Wednesday, February 17, 2010

12 on the 12th (February edition)

It's been crazy busy around here, but that is the way I tend to like it; and the way I tend to work the best . . . so no complaining from me. Some things have to go by the wayside and right now that means computer-time (well, not so much computer time but blogging time and email time). I've still been on the computer an awful lot dealing with digital images and helping out in the Library of Memories classroom.

I realize I haven't shared my 12 on the 12th for February. I kept saying to myself I was going to put it in a mosaic, but who am I kidding?? So I finally just decided to post and share the pictures here - until I can get them put into a layout later.

Today was a day of Valentine parties and a baby shower for one of my middle child's teachers. She actually goes in TODAY to be induced so little Penelope will be joining the world sometime in the next 24 hours!! LOVE babies!!

This says it all about today in my opinion. What happened to General Beuregaurd Lee declaring Spring was on it's way in the South? This was at 11:30 - almost freezing cold with rain - ick!

Just a little visual of my new desk arrangement. I'm not liking the computer and printer back here. It's actually driving me a little bonkers when someone needs to get on the computer and I'm pushed out of my element to sit on the other side of the desk. Gasp!

I went in my bathroom to take some self-portraits (see next photo) and I remembered how much I love my Bath and Body Works Gentle Foaming Soap . . . so of course, I grabbed a picture of it.

So it's a little grainy but it's still one of the most decent self-portrait head shots I've ever taken. I kind of hate how my bathroom gets some of th best natural light, yet I hate the decor so I never want to take photos in there.

My son Matthew came home so proud today. In previous years, he's always hated coloring. He put his time into this drawing though because his teachers have a contest every month where they color and then the kids go and put little stickers on the one drawing they vote for and think is the best. He was super-excited because THIS TIME he got a vote!

Lord, my son's dresser. There's so much here that is so him. The giant book of Q&As, the football photo and all those sports trophies; of course, his Valentines "holder" made of an orange bag; and his super-cool lava lamp that he got for Christmas . . . oh, and his preschool graduation diploma is back there too - waiting to be hung up on his wall.

I know I say this a lot on this blog, but I'm so thankful that my boys are getting along better now that they're both a little older. Sure, they still have their fights but images like this one just melt my heart. They have become so creative from playing off of each others imaginations: Lance helps build legos and come up with story lines and Matthew helps build the train tracks and brings a dose of reality back into Lance's imaginary world!

Couldn't resist the trains and garbage truck image - They truly make this a whole little city.

Ahhhh, a freshly delivered Shutterfly order. Great scrapbooking material in here!!

The view out back from inside my scrapbook room . . . love this view - so much better than the one I had where I faced a wall . . . and even better than when the desk almost faced out front too. Backyard = much nicer than front yard!

Hubby cut me a break tonight - no cooking - and ordered Chinese out. I ate Sweet and Sour chicken with stir fry veggies and fried rice with wonton soup. I'm not usually a big Chinese fan, but after the weather and crazy day, it just seemed perfect.

Do you do a 12 on the 12th project? Leave me a link so I can start checking out your days :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Okay, well, I had a real "duh" moment here on the blog. The previous post was not at all happening in 2007; rather 2005! Whoops!

Anyhow, today has been crazy busy - again . . . and I've yet to work on my layout for LOAD again. Maybe this evening after the kids are in bed. I did create this layout late last week though and I thought I'd share here.

The template is actually by Ali Edwards from the Yesterday+Today class I took (and the papers are October Meeting from Correen Silke). I love that with my Library of Memories system in place, I could write my story and my feelings; and then search my digital files for a photo that I felt "went" with the story. Is it a photo of my son dealing with school? nope. Is it a photo of my son at soccer practice? Yep, sure is! Who would have known, right? What you need to know is it doesn't really matter. It IS a photo of the son I'm writing about, during the time frame where he was struggling. I found this easily and right when I wanted it because I have a tag in my digital organizer (PSE 7) that allows me to pull photos that I especially feel drawn to for each person in my family. Do I put this tag on every photo of that person in my digital catalog? Heck no! Just the ones I feel particularly drawn to; those images that i feel portray that part of their life right then, or that I just KNOW I want to scrapbook in some way.

This whole ordeal at school has been weighing heavy on my heart and I needed to get some things on paper.  He's been in specialized tutoring, had quite a bit of testing and counseling done, and we've definitely had our struggles at home, but I wanted to share a success with you all!! This week, he seems to be EXCITED about school again. This week, they did a writing assessment and he just came home talking up a storm about what he wrote about. This week, he's excited to go to the library with his class and pick out a new chapter book. This week, he finishd his math fact paper during a four-day period. This week, he almost got an A on his spelling test. This week, he is working on homework BEFORE he gets home (on the bus); and not fighting with me about it at home.

By no means do I expect all weeks to be like this. I'm sure we'll have our ups-and-downs. Who doesn't? But it's definitely a glimmer of hope that he'll be happy in a learning environment again one day.

He is in a classroom with 30 kids and two teachers who co-teach full-time, which gives him awesome student-teacher ratios in 2nd grade. These teachers have been so fabulous with him, and for that I am very grateful. They understand that not all kids are the same, and that some very intelligent children just need a little change from everyone else in order to succeed. I've been busy planning for a baby shower the class is throwing in conjunction with their Valentine's Day activities for one of these teachers; but that's not to really show my appreciation. I will be planning something special to share with them sometime soon. I'm not sure what quite yet . . . if you have any ideas, please share! But I don't want to wait until "teacher appreciation week." I'm feeling grateful now, and I want them to know.

Who are you grateful for today? Who will you take that extra minute out of your crazy busy day to let them know how important they are to you? Will you be doing anything special for them?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

All Too Quickly

Hi again! Remember me?? 30-something year old mom to three who was so amazed how she was doing at the beginning of the month?? Yeah, not so much anymore!

I let a cold get the best of me last week, and in the process of recuperating last weekend, I fell off of that LOAD bandwagon. I'm doing my best to get back in the groove, but in all honesty, I've been just enjoying reconnecting with some old photos again.

As a trainer in Stacy Julian's Library of Memories, I'm there helping answer questions and show examples of how I implement the system I made fit me. Recently, I set a goal to finally get rid of some "triplicate" photos on my hard drive and in my PSE organizer (I use PSE 7.0) and it's been time-consuming. I say this because I can't just use the software that's out there, because these were copies of lower quality that were made at a different date and time than the originals . . . and therefore, they're just not picked up as extras. So, I've had to do a lot of work by hand.

I started with pulling ALL of the photos I could find that were taken on this trip (by my brother-in-law and his family which they took my daughter with them) into an album. This allowed me the ability to rearrange the pictures based on subject and not by date/time which is how the browser is set up to do it. Once I had all the images lined up, I was able to then compare the file size and delete the ones I no longer wanted on my computer. It was a LOT of work. There were over 1000 images that had triplicates. I'm happy to say they're gone now, and I'm getting on with going through them and picking out my favorites. It's like a huge weight has been lifted and I can enjoy them again instead of looking at those images and just wanting to shut down my computer.

So, as I'm "reconnecting" with my photos, now that all that mess was out of the way, I started finding some long lost treasures. I had forgotten what a big year 2007 had been for us.

Memories started flooding back with this photo of my daughter heading back to school in the middle of August 2007. I won't bore you with the entire realm of photos, but in the middle of of those images was this one.

For years . . . these two boys had each other. While there were differences, and tinges of jealousy, they were above all else, playmates as well as brothers. Being at home with them, where I went, they went . . . to the park, to the grocery, to run any numerous amounts of errands . . . they were not without each other.

Even when they're sister started school.

That is . . . until the day he did.

Then he was left with what seemed like un-ending amounts of alone-time. I tried to cherish these moments, for I realized, as the youngest, he never really had me "to himself." We went to parks, and playdates, and the zoo. We read books and yes, watched a little TV. We went to museums and malls, too.

These photos are of such crazy and happy times.

Times of serious change for our family.

Only the ability to look back at these photos now, does it even begin to bring everything together in a way that I can see where it ends; how all the pieces fit together.

Now it's the crazy life of having all three kids in school. For them to come home after school and have to do homework, and want to play with their friends down the street. While I know it's all normal; all a part of them growing up . . . part of me just wants to keep them little forever. I REALLY miss the days where we could just pop some popcorn for a snack and decide to run to the zoo and see all of the animals without having to worry about crowds and school attendance policies.

Cherish your time with your loved ones now . . . time passes all too quickly.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Thank You! (and LOAD Day 2 and 3)

I'd like to thank all of the visitors I had stopping by from the Blog Hop on Monday! It was a lot of fun to do that layout, believe it or not . . . and it has inspired me to use a lot of other old stuff in my layouts this month. In fact, Lain actually posted about Liberty Cottage's Blog Hop and has encouraged all of us to join the next one at the end of the month!! How EXCITING!! I'm purposefully not showing a second layout I did today so that I can share it in the next one.

So far I'm 3 for 3 on the LOAD Challenge!! Can I just say WOW?!?! I thought I'd fall flat on my face, and it still may happen before February is up.  hosted by  It's not too late to join by the way!! If you're interested, go visit Lain's blog and read up on what you need to do! You won't be eligible for the "grand prize" but she still gives goodies away throughout the month; and great friendships can be formed as well as getting those layouts done! What could be better use of your time? (If you're a scrapper of course!)

Here's my Day 2 layout:
The photo is of my daughter when she was not even 2, in my parents kitchen putting her handprints all over the stove. Little Devil :) Anyhow, she picked out this American Craft paper a few years ago and I've always had a hard time using it. Since this has been all about using up stuff that's just been sitting here, I pulled it out (actually I pulled out some flower embellies that went with the AC papers in a different color set, and when I went to get the coordinating papers, I pulled these out as well). Once I found the photo I wanted to scrapbook, I just couldn't get the color combo to work with it - AT ALL - and so I went with the pink and purple and blue papers instead. I was actually pretty impressed that EVERYTHING in this layout is from that American Crafts line - nothing else at all. Talk about a way to use up some product! :)

And my Day 3 layout:
The challenge was to go back to the oldest owned product we had and create a layout with it. Well, this is as far back as I have. I think I bought it in spring of 2003 and it's from Doodlebug Designs. I had been under some insane impression that I HAD to create a layout for each of my children of each holiday/event when I first started scrapbooking so I had really stocked up on this paper. I had 2-3 sheets of a plaid; 2 sheets of grass; and 3-4 sheets of this polka dot . . . 2 sheets of the Easter cardstock stickers and 1 sheet of border stickers! EEkkkk!!

7 years later . . . I still have three sheets of polka dot paper; 3/4 sheet of grass paper and one sheet of plaid paper; 1 sheet of border stickers and 1 1/2 sheets of the cardstock stickers that said Easter! LOL And this is after I had used it on two easter layouts for two different years and for two different children. I do still have one layout I want to do with it (and once it's done, I'm giving the rest of this paper away). It served me well, mind you! Anytime you can get four layouts out of one set of papers, I think you're doing well . . . heck I don't want EVERY spring event to end up with pastel colors and polka-dots on them after all!

Anyhow, here's the layout I did with them today. I used an Ella sketch (#3). I added in a border strip of buttons into te sketch and expanded the journaling strips all the way across the two right photos. My goal was to actually use this paper on a non-spring layout and I think I succeeded! Her birthday is in November after all! :)

Credits: Patterned paper and button strip from Doodlebug Designs; blue and white cardstock from CTMH; number 10 brought to you by American Craft Thickers - poolside letters.

Again . . . THANK YOU for stopping by! If you'd like to leave a comment, please do. I love to reply back, but you have to be easy for me to find! :) Either leave me your email or link it up to your name if you sign in. I really appreciate your comments and the time you take to visit me! :)

Monday, February 01, 2010

"Old Skool Stash Scrap" Blog Hop

Ahhh, old scrappin' stash . .  I think all crafters have a supply of things that they bought with good intentions and for whatever reason have yet to use it or lose it. Of course, scrapbookers are no different.

This past week was Winter CHA in Anaheim, California and I chuckled to myself when Shimelle Lain posted on Twitter about My Mind's Eye releasing a Frame-Ups 10-year Anniversary collection. Really, truly, I kid you not!! I was quietly thinking to myself that I bought those and I remember thinking they were the greatest thing since sliced bread because it was a page just waiting to be thrown together quickly. Well, that my friends was just about 8 years ago that I purchased those (and it just goes to show that eventually everything that was once old becomes new again)!! And while, yes, I did use one or two frames and dolls many years ago, I also still had a handful of bath boy die cuts and photo corners. They were so darn CUTE back then! Ahh, amazing how times change, isn't it?

Enter my "Old Skool Stash" layout.

In the process of packing up my scrapbook supplies when we moved over the summer, I actually decided to hold on to these. I KNEW I had some adorable photos of my boys in the bath. I just had no idea what type of a layout would result from the product. Yesterday, I started browsing through my Library of Memories category drawers and pulled out a few bathtime photos and I finally decided on two "hair do" photos of my boys. I knew that was something I'd want to remember and a layout was percolating.

Now, tell me that those darn photo corners and little boy die cut just aren't the cutest things? Yeah, I know . . . they are cute, and that's part of the problem, isn't it? Ah well, little 2 and 3 year old boys are allowed to be a little cute! I'm actually pretty impressed at how well I was able to pull together some current papers with those old products! Of course, if you really want to have these little guys all for yourself, just head on over to the My Mind's Eye website link above and you can find out where to get them just for you!! I promise, these were OLD and in my stash and not just received at Winter CHA (I wasn't lucky enough to get a plane flight from Florida to California this time around).

And the great thing that happend in preparing for this blog hop?? I pulled out several products that I consider Old Stash - things like Rusty Pickle's Whippersnapper line and and some old Disney stuff - and you can bet I've got a few other layout ideas still percolating just in time for February's LOAD Challenge and may just be making an appearance soon on a blog near you! (this one, of course)!!

Thanks for stopping by!!

Now, whether this is your first stop (and if so, please feel free to jump on board) or you came to me from K's Crafty Corner, you're next stop is over at the Chatty Crafty Arty Pig blog. I hope you enjoy your trip through scrapbooking past; may you laugh right along with us at some of the things we just couldn't bear to finally use until now!

And just in case the train gets derailed somewhere along the way, feel free to come back here and follow the list of blogs below.