Thursday, July 27, 2006

Two little words

It is amazing what two little words can do. They made me cry. They made me happy. They caused me to miss my first flight this weekend. Two little words.

"Loan Approval"

Yes... we are homeowners now, and it is official. All of the T's are crossed, the I's are dotted, the papers are signed, and money has changed hands. We have a home. Our very own home. And if I wasn't sitting here in a group of other stand-by passengers I would still be happy dancing.

Now I am trying to get myself up to Pennsylvania to work this weekend. I am looking forward to hanging out with the gals on the crew this week, and we have big plans. Ikea, historic Philly, Germantown.... so much to do and so little time! I have to get there first, though.

I will check in if I can this weekend... if not, see you when I get HOME!!!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Some of this, some of that

First of all, my "t" key on my laptop isn't working well, so if you are reading this and I am missing a t or two in some words, that is why... :0)


We've spent the last two days packing this house up and getting ready to move to the new one. We actually had 90% off it all packed in a few hours, and yesterday we spent washing rugs and bedding etc so when we get it in the new house it is all ready to use. If everything goes as planned, Jack and the kids will be bringing me home to our own home on Sunday!

I am heading off to Valley Forge to teach this weekend. If you will be there, please stop by and say hi! Last year I loved being able to explore the historic part of Philly while we were there, and this year I plan on trying to see some other fun things.

I took the kids to a Pioneer Day party on Saturday. They played a lot of games, won some prizes, sang some songs, and had a lot of fun. Then Matt and Jessica got to go see a nearby cave with some other teenagers. Matt won his sack hop race, and you would think Faith won hers with her happy reaction. We had a good time, and it was nice to be out of the house for a few hours. (I would show you a really funny picture of Johanna here, but she has threatened me with my life if I do... can you believe that?? What kind of scrapper is she???? hehehe)









I wanted to add these layouts here because I like to have everything in one spot. These are the layouts I made for The Plain Jane feature at Scrap Village.






These are a card and a necklace I made for my boss, Jolleen, as a birthday present. Katherine and I both made her some goodies and posted them on the Deluxe Blog if you would like to go wish her a happy birthday too!


I hope all our friends and family in CA aren't being affected by the power problems there. We are thinking of you.

I am going to go get the day started and be ready in case there are any last minute errands I have to run for the house. I think I fixed my email link here on my blog if you need to email me. I haven' been able to access my old account, so I finally started a new one. Have a great day!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Makeover Day

Before:



Jessica and Faith were looking a little scraggly, so I took them in for haircuts yesterday. Jessica went for a whole new look, and cut over seven inches off the length of her hair.

Here she is halfway through the first cutting stage before the layers were started. The hairdresser and I were teasing her about going with the half-long, half-cut look for a week to see what she liked better.

Apparently the younger kids were greatly entertained by the idea of Faith getting her hair washed. Who knew shampoo could be so cool??

After:

The stylist curled up Jessica's hair to show her how to add the flips to it, which meant Faith had to have hers curled a bit too. This is the two of them looking trimmed and pretty.




I love these two shots that I caught of Jessica playing with her hair in the mirror. She has been doing this since we got home yesterday. She loves the way it looks and feels, and so do I. Now we need to get her some curling irons and hair schtuff to keep her looking sassy!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Accessorizing is so important




I need to go to bed, but I always feel the most creative at night after everyone else has gone to bed. This one ended up a LOT busier than I originally planned, but I still like it. Chet loves to paint these paint by number pieces, and when he finished this one the other day he wanted me to take his picture with it. Gladly!

SO much stuff on this one... Foofala, Basic Grey, and We R Memory Keepers papers, Deluxe Designs Plain Jane chipboard corners and grid laser cut, Basic Grey, 7 Gypsies, and Creaive Imaginations rub-ons, homemade rub-ons for journaling, Tim Holtz stamp on the chipboard corners, and some inking for details. All of the paper edges are distressed as well. The colors are off in the photo... everything has the right tones and shades in real life and nothing is blurry.


This heat wave kept us indoors today, so we went ahead and pulled out the beads and made some pieces. Jessica is trying to make sure she has something to wear with every single one of her new outfits. In the last couple of weeks we have made a handful of necklaces, several earrings, and a whole bunch of bracelets. The plan is to get everything we want made, and then start making pieces to sell to help fund our bead addiction.

Jessica made the pink and green bracelet, and the aqua and brown set of bracelet and earrings.









I made the blue bracelet and earring set, and then I needed to make dinner. Motherhood always seems to call in the middle of a fun project! I will be finishing up the necklace tomorrow. Then I have to start packing up the things we don't need for the next week or so. Of course, all the important stuff, like scrapping and beading supplies, needs to stay out. You never know when inspiration will hit!






Good night now!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Fabulous looks good on her




I have to replace that scanner soon. Taking a picure of this doesn't do justice to the fun details. The chipboard pieces are covered with paper, inked, and embossed with Ultra Thick Embossing Enamal. The letter stickers have glitter on them. The papers are 7Gypsies and Quick Quotes. I had to make a page about the first shopping trip with Jessica... it was a touching afternoon in many ways. The little picures show off the jewelry we made that day to match the outfit.

Speaking of shopping, Jessica has been wanting tall boots to wear with some of the skirts we have gotten her, and today I found leather ones on clearance for $5. Don't you love deals like that? And Chet's day was made when he found a backpack for school.

I am registering the kids for school next week, and Matt can't wait. He is signing up to play football this year, and that is all he talks about right now. Jessica is thrilled because the school offers all the AP classes she wants. I am happy because the schools here have approximately a 1:8 student/teacher ratio.

Does the blog look right on your screens? Here on my laptop it is all in proportion...posts on the left, sidebar on the right, banner centered above both, but on Jack's computer it is all out of whack.

Good night!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Please pardon the dust...

while this blog is under reconstruction. I can't figure out how to make my sidebars scoot over to where they are supposed to be, and I am too tired to argue with them right now. If you have any pointers I would love to hear them! :0)

Inspired...





All weekend long I kept seeing things in the booths and around me that made me just want to get home and scrap!! Sometimes that really is the hardest part of my job... feeling so inspired and yet being so unable to do anything about it right then! Kara brought her Freestyle and Type books from Autumn Leaves and those just boosted the urge to get home and pull out all the stuff. Then tonight I checked the Deluxe Designs blog, and Katherine posted a challenge to use this sketch. So I chose to scrap instead of going to sleep, and I like the end results. I wish I had a scanner to copy this with instead of just a camera, but I hope you can see some of the details I really had fun playing with anyway.

I cut the solid background piece (B7) into strips instead of leaving it intact like the sketch shows. I mounted the two small square photos (SQ3) onto some of our Plain Jane squares, which are the perfect size, and then sanded them and the other two photos. (I used a Plain Jane photo tab on the file folder piece that I put to use as a title block) I wanted some extra texture, so I trimmed the swoop with my zigzag deco scissors and stitched everything with messy stitches. Even though I wanted something that created a feeling of bubbles, I didn't want anything too obviously bubbly. I went with stamping a Teresa Collins dot stamp eith paint randomly on some parts of the layout, and then circling some of the dots with the brown pen. The Yardbath title is Doodlebug stickers, the kids' names are done with Making Memories rub-ons, and I used a couple of other stickers and rub-ons from 7 Gypsies and Creative Imaginations. A little bit of freestyle, a little bit of fontwork, and a whole lot of fun with pics I took a few days ago when Jack told me to get my camera and come outside.


I did get to meet up with Gina for a few minutes while she was working at Archivers. Gina, I promise next year we will communicate better and have lunch again!

With the exception of some major hassles with the hotel we were originally booked to stay in (it was so dirty even the fleas were disgusted) the weekend went really well. Kara and I stayed up late every night laughing and talking. We went window shopping at the mall after we left Archivers the other night and I fell in love with these boots at Nordstroms. I probably won't end up getting them, but a girl can dream right?




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Friday, July 14, 2006

I know why they call it "Hotlanta"..

cuz Baby it's hot down here! I am teaching this weekend in Atlanta, and it has been a really nice weekend so far. We haven't done much this other than work, but sometimes it is nice to just relax and take a break. I am hoping to catch up with my friend Gina tomorrow.

Jessica and I worked on a bunch of jewelry the other day, and this is one of the necklaces I made with the new Plain Janes. It was so fast and easy to make! Katherine made a couple similar to it, and posted the directions on the Deluxe Blog if you are interested in making one. We also made a whole bunch of bracelets, and Jessica made her own chandelier earrings that came out really cute. I will try to post more pictures when I get home.

Kara and I are thinking about going line dancing tomorrow night. I only brought flipflops with me, which should make for some interesting dance moves, so if we do go I will make sure to get lots of pictures of us looking rather silly on the floor. Should be lots of fun! Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 10, 2006

One of these kids is not like the others....

one of these kids just wouldn't say cheese!




















Hey.... have you heard the news?? Deluxe Designs has a blog now!!! Katherine did a beautiful job putting it all together!

The kids and I had a good time today. I took them to the old Northwest Train station on Eureka Springs, and we spent a while exploring the antique trains and equipment. My pictures have a lot of harsh glares to fix since it was the middle of the day and it was bright outside, but I was still happy with some of them. The whole place was closed for the day, but we were still able to wander around and explore, which was better because we were able to do things we couldb't do if it was open. For instance, I am pretty sure the kids weren't really supposed to climb up in the really really old Pullman car, but it did make for a really cool photo op!















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Back on a creative track





I ended up making 7 layouts, a card, and a necklace with the chipboard pieces this week. I loaded most of it on ScrapVillage for the feature on the chipboard tomorrow, but I am putting these three up here instead. My scanner didn't survive the cross country move, so I had to take pictures of everything... I ended up with crooked lines everywhere. The first one I painted the punctuation mark and used a flower for the dot. It is hard to tell in the Wendi layout, but I embossed the arrow and exclamation mark with UTEE, then froze and cracked the pieces. The third one I just painted and stitched on them.

I am heading out the door to take the kids to the coolest train station I have ever seen where we will be taking photos and exploring a bit. Back in a bit!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A day of scrapping...





... sort of... :0) Jack left about 4:30 this morning to take Jessica to her doctor's appointment in Little Rock. She has scoliosis, so she needed a follow up to make sure she doesn't need surgery right now. She is fine, and she has grown since her last visit. I think they enjoyed the chance to spend the driving time together.

Chet went to spend the night at a friend's house last night, and Matt left this morning for EFY, so I only had the four younger ones all morning. After I picked the house up I pulled out some scrap stuff and got to work. I finished three layouts today for a feature coming up on ScrapVillage on July 10th featuring the Deluxe Designs Plain Janes... fun fun fun!!

We went this afternoon and turned in some of the paperwork for the house, and everything is still moving along smoothly. When I get back from Atlanta next week I will probably start packing again to get ready to move into the house. I am not even ready to start thinking yet about how white all the walls in the house are!! I will just be so glad to finally be in our own home, though, that hopefully the painting and cleaning won't seem so daunting!

One of the things I have really enjoyed at this house is the fact that we have tons of wild blackberry bushes growing here. I was reading the listing for our house and it mentions that the property has four different kinds of fruit trees and some berry bushes. Yummy! Fortunately, I think the house is far enough of the main street that Todd shouldn't be able to find any peace officers to assault with the fruit he picks.

Jack brought home a suitcase of clothes for the kids that my mom picked out for them. Todd put his Superman outfit on yesterday afternoon, and I haven't been able to get him out of it since then. I need to get another picture of him because he has decided to go one step further and make it a Clark Kent/ Superman get up. He puts his black suit jacket on over the Superman shirt, and then practices jumping out of an imaginary phonebooth. That is why you bought him that really nice suit, right Mom?

Anyway... I am off to bed. We are getting up in the morning and heading to an antique store where we saw a dogrun for sale. If it is a good price we will get it so Mikey has a more comfortable way to live outside until we get on the property. The thought of antiquing gets me all warm and fuzzy... I love poking through the stuff!

Chat soon!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

His middle name is Trouble




Today I was peeling eggs to devil for the party at Johanna's and I had sent Chet, Todd, and Kyle out to pick wild blackberries for a cobbler when Faith came running in the door telling me there was a cop coming up our driveway. My heart started racing, and I opened the door with some trepidation. What in the world could have happened now??

He looked at me very sternly and said, "You might want to talk to your son." Um okay... so I had to ask him, "which one?" Heaven knows anyone of them could have found several different ways to get to this guy. He said, "The one who just ran in the house." "Faith, which one of your brothers just ran in the house?" Faith said, "Well, Todd is hiding under the beds." "Yes, well, go ask him to come here please." It turns out that he saw the officer driving around the circular driveway and decided to throw his blackberries at his squad car. So Todd comes to the door, where I scold him for throwing things at the police, and I tell him to apologize. At this point Todd says, "Fine... I am sorry (dramatic pause) BUT YOU WERE TRYING TO RUN ME OVER!!!" I just wanted the earth to swallow me whole. I don't think I have ever seen a cop so angry. He has probably never been pelted with blackberries before, and then accused of trying to commit vehicular manslaughter on a four year old. He may have wanted to by the time he left, though. Sometimes it is so hard to be a mom... especially when you have to be a mom who is dying to laugh but doesn't dare. This is such a small town that every stop the police make is printed in the newspaper that comes out once a week, so I am going to clip the printout and add it to a page. I don't think I will share the page with the cop, though. I hope Todd doesn't get a reputation as a juvenile delinquent before his 5th birthday. And I really hope this isn't a precursor to his teenage years. I just never know what this boy is going to think of to say or do next!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy birthday, America!!

I thought I would add some photos tonight and add a quick update! We have been enjoying this past week. On Saturday I took the kids to the Green Forest Appreciation Day where they had a bunch of games, food, and a fireworks show. I love free events! We have made jewelry, watched movies, played games, put together a puzzle, and just spent a lot of time hanging out together. Jack is getting home on Wednesday, and we are all looking forward to that. We are all just praying that the local office calls him this week and offers him the transfer he has been waiting for.

The antibiotics and steroids seem to have done the trick for the spider bite. The swelling is gone, and there aren't any signs of deteriorating flesh, and hopefully there won't be anymore eight legged freaks who decide to turn me into an evening snack.

Things seem to be moving forward well with the house as well. We are getting all the rest of the paperwork together and waiting for the home inspection report to come back. If all goes well we will be in by the first of the month.

The best news for this post, though, is another reunion update. When we first heard where Jessica was, Jack sat down and he said to me, "Babe... I am getting my girls back.... both of them." He knew that as soon as he could reconnect with Jessica he could work towards building a relationship with Jocelyn as well. This week Jocelyn called and talked to him, and we have all had a chance to get to talk to her and get to know her. She has a little girl named Ariel that we can't wait to get to know as well... can you believe we're grandparents??? This has been a year of so many blessings for us.

Anyway... here are some pictures from this last week. The banner is a shot of Kyle and Todd running towards the monkey bars the other night at the park. A coupld of minutes after I took this shot I had to go rescue Todd from the top. He climbed right up there without any thought of how he would get down, and when he realized how high up he was and how big the spaces between each of the bars were he just perched himself on top of one and began to holler for me to come get him. He cracks me up.

We are heading over to Billy and Johanna's today to swim and set off some fireworks. I hope you all enjoy your 4th of July celebrations!


I had to go pick up an electric dryer the other day, and while we waited to get it loaded Todd tried his hand at the exercise bike. He didn't let the fact that his little legs weren't long enough to ride the bike properly deter him!

This has to be the biggest dandelion I have ever seen! It took Beth about ten puffs to finish blowing all the seeds off to make her wish!


This is the outfit I took Jessica shopping for the other day. It was so fun to see her picking things out for herself! The pink skirt has gold sequins on it, so the sandals were perfect with it. We came home and made her the necklace, bracelet, anklet, and earrings to wear with it.

This is my friend Marilyn and I. Marilyn came by and saw me at the show in Chantilly last week.

Tipsy had three kittens this week. I love that the mostly white one looks just like her. He even has the white tip on his tail that she has and is named for. The other two will end up being mostly black with white spots on them.


These are all from the appreciation day we went to on Saturday.
Jessica and Beth taking a ride around the park on a barrels and tractor train driven by a Mennonite farmer.


Faith and Todd took advantage of the face painting booth.


Todd wanted to ride the blue barrel, but by the time we were finally able to get him on the train, the green one was the only one we could commandeer. (there weren't any lines... kids just kept jumping in seats as soon as the train stopped in a free for all frenzy, so I had to help them claim a seat!)

Jessica and I
The girls dancing along to "Honky TOnk Badonkadonk"


Chet just being goofy. He spent most of the night hanging out with his new friends Rhett and Martin, so we didn't see much of him.


Just a random shot of Beth cuddling with CryBaby in an empty basket.

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