Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snow, ice, flu & no roof!

After weeks of meeting with waaaaaaayy too many contractors, finally deciding on one, negotiating the minefield that is dealing with your insurance company AND the mortgage company over reimbursements, the weather turns to doo-doo.  This is GEORGIA people!!  We play golf in short sleeves over Christmas break!  We do NOT have snow, sleet, and ice for days and days!  I'd love to get my new roof put on.....but the temp has to be above 40F and there can't be any frozen slick stuff up there.....sigh.....

With my luck, the temp will come up roughly the same time my in-laws pull into the driveway for their 5-day visit over Christmas.  That will just rock.  Hammering from 7am to 5pm for 2-3 days while I try and entertain and cook 3 meals a day for Nana & Papa.....pray for me!

To add to all things merry and bright, 2 of my kidlets have the flu.  Again.  Didn't we JUST do this back in October?  Weren't we told that we were NOT in the high risk group so we couldn't get the flu shot until November?  So when all FIVE of us go the flu in October, the doc said "No need to get the shot  now."  Um...yeah...about that....seems that there are at least TWO forms of flu running around.  So, we've missed Taekwondo, Scouts, piano lessons, and haven't done a whole lot of school...it's just a banner week.

OK....enough whining.  There is good news to share - Bennett comes home tonight and he actually gets to STAY home until Jan 3rd - woo hoo!  Maybe he can manage the contractors, in-laws, AND the kidlets.....and I can run far, far away to a quiet place?  A girl can dream, right?

Other goodness is from the amazing Linda Roos of In The Making Design.  This chick rocks!  She has a fabulous new kit coming out on Monday at JessicaSprague.com - you should go check it out!  Here's my take on her new kit:

We all wore our favorite colors for the photo shoot.  Yes, I look like a deer caught in headlights....see post below.  Hope you find some peace & joy during this Christmas season.....check back soon for more fun!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cool new stuff, pictures, & snow?

Ok - I live in Georgia....where it is supposedly kinda warm, right?  So, the fam and I head over to get our pictures taken (more on that in a minute), as we leave the house, it starts to SNOW.....seriously?  I have friends in the northern part of the US...and they had temps 20+ degrees higher than we did today.

Tomorrow, it's supposed to get down to 10 degrees.  Ten.  Ten is NOT a temperature.  It's half a football score or how many days I'd like to cruise the Greek Isles....it is not an acceptable reading for a thermometer in Georgia.

New stuff - one of my uber-fave designers, Linda Roos, is realeasing some fabulous new stuff tomorrow at JessicaSprague.com.  I adore Linda's stuff - I've been following her and downloading her freebies from her blog for almost 2 years!  Now she designs for the divine Ms. J....awesome!

Anyway - Linda is coming out with new elements packs tomorrow - cool wax splatters and wax seals - fun stuff!  Here's my take on the wax seals:

Linda Roos - In The Making Design Wax Seals
Papers also by Linda - blog freebies!

Aren't they adorable??  They come in four colors - blue & black in addition to the red & green you see here.  Definitely check out Linda's stuff tomorrow!

So - pictures - have you ever tried to stuff several octopus (octopi?) into a sack?  That seems like a good analogy to sum up how my day went today.  The kids were cranky, hubby was stressed about making his flight (snow+Atlanta airport = disaster!), and I was so frazzled by the time we got there, waited almost an hour AFTER our appointment time, that it was just a disaster.  Yes, that wild-eyed, frantic look on my face is a pretty good indicator that I really should have listened to my sister-in-law and let her take our pictures....sometimes you just never learn.  Oh...and Harper spiked a fever during all the fun so she looks like she'd rather be curled up in bed than on display.....yay.

But - here are some of the results:






We all wore our favorite color t-shirt - at least the colors are fun!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Back to life.....back to reality....

I had an awesome weekend.  I left the 3 minions at home with Daddy and I escaped to scrap with friends for 2 days.  It was wonderfully fabulous - nobody called me "Mommy," nobody woke me up at the crack of dawn asking for Cheerios, I got to shower without having to scream a conversation over the sound of the water about why you HAVE to finish your math problems.  I even managed to get some good scrapbooking done....more on that in a minute.

So - despite his having a yucky cold, my wonderful hubby stepped up the challenge that is wrangling our 3 kidlets solo for a couple of days.  I think he realized that if he didn't give me the break that there might be fewer kidlets next week.

After my two days of bliss, reality crashed down hard.  Reality is a bitch.

I came home to a kitchen table that looked like the Keebler elves had exploded on it.  There had to be 4 boxes worth of graham cracker crumbs on the table, the chairs, the floor.  I hate crunchy floors.

Then - the kicker.  As I'm shoveling the crumbs off the floor, I see hunks of hair.....pretty long hunks of hair.  In a slight panic, thinking that the middle minion had cut her gorgeous wavy, mink brown, waist length hair, I yelled for her get downstairs NOW.  Her hair is fine.  Who's hair is this??

Turns out, the youngest minion - the 5yo - had cut huge hunks out of his bangs.  There's big piece that sticks straight up right in front.  He looks like he's wearing an Alfalfa toupee.....backwards.  We haven't taken our family Christmas picture yet.  Just awesome.

Ok - about that scrapbooking.....I did the first draft of our Christmas letter....to go with the as yet untaken Christmas picture....at least the 5yo has hair in the letter's pictures.  And, I got this great Top 10 layout done.  I love it because looking at it makes me smile - it's photos of some of the highlights of 2010.  We are truly blessed.....despite the crumbs and bad haircuts.

Awesome new template from In The Making Design....

Template - ITM Top 10
Postage Stamps - ITM Postage Alpha
Numbers - iKari Designs Dates
Yellow and teal paper:  Crystal Wilkerson Playground papers
Stripe paper - Moody Grunge by MHains

Linda Roos (In The Making Design) created the awesome template that's available tomorrow at JessicaSprague.com.

Hope it makes you smile, too.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Photoshop Friday fun!

Yep....tomorrow's Friday - can I get an AMEN?  After this week, I'm so very ready...plus, I'm escaping to scrap with friends.  That's right - 48+ hours with NO KIDS.  See post below for why this sends me into giddy world!

But - here's a peek at the goodness coming tomorrow at JessicaSprague.com for Photoshop Friday:

The amazing Linda Roos (of In The Making Design) created this fun little mini album that can be done hybrid or pure digi - it rocks.  Here's my take on it:

12 Days Photoshop Friday template by ITM Design
Frostbite papers
I used Linda's template, her amazing Frostbite papers, and my own photos to create this little album of fun pictures from previous Christmases - my kids LOVE seeing pictures of themselves from when they were "little."  Hello - they're 9, 6, and 5....they're practically still babies.

So - stop by Jessica's site tomorrow, pick up this little gem for only $1.  See you on the other side of the weekend!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Oh how the mighty have fallen.....

Those of you who are now stay-at-home parents that USED to be in the "working world" (I giggled a little bit too, when I typed that) will totally get what I'm about to lay on you....

As much as I adore my children and love how we home school and the opportunities that allows me to have - like being right there when each kid connected the dots and READ for the first time - way cool....some days I just wish I could wriggle on that torture device known as pantyhose and rejoin the magical land that is the "workplace."  You remember it - the place where you got to finish sentences...the one where the phone ringing was not the Bat Signal calling all whiny 3 year-olds to your immediate vicinity...the one where you got to pee all by yourself.  I miss working some days.  A lot.

I had one of THOSE days today.  I used to have a "real" job...where I went to an office, actually got to talk to grownups, and even managed to drink my coffee without reheating it in the microwave 17 times before I finished the cup...or just forgot it was in there.  For the last 10 years of my working career, I handled the contracts for a web-design firm....drafting them (without the use of crayons or construction paper), negotiating them (did you know that it is easier to negotiate a $4 million web strategy contract with a large home building supply company than it is to get a reluctant 4yo boy to poop in the potty?  For real.), and managing the delicate balance between what sales promised and what delivery could actually make happen.  Not unlike the balancing act that occurs when your 6yo daughter tells you that Santa in bringing her a real princess crown and a real throne.......um, yeah...about that...

So today...in addition to talking with contractors (we're having MAJOR work done on our house - more on that later, I'm sure), we had lessons for 3 kids, errands, piano lessons, cleaning the house, dinner, etc.  Basically, more accomplished by Noon than most corporate employees get done all week.  By the end of the day...by bedtime...I'm tired.  Knowing that we have to get up a tad early to make it to older son's allergist appointment, I try to get  all 3 kids to bed at the same time.  This is not unlike trying to herd kittens.

Like every night, I issue the same command:  "Go upstairs - to your OWN room.  Go potty, wash your hands and get ready to brush your teeth."  Silly me....I actually think that may work one day.  I go up to the office (just down the hall from their 3 bedrooms) and look for a document I need for tomorrow.  The next thing I know, I hear a crash.   Looking down the hallway, I see that older son has flipped middle daughter over his head, bent her pinky finger back, and younger son is running in circles in the hallway, flapping his hands like a deranged chicken and yelling "Pootie-Bottom!" at the top of his lungs.

Boarding school is sounding better by the minute....in China, perhaps.  I'm going to take a in-house position at a fancy corporation....in Maui.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What if Jesus wrote a Christmas letter?

I stumbled across this on another blog and it resonated with me......hope it does the same for you.  What if Jesus wrote a Christmas letter?  It might go something like this:

Dear child,
It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking my name out of the season. Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate my birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered any time.
How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate my birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Now, having said that, let me go on.  If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting my birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small nativity scene on your own front lawn. If all my followers did that, there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.
Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a "holiday tree" instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can and may remember me any time you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish. I actually spoke of that one in a teaching explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks was. If you have forgotten it, look up John 15: 1-8.
If you want to give me a present in remembrance of my birth, here is my wish list. Choose something from it:
1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way my birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know. They tell me all the time.
2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them.
3. Instead of writing Fred complaining about the wording on the cards his staff sent out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up... it will be nice hearing from you again.
4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of my birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them.
5. Pick someone that's hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile. It could make the difference.  Also, you might consider supporting the local hotline. They talk with people like that every day.
7. Instead of nitpicking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day, they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families.
8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary, especially one who takes my love and good news to those who have never heard my name. You may already know someone like that.
9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no "Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Marines, the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in me. They will make the delivery for you.
10. Finally if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in my presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.
Don't forget - I am God and can take care of myself. Just love me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work. Time is short. I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love. 
And remember,
I love you,
Jesus

Sunday, November 21, 2010

FREE class and some more goodness...

OK...they say the first step in dealing with an addiction is admitting you have one.  Here goes:  I am addicted to digi-scrapping and all things Jessica Sprague.  There.  I said it.  Somehow I feel slightly giddy instead of like I need an intervention.

With that thought in mind....I got the chance to play with Liv Esteban's magical new creations - scrumptious digi papers with fun paint splatters and textured paint swashes.  Here's the first of many  LOs I'll be making with these awesome backgrounds:

Papers: LivE Designs - Painted Play Splats & Painted Paper Swishes
Template: JSprague 1.10
Font: Century Gothic


So....you want some fun paint stuff to play with, too?  Then click HERE to get yours - they'll be available first thing Monday - enjoy!

Don't forget about the awesome new FREE CLASS taught by the divine Ms. Jessica Sprague herself - join us at the Spraground on November 29 for a class on Inspiration.  Jes' classes are not to be missed.  Run, don't walk, to sign up for this class....it's FREE - what do you have to lose??  You can learn all about the class HERE and sign up while you're there.



Hope you all have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving - I know that I certainly have a lot to be grateful for!  See you back here soon....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yummy $1 goodness and a FREE class - woot!

Ok - things have been crazy around here - I've been meeting with 4-5 contractors a day since last Friday and I think my brain is turning to mush.  There are dirty dishes in my sink, clean dishes in the dishwasher, my kids are running out of underwear, and I may need a back hoe to get the crud out from under the kitchen table.  Just go ahead and send your Mom-of-the-Year nominations my way.

I am learning (the hard way) that it is just not possible to do 17 things at once and do them all well....or heck, do them at all!  You'd think that a relatively intelligent woman would have figured this out before her 40's....I blame the blonde hair - it attacks me sometimes.

But - there is a light at the end of the tunnel....let's just hope it's not an oncoming train!

So- who wants some free and almost free stuff?  I thought so.

Go to may favorite website in the world, JessicaSprague.com and scroll down to check out my ├╝ber-cool layout about books.....as you're scrolling, keep in mind that all those nifty products are only $1 today!

Bookplates by LivE Designs

Then, after you're done picking out your $1 goodies, reward your thriftiness by signing up for a FREE class taught by the amazing Ms. J herself - Inspiration Everywhere - your holiday goodness starts now.  


You can thank me later.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Phew - we made it!

So - we managed to get through another Halloween!  It was hard this year because Bennett had to fly out mid-afternoon so he missed the trick-or-treating....which left me with 3 sugar-hyped kids to chase around the neighborhood....got my workout tonight!  I'll post some pictures soon....

So - tomorrow is November - can you believe it??  Where has the year gone?  Hard to believe that it's time to start thinking about turkeys & pumpkin pies.....

But - if you want to start your November off right, be sure & stop by Jessica Sprague's site tomorrow for More in Store Monday - there will be LOTS of new goodies - including some fun tape labels from Liv Esteban and the big release of Carina Gardner's A-MAZ-ING new lines - you do NOT want to miss this!

Check out my examples:


Template: LivE Designs from Digi in Deep
Papers, brads: Carina Gardner from Coquette Flirt
Font: One Fell Swoop
Tape by LivE Designs: Tape It Up Days
Template 17 by Mandagirl Creations
Papers by In the Making Design: Basically collection
Tag by In the Making Design: Tell the Story Blank 2
Font: Impact

See - I told you they were awesome!  Hope your Halloween was filled with sweetness and that your November begins a time of reflective thankfulness.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

One Buck Wednesdays always make me smile!

Yes - it's that time again - $1 Wednesday at JessicaSprague.com - woot!  There will be LOTS of fun things on sale for only ONE BUCK - go check it out!

My favorite things are the templates - and Jessica's are the best - so detailed, so well thought out and they always come with lots of goodies and there will be TWO of them on sale for $1 on Wed.

Here's my take on one of them:
Isn't my hubby cute?  Yes, I am lucky enough to be married to the cutest geek on the planet! 

So - are y'all ready for Halloween?  My kids are bouncing off the walls in anticipation - I think their blood sugar goes up just thinking about it.  What are your kids going to be?  So far, I have a cheetah, a T-Rex and a Martial Arts expert....but that changes daily...pictures on the final decisions coming soon.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rainy days and Mondays.....

Well - today is actually both!  Woke up at 5am to crashing thunder and pouring rain....we need the rain but I also need the sleep!  We might be joining the land of the living again this week - so glad this flu and bronchitis stuff is almost over.  Poor Z is still coughing up a lung but hopefully, that will ease off this week. We are so behind on lessons - gotta put the nose to the grindstone this week!

But - on a bright note - check out this awesome new photo mask from the Mask Me collection by Liv Esteban over at Jessica Sprague:

The paper is from Liv' URAwesome collab kit and the overlays are from Anna Aspnes.  I've been looking for a great way to scrap this photo for a while - and this was it!

Oh - and if you have  teen or 'tween - you gotta check out the fun new album class that Jessica put together - awesomeness!  Here's my take using Splendid Fiins Teen Add On kit:

So - off to drive in the rain to the dentist - hope your Monday goes well!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One Buck Wednesday - it's the best day of the week!

OK - you love digi stuff, you want to hoard LOTS of it (don't we all?), but the budget is not so accommodating......  Here's the answer:  One Buck Wednesday at Jessica Sprague's site - woot!  Check out this layout I did for Jessica's Template 1.07+


Don't you just LOVE the swirls & the distressed frame?  All the fun elements you see here are included - and it's only a $1 - today only!  The fabulous papers are from Jessica Sprague's Tablet Class.


So, RUN, don't walk, to grab this & lots of other goodies on sale today for just $1.

Monday, October 18, 2010

So freakin' excited & PROUD!








OK - you know that feeling you get when you are so excited that you squeal, dance around the room, & wear a big goofy grin all day?  That's me, today.


Despite feeling puny with whatever gunk it is that I have, my spirits have been truly lifted today by logging on to Jessica Sprague's site of all things awesome and seeing this:




Yes - MY layout to show off Liv Esteban's awesome EZPZ5 template & more - RUN, do not walk to Jessica's site & grab this kit from LivE Designs - it has 2 papers, the template, several overlays & more.  Suhweeet!


Off to do more happy dancing.....  ;-)



Sunday, October 17, 2010

More in Store Monday at JessicaSprague.com



Here's a sneak peek at the goodness coming on Monday for the More in Store Monday - don't you just LOVE this template from Liv Esteban (LivE Designs)?  Plus, it comes with different papers, options for the 5, overlays & all sorts of overlays - so many options, so little time!



So - run, don't walk, to Jessica Sprague & pick up your template set from Liv - you can thank me later!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

You know all those old photos you have?

Click HERE to go to class page

Well - you need to scrap them!  Join us tomorrow at JessicaSprague.com for the newest instructor-led class (with the amazing Jessica herself!) - the Family History Album Class!  Capture all the precious memories - the funny stories, the history of you & yours, the big events and the tiny details that make life so special - now's the time to do it!

For many of us, family history can be intimidating. It's a heavy phrase that has a lot of meaning and typically connotes a lot of work, research, effort, and - for most of us - TIME that we don't necessarily have to commit to a huge project.

That's where this class comes in. If you've never started a family history album, or you don't know WHERE to start in recording your own family history, you've come to the right place!

In this first album, you'll focus on details and a few stories about your parents, grandparents, and other ancestors. Nothing too overwhelming, right? :) This is THE place to start if you've been "meaning to get to those old photos" you inherited! You'll find space for dozens of your vintage photos in the categories of "Parents", "Grandparents", and "Great-Grandparents", plus space for other photos you'd like to include. Other albums in the series will focus on extended family members, as well as dive into lots more details about those closest: parents and grandparents. Consider this our OVERVIEW album! The album format is flexible enough to accommodate you whether you've got lots of photos or very few.

In addition to creating the album, Jessica will discuss strategies for digitizing and organizing documents, memorabilia, photos, stories, and more so that you can begin a larger-scale, ongoing family history project as well.

Can't wait to see you in class!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

That sound you heard? Me - squealing with delight!




I am so excited!! I just got word that I am joining the Creative Team at Jessica Sprague's place of all things awesome - www.JessicaSprague.com! YAY!!

You wanna learn how to digi scrap? You need to bump up your photography skills? You have a desire to create/beautify your blog? You in the market to become a mad designer?

One place - and ONE place only - has everything you need: www.JessicaSprague.com

I had the honor of meeting Jessica back in the summer of 2008 when I was reluctantly dragged to CKU in Houston by my dear friend, ScrappyGuy. We suffered thru some really boring classes....and then struck gold: Jessica's Beautiful Evidence class. Just WOW. It is still my favorite class ever - mainly because so many things clicked for me. I was hooked. I have the dusty paper stash to prove it.

So - stay tuned for LOTS of awesomeness coming soon!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You know...I should do this more often!



So - have YOU laughed today? Just seeing this layout* makes me giggle a bit on the inside - just got back from a fabulous long weekend in Chicago for Jessica Sprague's inaugural showing at the Craft & Hobby association trade show (CHA)...just wow. I got to see the fabulous Jes in her element sharing the things she loves with so many people and getting to see the light bulbs go
on when they realized that it WAS easy and that they COULD do it, and gosh darn it - it's FUN! I am blessed to be able to say that I was there and played a very small part in what is sure to be her continued and much-deserved success!

Wow- how do you sum up one of the most fabulous weekends of your life?? Getting (finally!) meet Jared, hanging with Gary, Joan, Kari, Tori, Carina, Laurie, Jenn, Crystal, Kristen, Jana, & Jeanne, getting to meet Ann and her hubby, Miki & her daughter, Kelly, Kim, and so many others (I'm terrible with names....it's embarrassing!)....just awesome.

How do you pick a favorite moment from a weekend where you hung out with your favorite people, did your favorite things, laughed until your tummy hurt & LOVED every minute of it?

You don't.

You make LOs like the one above, think of feral macaroni, swings, walking tours, wine mixups, chocolate cake for 8 (when there are 5 of you), having your hubby meet & spend time with some of the amazing people (gotta say, that's in the top 5!!), and hope that a few more good friends will be there with us next time. Missed you Liv, Joan, Kendra.....

*It is with a grateful heart that I say thanks to Liv Esteban, Jessica & Anna Aspnes for the cool stuff to go into the LO above....it makes me smile every time I see it.....

Now....go find someone to laugh with...you'll be glad you did.