big chunk of that puzzle done. Either way, it should be a nice quiet Sunday afternoon together, and that will be nice! Have a great day!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Remembering and Honoring

The Moving Wall is in town, and opened today as part of the Welcome Home Operation that Vegas is having this weekend as part of our local Veteran Day events. I took the oldest kids to go see it, and to let them get their own rubbings of my uncle's name on the wall. The name of the wall is so perfect... yes it is mobile, and therefore it moves, but it moves the spirit as well to see those rows and rows and rows of names. I don't know if I will ever be able to take my kids to DC to see the Mall and let them see the real wall, so for now this will do. I told the kids that I hope someday they can appreciate what they are seeing here, and Matt said "We do appreciate you bringing us." I told him that I meant someday I hope they will really appreciate the significance of what these names mean... that they were all soldiers who died in one war.. that they are the sons, brothers, and friends of Americans... that there are so many more who aren't listed because they came home alive, but not unharmed. And that they are only a portion of the Americans who have given their lives in the last two hundred plus years in service of our country.

As I was talking to them and helping them get their rubbings, I had no idea a news crew came up behind us and started filming us. I turned around and the reporter asked if she could interview me for a moment. I am sure I am going to hate the way I look and sound, but if you want to see it, we will be on the local cable news channel (6) at 7 tonight, and then on the local WB (channel 12)newsshow at 10. She asked me if I thought we had done enough as a country to make up to the veterans of Vietnam for how they were treated. I don't like questions like that. I can be thankful for our veterans and current soldiers. I can appreciate the sacrifices they make every time they don their gear and leave behind home and family to protect the freedom and liberties we have in our own country and work to provide it for others. I can teach my children that part of their civil duty is to respect the men and women who have honorably served our country. I can be patriotic, I can support our troops at all times, and I can thank them when they come home. But can I make up for the past, especially for a past I wasn't even alive in??? Can we as a country make up for the past??? I don't know. I do know that we have come a long way in appreciating our troops in general as a country. I know that our Iraq vets aren't coming home and being spit on in the streets. I know that I am proud to be an American, and I am proud of our troops, and I am thankful for every single citizen who has ever served in our armed services with integrity, honor, and valor. I can share that with my children, I can teach them that appreciating our armed forces has nothing to do with political affiliations or media agendas, but everything to do with being upstanding citizens. Did my four year old understand all that today? Of course not, but someday he will. Did the reporter understand that? I have no idea. I don't think that was the type of answer she was looking for, so I am curious to see how the report goes.

After we visited the wall, we walked down Fremont Street and saw some of the celebrations. We stopped at the Hummer and the firetruck, where the kids were allowed to explore the insides and take some photos. (They actually had a lot more fun doing that than their expressions relay...LOL)Tomorrow there is an airshow out at the airforce base that I am hoping to get to take them to.

If you are a veteran or soldier who is reading this, my family and I thank you. Happy Veteran's Day.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Baby Shower in a Can

I am teaching a baby class in December at Pebbles, and this is what I came up with. It is killing me to not sew any of it, and I don't think I have ever made an entire class with nothing but paper, stickers, and ink, but I still like how it came out. It is a two hour class, so I had to keep it simple to be able to get everything done.I don't feel like rearranging the photos, so they are a little out of order. I mostly used stuff from the new Pebbles Inc lines. It took five sheets of 12x12 patterned paper, three sheets of stickers, and then some misc stuff like tags, kraft cardstock, and ribbons. I only made the girl set into a sample. The boy set will be just like this with blue products and star accents.

This is a little 3.5x3.5 album from Walmart for 99 cents. The tags won't be glued in the book until after the party. They are meant to be passed out to the guests for them to write bits of advice for the mom or to add photos to. I didn't add ribbons to the tags because the album won't shut at all if I do.

These are just a couple of the inside pages of the advice book. All stickers, paper, and tags.

The class comes with 6 different bingo boards, and a bunch of little flowers to use as markers. I am also just printing a plain sheet of paper with other game ideas on it to add to the packet.

The kit comes in a gallon paint can we are covering with paper and adding the poem to. I still need to add ribbons to the handle, and I am running a pom-pom fiber around the top and bottom edges, but those are all at the store. I love using the can because it can be given to the mom as a gift package... I personally love to give first time moms a little medical kit for the baby with Motrin, Tylenol, a thermometer, and the other little things they don't realize they need until they need it... :0)

I made the gift and guest sheets, as well as the bingo cards 8x8 so they can easily be added to an album about the shower. I am thinking about making a matching album to use for a class next month, and then it can be given to the new mom as part of her gift.

I made the six invitations all a little different to use the stickers, but they are all coordinated so I figure it works. The host just has to print out the pertinent party info and add it to the inside.

We are also making six identical thank you cards to give to the mom.

The class is December 2 if anybody wants to come!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

back where I belong

It feels so good to be home. I am so happy the show season is over and I won't be going anywhere for a while. I am looking forward to enjoying the holiday season in a big way!

I spent this weekend with Katherine, and I just have one thing to say. Katherine, I love ya man! LOL

I got home early yesterday morning and took the kids with me to run some errands. On the way home I surprised them with an impromptu stop at the park. It was a fun way to spend an hour. I really liked watching them as they were swinging... they just looked so happy!

I snapped this shot of Chet and I while we were there. I have to make a better effort to get more good shots of Jack and I with the kids individually.

Today was Lego League for Matt and Chet, and they are finishing up their robot for their tournament in two weeks. I am looking forward to seeing how their team does and what they come up with! Now I am on the way out to get Chet to cubscouts, Matt to Young Mens, and Faith and I to Activity Days.

This is just a parting shot of one of our kittens, Luke. He took advantage of the fact that one of the kids didn't fold their blanket before putting it back in the basket so the lid could close. He seemed so comfy cozy... LOL. I will probably play with Photoshop to see if I can get the light lines from the blinds out of there, but I still thought it was a cute shot.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I am a Heidi Swapp copycat...

but I guess that is better than being a stalker, right?

I couldn't resist... I have been waiting to get to make a pair of these jeans, and today was the day. I used a pair I don't really like to practice on, so I will make some more soon. We made a pair for Faith today too, and she had so much fun that she kept digging through her drawers to see what else she could stamp on. She now has stamped jammies, a t-shirt, her jeans, and a pair of overalls.. LOL.. I think she pulled out every single Making Memories foam stamp I own! It was a fun way to spend the morning with her. Now I have to go finish packing and get the kids ready for Sign Design. See ya Monday.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

a whirlwind of adventures

This has been a week of go-go-go, and it hasn't slowed down yet!!! I wanted to get on and get some photos and updates posted before I leave town tomorrow.

I got safely home on Sunday morning, and the first thing Todd said to me when he saw me was "It's my birthday!!" We took him shopping for his cake and presents, and then had a little family party on Sunday night. My little baby boy is four now, and he hasn't let me forget it! All week he has been saying, "I'm four now, I can do it myself!" Independance... it is a good thing, right??

alt="" /> I woke up Monday morning and spent a good portion of the early day desperately getting some pirate costumes pieced together at different stores.We took the kids to my dad's house for trick or treating, and they had a good time. Instead of "trick or treat", everytime somebody answered their door the kids said "Surrender yer treasure or ye'll walk the plank!" LOL... I thought they were a pretty cute band of pirates.

After the show ended on Saturday, Katherine, Gayle, Kandus, and Ernie and I went to dinner at this little pizza place we found. It was a great time... lots of laughter, and I am so glad we ended the show season together!

Sarah came up to see me on Thursday, and after we were done setting up, she took me to see the Space Needle. Then we had dinner together. It was really good to see her. I wish I looked as cute as she does when I was pregnant!

I finally got to meet my Pukester friend Sue during the show. She and her friend Jane came to dinner with us on Friday night, and then Sue and Jane and I went shopping. That was a fun little power shopping marathon! LOL

Angie and I have been on an email loop together for almost nine years, and even though we didn't get to spend much time together, it was really good to see her. Angie, let's plan on going to dinner or something after the show next time so we can really visit!

Last night I taught a class at Pebbles, and today I have to run a thousand errands and then take Matt to choir tonight. Tomorrow is Lego League, Sign Design, and then I am flying out to Phoenix for the weekend. I don't know if I will be back on before I go, so have a great weekend if I don't get back before then!

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