Monday, November 30, 2009

What a blessed life I have!

Wow! It's been quite a while since posting last but what a month and a half I've had. In many ways it has been a most difficult time, a scary time, a rough time and a wonderful time. It's had it's ups and downs and in betweens. Most of all, I have realized how lucky we are and how blessed we are.

We'll skip over much of the daily's but here are the high points. Halloween was tons of fun. I dressed up as the widow of Dracula. Dalton was the "Crypt Keeper". We both had a blast. I handed out candy while Taylor and Reaves together took Dalton to each and every house with a porch light on in our neighborhood. I've not seen that much candy since Taylor used to make that his personal goal every Halloween. Fortunately, Dalton's not been digging into it and thus, our dentist visit is not to be filled with impending doom.

We got through momma's birthday letting off balloons in her honor. Taylor made me cry. He wrote on his balloon, "We miss you Meggie, but we see pieces of you every day in Lissa." How amazing was that to say about me?! The balloons were her favorite colors, pink and blue, gold for her birthstone, emerald green for my birthday and their anniversary and white for Daddy and Martha's birthstone (Pearl and Opal). They looked so beautiful climbing toward Heaven.

We got through election day where fortunately Virginian's are starting to wake up.

We got through Ive's birthday (Lisa's mom) but didn't get to send up balloons for the rain...

We got through the Hurricane Ida remnants and a nasty Nor'easter that dumped so much rain in our fair state we had to be declared in a state of emergency in Hampton Roads.

Taylor had a horrible run in with an 8 point buck. The car and the buck lost the fight. Taylor won the battle. Reaves and T were going to visit Michael and his family in Quinton and this deer managed to step out into the highway at the wrong time. He hit the right front side of the car, rolled onto the car, hit the left side, rolled onto the windshield and ended up being under the car. Taylor, who hit the deer in the RIGHT hand lane going about 68 mph, ended up behind his air bag, slamming on the brakes which locked up, skidded over the left lane and way over the soft muddy shoulder (which was very wide thankfully) and finally stopped just short of kissing a guard rail and the side of a hill. The car was dug into the mud and the deer was about 50 yards behind the car very gone.

Sorry about the poor quality, but these were all from a phone. When Reaves called and said they'd been in a highway accident that the car was totaled, I grabbed a purse and ran. I called Paul to have an escort since I was riding the highway at night and was a little trepidacious about that. (Kevin was working that night of all nights!)

Shockingly, the boys neither had any physical damage, which I attribute solely to the fact that I'm certain God rides shotgun with my children all day every day. The accident could have been SO much worse. Just a half mile down the road, rather than a hill in the center of the median, there is a deep ravine. The end result of this wreck could have been quite different. While the car is totaled, the deer did NOT penetrate the undercarriage, did NOT penetrate the rag top roof. He is, however, residing in my freezer. (Sad but true...)

We spent the better part of 3 hours trying to take care of everything, waiting on the wrecker (that got stuck in the mud after getting the car onto the flat bed), taking the deer back to Lisa and Paul's (thanks to our friend Tony who came and got it for us) and Kevin came after work to gut it and butcher it. The rack was impressive. Paul's remark upon seeing the deer? "Holy crap Taylor. I've waited my whole life to get a deer like that and you just got it on your first season out!" Funny, but sad too...

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving at Daddy's. It was fabulous to be able to be there. Daddy is so awesome and I love him so so much. He was such fun to be with and we celebrated being thankful by staying up until Midnight the day before playing a rowdy game of family Monopoly! Reaves and Dalton ended up out of the game early and played parchisi (sp?) and Pictureka. All in all, a fabulous night!

I cooked a grand meal if I do say so myself and got many compliments which also blessed me. To have my daddy compliment my cooking makes me feel so awesome. Momma was such an amazing cook. I could never be the cook/chef she was but I strive to be close when I can. It's hard to cook a big meal like that for me as it takes so much out of me, but fortunately I had tons of help this year. Kevin stepped in and was a tremendous help.

We are indeed quite blessed. What a difficult, trying month or so we've had but blessed all the same.

I've scrapped a little, prayed a lot, changed meds and my blood pressure is back to normal now. (Praise God!) Now it's the holiday season, I'm preparing for Dalton's birthday, Christmas and New Year. I'm so sad that Kevin has to work on Christmas Day (8-4!!!) and have to figure out how we're going to do the holiday festivities before he goes into work. But that's a worry for another day. Today I'm going to concentrate on all the goodness!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blog Candy! Check this out...

Tam is an internet friend of mine with a HUGE amount of talent. I'm in awe of the talent she's got. She has more in her little finger than I have in my whole body (so you know how much talent she must have!! LOL)

Card by Tam at WhatchamadoodlesCheck out "Living Out Loud" for an awesome Blog Candy RAK that's going on Just Because! While you're there, you have to take a look at her projects, cards and Etsy shop, Whatchamadoodles. She's exceptional!

Now, truthfully, I hope you all stay away coz I truly am drooling over this RAK and the fewer of you that visit and do your qualifying, the better my chances of winning! So maybe I'd better just send you to Whatchamadoodles and not to the blog... Right?

Yeah well, Momma always did say I was too nice... So run on over ya'll. Check out her blog, do what you are supposed to do and don't forget her shop. Seriously, if you aren't into the mini albums or plaques (which you've got to have a screw loose not to be but that's your trouble), you surely can't deny her card making talent. She's so awesome!

Thanks for checking her out... thanks for not qualifying... Oops... sorry, did I say that out loud?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Looky looky what Marlene did!

I'm lucky enough to be part of a wonderful board of ladies. These gals are always so supportive and uplifting to one another. There's no drama. They are truly wonderful people.

Recently they found my sketch blog and have sufficiently built up my ego. Marlene, one of these fabulous ladies, created an amazing layout using one of my sketches as a jumping off place. I think you'll agree, this is STUNNING!

Don't you LOVE it! I love her colors, the bling and her title. I think that photo is just darling.

Leave her some blog love won't you??

Thanks for looking.
Peace and blessings,

Saturday, October 3, 2009

What an amazing Blog Candy Giveaway!

This blog is awesome! Look at the blog candy she's got going!

There are two of them and she's doing it in honor of her birthday which was yesterday, October 2nd. The giveaway is going on until the 30th so you have to go over and check it out!

This first giveaway is worth over $300 retail! Holy Moley!

The second giveaway is worth over $50!

Run on over to Twinkles Glow with Stamps and check it out! It's an amazing giveaway. She's got the "qualifiers" listed out and it's easy peasy!

Friday, October 2, 2009


That's what this little skeleton is saying...

Inside the card reads: You scared me right out of my skin!

This is for the Midnight Madness Sketch Challenge #21 that coincides with the WorkBox giveaway being hosted at Priscilla Styles and 10 other blogs. I kinda like this little guy!

Thanks for looking!

Peace and blessings,

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I LOVE and Covet This!

Who doesn't just love the idea of being so organized everything fits into a single gorgeous armoire style cabinet; the kind of armoire that looks like fine furniture and would easily fit into your den or formal living room? Oh yes, it does exist and yes, I covet this furniture.... I do. I know I shouldn't, but I do. It's gorgeous and amazing and I so want one! The shaker style of this piece really appeals to me. You can get this in different finishes as well as styles too. If you say it doesn't excite you, I'll say you're not being completely truthful, unless of course you're not a crafter and then, well, sorry for your bad luck!

How excited was I to find a contest going on RIGHT NOW where I could possibly qualify to win one of these?!?!? Oh holy moley, my heart began to pound, my blood pressure shot up, I broke out into a sweat and I my fingers couldn't dance fast enough over my keyboard to follow the qualifying rules for entry. So, here I am, posting about this beautiful ScrapBox, the contest and adding the cool little logo to my sidebar...OH yeah... I totally wanna win this awesome treat!

Here is some information to get you started as found on the website hosting this grand opportunity, Priscilla Styles:

You can enter to win your choice of a Ribbon box or the ScrapMaBob and qualify for the amazing Workbox giveaway taking place on October 12, 2009. Yes, you read correctly. She is giving away either a Ribbon Box or a ScrapMaBob (these are so handy!) and that winner will be entered into the Grand Prize Giveaway-- a Workbox in their choice of color/style. WOW!!!!!

The contest runs from September 28-October 8, 2009. The Original Scrapbox will give away ONE Workbox to a lucky qualifier. There will be 10 finalists selected from 10 different blogs to be entered in the final giveaway.

Do you want to win your very own Ribbon Box or a ScrapMaBob and then be a finalist in The Workbox Giveaway? Aren't they awesome? You can check out all the cool products the company offers HERE. Enter this code when you place your order to get $100 off your shipping: 100Writes

There are more details and lots of ways to get additional entries on the Priscilla Styles blog. RUN over to Priscilla Styles and read up on this NOW for your chances to enter as well! And by the way...when you sign up for this, make sure you tell them Lissa Ballard referred you! It WILL make a difference!

AND... for further incentive to mention my name, if I do end up winning, I send all of you who referred me a little RAK in the mail!

There are a lot of other sites involved with this contest too. Make sure you check out all the different blogs listed for more chances to win!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Well check it out - blessed again!

This time a friend of mine has blessed me! Lookie what I got today!

My instructions are to share this with five folks who I feel have become my friends. This is gonna be tough. I feel so blessed by my on line friends. You guys help fill my day, you've stood by me through some really tough places and events. Picking just 5 will be hard!

So here I go... (and if you're not one of the five please don't be offended... You're ALL amazing!)






Here are you more specific details...
Nominate 5 other bloggers you feel have become part of your circle of friends.Link to your nominees within your blog post. Include these instructions on how to pick up the award in your blog post. Link back to the person who gave you the award in your blog post, to show your appreciation. Comment on their blogs to let them know they've received the award.

So many thanks to Marci! You can find her HERE at Marci's Scrapping Spot.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I am oh so blessed!!!

You guys might remember the wonderful girl I call my daughter. Since I wasn't fortunate enough to be blessed by having a girl child, the Lord brought me one just when we needed each other most.

Aly came into my life when she was searching for herself, for meaning, for validation, for hope and for a little bit of salvation. She was a lost little girl trying to do her best in a very strange, moving too fast world. She and her then boyfriend moved in with us at our home for a year. She was about to turn 18 and hadn't finished school.

In the year she was here, she got a job, graduated with her GED, mended her relationship with her real momma, began rebuilding her relationship with her dad, learned a whole lot about who she was, who she wanted to be and how to begin that journey. In the process, I grew to love this girl as though she were my own.

Her mom, Mary (we called her Mar) and I became really good friends. We were brought together by common physical ailments as well as a common love. She willingly and lovingly shared her daughter with me. When she came to Williamsburg for Aly's graduation, she and I bonded well and when she left, she told me she was so happy Aly had found a second mom in me and that I'd been there for her Aly. She blessed me by allowing me to be called Momma and Momma Lis. She also blessed me with her love.

Aly finally grew strong enough to tell the boy she had been dating good-bye. It was a terrible relationship and very destructive. She needed to be rid of it as it was bringing her down. When she did this, she knew it was time to move back home and help her mom out. Mar wasn't well and had been doing worse physically.

Aly left Williamsburg in August for Iowa. We cried, we hugged, we kept in touch and we still call each other Momma and Daughter. Less than a month after Aly arrived at her parents home in Iowa, Mar died of a massive heart attack. The month Aly had been home had been wonderful for them both. Mar died far too young but I think she knew it was okay to go and be rid of all that pain. Aly was okay and was going to be okay. She and her dad were going to be okay together and between Aly and her brother, they'd keep things together.

In February, Aly called me to let me know she was pregnant. I knew this would be difficult as she and her boyfriend hadn't been together for very long. There was never any other option as far as whether or not she would have the baby. Not only would she have the baby, she would be an amazing mother. She loves kids, she's great with them, and she'd always wanted a child of her own.

Yesterday I was blessed to become a grandmom! Aly and her boyfriend Josh have become the proud parents of a beautiful little baby boy. Dayne Scott Hogue was born at 11:42am. He weighed in at a perfect 7 pounds 11.6 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. He's absolutely a beautiful baby; a real stunner!

Thank you Aly. Thank you for loving me, for loving me enough to share your beautiful family with me, for loving me enough to call me Gramma! Thank you for loving me like a momma and letting me love you right back.

You're awesome Aly Girl! You're gonna do great.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Labor Intensive

To copy Deb, that's what this month's sketches are all about at If It's Groovy. To go along with my sketches each month, we choose a theme or technique to highlight. This month, being "Labor Day" for us US gals, we selected the word "labor" to be used somehow in the journaling, either in the title or in the body of the journaling. I love the different spin each of the gals put on this theme.

This is mine but you've got to check out what the other Sketch Team Groovy Gals did with the sketch. There's some amazing work going on over there. Click HERE for some great inspiration!

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's Fabulous Friday!

If you all haven't ever checked out my friend Kim's blog, "Today's Creative Blog" by now, you're really missing out. Kim scours the internet finding the most wonderful, unique, fun and inventive creative sites. She's quite the enabler by the way because who can resist some of the places she finds!

On Fridays, she does Fabulous Friday Giveaways. Today's is fun fun fun! It's all about Ella Publishing Company. Newly formed SCRAPPY company that's got a bangin' new scrappy magazine on line. You REALLY should check them out. Click on Ella Publishing Company to get there. I know you can!

Now, because I know you also love all manner of great stuff, you have to spend time at Today's Creative Blog. Seriously. There is so much fun there and Kim does a great job tracking down the best of the best. Beware though..., if you can't resist, coolness, cuteness, fun-ness, scrappy-ness, unique-ness or any other creative-ness, don't go... I mean it... you'll love it, so you can't go...

Ooooppps... there you went... you did it... You went there to Today's Creative Blog and had so much fun looking at all that "-ness" didn't you! I told you you'd love it!!!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

I've had more creative time!

I love that I have some time now for creativity with my scrappy and stamp goodies now that Dalton's back in school. I've been busy!

It's been pretty fun doing challenges on the OSU board that I hadn't tried before. And with my health limiting my activities, I've had even mor good scrappy time (though it's never as much as I want or seem to have a need for in my heart...).

Here's a layout I finished this morning for a journaling challenge. We had to use more than one font for the title. I used 4! (Yeah me!)

I love Tim Holtz Distress Inks. They were so much fun to work with on this. All the painted pieces are the wonderful crackly paint. So cool.

Thanks for looking!

Peace and blessings,

Don't you love it when you accidentally create something you love?

When working on my montly layouts for If It's Groovy, I tend to forget that there is typically a theme or technique that goes along with it. Such was the case this past August when I was preparing for my September sketch team layout. So, I had TONS of fun making this layout from my sketch about Dalton. Yeah... I love this layout. Not sure why except the memories were just so much fun. It was a really fun birthday party. All the little ones were precious.

Hope you like!

Thanks for stopping by, thanks for looking!

Peace and blessings,

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Loss of a Legend

When I was pregnant in 2000, my husband and I were sent to have an amniocentesis because I was over 40. In our excitment, and with the knowledge of how my pregnancies typically ran, we were fairly certain I was carrying a girl - at last.

As we were having lunch before my appointment, Kevin said to me, "I know we feel like we're having a girl, and I know you want a little Jeanne Elizabeth really badly, but we really need to think about a boy name just in case."

As much as I hated to admit it, we should entertain the idea of boy names so we began our conversation. Kevin was fairly adamant about the middle name being Anthony after his brother who died just before our wedding. That was okay with me despite the fact I have never ever liked the name Anthony. I like Tony, just not Anthony... but it was a middle name so, okay.

I liked Shannon (I really like unusual names). He didn't. I liked several others he poo-pooed too. Then he says, "What about Dalton?"

I said it outloud, "Dalton Anthony Ballard... yeah... I like that!"

Then he said, "Well, it is one of your favorite movie characters and since Patrick Swayze is your favorite actor, it just kind of fits."

As you might know, Dalton was the last name of the lead character in "Road House" which is an awesome, very amazing, all that and then some kick booty movie in my book. Besides, you get to see Swayze Booty and he's just hot. And add in the mix another favorite of mine, delicious Mr. Sam Elliott and the electricity between Swayze and Kelly Lynch and holy cow, it still gives me goosebumps.

Not to mention the tears I cried repeatedly in "Ghost", the awesome feeling you get when the infamous line, "Nobody puts Baby in the corner." is uttered... Patrick Swayze was just every girls dream come true. The perfect summer romance. The perfect husband, (both on screen and off from what they say) and MAN to have had a chance to dance with this guy!! WOOOOHEEEEE I think I would have died and gone to heaven right then and there.

Today we say good bye to this amazing man. The world has lost a legend and I will mourn him today as though he were a member of my family. Tonight we will watch Road House and have a toast to him. We will say a prayer for his family for strength and courage and thank them for sharing this man and his amazing talent with the world. They were most generous and for that I am so grateful.

Good bye Patrick Swayze. When you see my momma up there, if you get a chance, give her a little spin on the Ethereal Dance Floor... She'll LOVE it!

Peace and blessings,

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Guilties

This is such an amazing description of how I feel most of the time. A dear dear friend of mine sent it to me who has so many many illnesses with which she battles. For her, this has been going on for a long long time. I can't imagine how it must be emotionally but I do hope life is NOT making her suffer guilties any longer.

She passed this along to me while the doctors were still trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I have a diagnosis now which is always a good thing. It's helpful to know WHAT is wrong... Not knowing is so disenheartening; trying; frustrating. All of that adds to the stress of being sick, making the sickness worse. Stress does horrible things to all illnesses...


Guilt is an unwanted shame-based emotion which results from having broken a rule. The rule may or may not make sense; therefore, the guilt may or may not be rational. When we run a red light or intentionally hurt another, we feel rational guilt; that is, remorse for having committed a wrongdoing. When we feel we should "perform" as we did before we became ill, that our houses should be spotless, that we should adhere to the same exhausting work schedule, that our children should be perfect and perfectly cared for, we experience guilt of the irrational variety. What rules have we broken?

Let's examine some of the rules we've imposed upon ourselves. (They didn't originate with us, but we've learned them well.):

It's not okay to be ill.
I should be able to conquer or overcome this disease.
I should take care of others, even at my own expense.
I should meet others' expectations of me.
I shouldn't stay in bed.
I shouldn't have needs or require special consideration.
It’s my job to make sure the household/office runs smoothly.
Others are entitled to have needs; I am not.
To ask for help is a sign of weakness.
If someone makes a request, I should assent so that I stay in their good graces.
It’s my job to be the helper, the magic fixer, so that I can read minds and meet others’ needs before they are even aware of them.
Corollary: I don’t expect others to do the same for me.
What others do is a reflection on me.
Others will not like me if I don’t do what they want me to do.

These rules contain a preponderance of shoulds, the dirtiest word in the English language. “Shoulda, coulda, woulda” may sum up the self-expectations, regrets and the lost idealized outcomes of our past and present behavior. Shouldas nag at us; they dictate what we do and how we feel. When we break a should, we feel shame and guilt. It's time to stop this nonsense and to stop shouldaing on ourselves.


When we clean out a closet, we often sort the contents into three groups: things to keep, things to discard, and things to fix so they work for us. We need to clean out our “rules closets” to see what’s in there: which rules to keep, which ones to discard, and which ones to fix to fit present circumstances.

Our new, rational messages or rules can replace the outdated, rigid, unforgiving ones. For a start I propose these:

My first priority is to take care of myself. If I don't do this, I can't do
anything else successfully.

Others will just have to understand my limitations. I will try to educate
them by explaining my illness and resulting limitations to whatever degree is
appropriate to the situation.

I accept (but do not like the fact) that not everyone will be willing to
learn and understand. If I they cannot or will not understand, it's not
my problem.

I don’t have to make excuses for what I cannot do. I will offer a brief
explanation when appropriate.

I'd will strive to be the best parent/partner/friend I can, given my
illness-related limitations.

It's okay to be ill and to have needs. I may have difficulty accepting
and expressing my needs, but I’m not going to judge them any more.

I will help others as I am able, but I will no longer rescue them.
(That is, I will not do for them what they can and should do for themselves.)

I will do what I can when I can do it. I won't force myself or push
beyond reasonable limits. I will not jeopardize my health to meet an
unreasonable expectation.

In responding to requests, I will keep in mind that there are appropriate
times to say no and to set limits. In doing so, I am not refusing a person; I
am refusing a request. I can respond assertively by saying, “I won’t be able
to help you out this tme, but I am willing to help you identify alternatives
for getting the job done.”

You have thus acknowledged their need, your willingness to help, and your
unwillingness to take on the task -- all in one short phrase. If this is
difficult for you, as it is for most people, consider taking a class
inassertiveness training or reading books on this subject.

It’s okay for me to ask for help. Although I would like to do everything
myself, it is not in my best interests to do so.

I will be specific when making a request. For example, rather than saying, “I
hate to ask you, but I really need extra help right now,” make a clearer, more
rational statement such as, “Due to my limitations, I am unable to run many
errands. Would you be willing to pick up a few things for me at the store?” In
this request, you have acknowledged your limitation or need, specified your
request, and requested a response. When people come through for you, give
them your thanks and appreciation in return.

What others do is a reflection of their situations, likes and dislikes
rather than a reflection on me. For example, if my spouse wears
something awful or tells a joke I don’t approve of, it’s not my problem!

I deserve to treat myself kindly and with respect.

I deserve to receive the same treatment from others, and to offer it to them in

Those who have unreasonable expectations of me will have to learn
that I have limits and boundaries. If they cannot accept these, they are not
true friends.

I will be flexible in my self-expectations.


We’ve been taught to believe that to be selfish is to unreasonably want something we want but do not have. The negative connotation “I want what’s yours” gives rise to selfishness being considered a major felony. However, the positive side of selfishness, self care, allows us to treat ourselves (and thus others) well. Taking care of oneself comes first. We cannot meet others’ needs if our own are unmet. This is like trying to get money out of an account into which we haven’t deposited any money. To keep the account “in the black,” we must make periodic deposits and allow others to do likewise. In the process, we learn to balance our needs with others’ needs, and everyone wins.


Guilt cannot be erased, but it can be gradually reduced as we become more sensible in our self-expectations and self-messages. The big challenge is to learn to live more rationally and to discard what no longer make sense or no longer works. Revising the rulebook and making behavioral changes is a great way to start.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

So Blessed

I had to share this one. I'm really proud of finishing it, for many reasons. First, I used a old photo I've been wanting to scrap. Second, it means I'm finally able to start scrapping about my mom. This is a huge step for me as it's been 12 years since Momma passed away and even thinking too long about it brings too many tears. I know that she's in the most wonderful place ever, I know that she's healthy and well and happy. I know that she and the Lord have shared many wonderful conversations since she went home. She was so blessed to have been dedicated to Him from a very early age. I'm absolutely certain she has shared many a moment in His glorious presence.

Now, having said that, she was mighty blessed. Everything she touched turned to gold and she was humble enough, kind enough and generous enough to share that with anyone who happened to be around and then some. One of her many talents was her amazing voice. She was a soprano with a voice as sweet as honey, as smooth as fine silk and as rich as gold. She was amazing. Hearing the clear melodious sounds that eminated from her, even when she spoke, was a gift. When she sang, you couldn't help but know that God's love had wrapped itself around her and was being shared in the most special of ways. Yes, she was that awesome.

When momma passed away, the entire church was sad. That's pretty awesome for a church that has and had more than 1000 members. Daddy and Momma loved their church, The Episcopal Church of The Redeemer. They loved their priest, the associate priests, the congregants, everything! Daddy decided that the best way he could show his love and thanks for all the love they shared with him was to give back. He gave a generous donation to the choir that paid for all new chairs and more in the choir room. The choir director, who was so fond of Momma, said it was overwhelming.

As a side note and story to share, the morning of Momma's memorial service, there was a dove sitting on the window sill. She sat there through the entire service and remained there during the recessional when all the congregants left the church to go outside and put flowers on her site (she was creamated and her ashes are in the memorial garden beside the church where Daddy's will remain as well). The dove stayed there until the last person was gone. It was only after every single person was gone that the dove actually flew away. The choir master watched this dove throughout the service. He was certain, as are we, that the dove was here to represent Momma, letting us all know she was fine, in a much better place, in perfect health and thanking us all for our love. Now that is something I can't not tear up and get goose bumps about every time I think about it!

Hope you like!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

First Day of School!

Well, for some reason, my posts have decided to go on vacation. I'm not sure where they've gone, but hopefully they're having fun! I've posted twice, showing some recent layouts and giving an update on our lives, but alas, they're missing... So that brings us to today, the first day of the 2009-2010 school year. It's hard to believe Dalton is already in 3rd grade. He's so precious and he's growing so fast. When we visited his teacher, Mrs. Vip, last week at Back to School day, he says to her,

"I hear you're the meanest teacher in the whole school. I don't think that's true. I think you're really nice and I think we're going to have a great time this year."

Oh my stars I could have died when Susan told me this. He has a way of letting you know just what he's thinking eh?

This is Dalton and Mrs. Vip. I'm certain this is going to be a great year. I'm really glad he has Mrs. Vip. I think the discipline and structure will be so good for him! He needs someone like her. He started out today with a bit of a queasy tummy but I hope I quelled his first day fears okay. Poor kid, he's so worried there will be a repeat of last year's emotional turmoil.

This morning we had to get up early enough to fix Dalton's hair the way he chose. We researched men's hairstyles on line and he picked out one he really liked. This is a close as we got it and he was very happy with it. I'm glad for him. He even got really picky yesterday while we were choosing a new pair of jeans. He refused a pair of loose fit Levi's at Ross's because he didn't like the loose fit. He prefers something that is a little less roomy. He was absolutely adamant about it. So we ended up at WalMart purchasing a pair of regular cut Wranglers that he much prefered. He also was quite particular about the color of his jeans. NO dark blue, they look too new. NO bleached out, they look too old. No carpenter pants, doesn't like the side pocket. Medium blue as they look just right... not too light, not too dark. He also chose a new t-shirt that reflected his two sports loves, basketball AND soccer. He didn't want to wear the jeans today as it's raining and a bit to warm in his opinion. He chose a pair of dark blue shorts (don't ask, I don't get it either) and this t-shirt. The new Nike's that Aunt Miss Lisa bought him were a must despite the rain. She really shouldn't have bought them. (God bless her for doing it. She was appalled that the inner sole was coming loose in his shoes and took him and Molly to the store for new school shoes. Both of them got new shoes and he feels so cool with is Nike's. He thinks he'll be great on the basketball court this winter to be sure all because he's got these shoes. Funny how kids get that idea, that a pair of shoes or the right brand name will actually make them better at something. I never really got into brand labels.)

Anyway, 20 minutes to do the hair today (yes, curling iron, gel, wide tooth comb and hairspray...), his new clothes, his favorite waffles for breakfast and the Nike's. We're ready to show out for school! We waited 35 minutes for the bus today but it was fun. Molly's first day was greated with great happiness that Dalton was waiting for her at her bus stop this morning. He was so sweet to her, taking care of her and making sure she had a great seat on the bus. They'll be getting off the bus together this afternoon so she knows just where to go when she gets off the bus at Nana's (Aunt Miss Lisa to Dalton) house. They were adorable together.

No tears this year. I suppose we're all growing up!

That smile is worth getting up for every day...

Thanks for looking!
Peace and blessings,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I postively cannot wait for this!!

I swear every time I watch this trailer I get more and more excited about the movie. Having read all the books now, I'm on pins and needles waiting for this movie to come out! I wish I wasn't waiting until November... isn't there somewhere close by that I can watch this in advance people!??? WOW!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Very OT:

But I had to share this. Once again, Linda has given me fodder for my blog. This video is absolutely the funniest thing I've seen in a very long time. I have played it over and over and still laugh so hard my tummy hurts when I watch it!

Hope you enjoyed!

Peace and blessings,

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wow have you seen what Home Depot is carrying now?

I can't say as I'm surprised by this but I am excited!

Home Depot is now carrying the Cricut Expression! You can check it out HERE. While this is internet only right now, I think it's about time some of the hardware stores got in on this Home Project DIY master machine! How completely awesome to have the ability to purchase this baby where you're also quite likely to talk your hubby into it while he's looking at his own power tools. Can you imagine his expression when you say, "Hey sugar, let's look at what's on sale at the Home Depot. I see that new Makita drill you wanted is 40% off!" You know he'll rush to the computer so fast he'll knock you off your chair.

So what if you happen to see the toy YOU want while you're "walking through the aisles of the internet". He'll be so in love with his new tool-baby coming soon, he probably won't even notice that you put your own new toy in the cart! And when you tell him about all the cool things this new toy will do for him too, how can he possibly say no?

"But honey, you know you wanted to redo the lettering on the boat. This will make it so professional and beautiful! You'll be the envy of the club. Not to mention the new templates for your fishing lures and wow - the new sign for the Hunt Club! There's just so much you can do with this honey! You just wait until all the guys see what you did... they'll be green with envy that you made it better than anyone there. They'll all want one then and you can say you had it first. Don't you want them to look up to you like that? It's like bagging the first deer of the season! Why, it's a 15 point buck baby!"

Oh yeah - play to his senses... You'll be sure to bag your own new baby then. Just because it's in YOUR scraproom instead of the Man-Cave doesn't make it any less manly! Bwwaaaahhhhhaaaaa..... work it baby, work it!

Monday, August 3, 2009

A wee bit of eye candy

Here are a few of the most recently layouts I've been able to complete. One is for the monthly challenge this month for If It's Groovy. This month we're showing off using office supplies on our layouts. Slide on over to the blog to check out everyone's layouts and projects. Don't forget to send yours in as well. There's a great prize package being offered up this month for submitting!

Big congratulations to the "Zero Angle's" winner, Lisa, too. She created a stunning layout!

Thanks so much for looking!

Peace and blessings,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

I Challange YOU!

In case you've not seen this, you really really must. It's a scrapper's and journalists dream template really, leading into your Book of Me, a Heritage Album, and so much more! You can find the template HERE:

This is the gist of the challenge...

Where Are You From?
"If you don't know where you're from, you'll have a hard time saying where you're going." Wendell Berry, among others, has voiced this idea that we need to understand our roots to know our place in the world. A poem by George Ella Lyons is called "Where I'm From." I first heard it read by Appalachian poet Rita Quillen. Six months later, we used it as a writing assignment in a class taught by my friend Elizabeth Hunter at the Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. The poem lends itself to imitation and makes a wonderful exercise of exploration in belonging.

I'd like to suggest that you give it a try. The prompts have a way of drawing out memories of the smells of attics and bottom-drawer keepsakes; the faces of long-departed kin, the sound of their voices you still hold some deep place in memory. You'll be surprised that, when you're done, you will have said things about the sources of your unique you-ness that you'd never considered before. What's more, you will have created something of yourself to share--with your children, spouse, siblings--that will be very unique, very personal and a very special gift.

On a board I'm on, (waves to Tara), they brought up this challenge and I was quite intrigued. Several of the gals did it and it was so lovely and so rich, I just had to try. It was tough at first, but once you get going, it just flows out of your mind! Don't let the template get you. Honestly sit down and give this a go. You'll be so glad you did!

Here's mine for anyone interested in "Where I'm From"!

I am from puppy tongue kisses, sister giggles and mommy hugs; from Coca Cola bottles in returnable cartons and sticky watermelon fingers in the garden.

I am from the red clay Virginia mud that still runs through my soul like sock bottom stains of summer, daisies growing freely and innocently along country roads like favorite friends waiting to greet you; from the strawberries growing for fat little hands to pick and pinafores to wear their sweet red nectar.

I am from family vacations arrived from a sleeping palatte in the "way back" while beautiful mother and cherished father worked travel magic only mommies and daddies can make. From Bristow, Gasque, Sandidge and Beatty, heavy on the Nellie and Jeanne.

I am from faith and questioning, from the love of the world that blooms all around, from browns and golds, green and blues, reds and yellows, the colors of His world running through my veins and out my mouth in songs of praise.

From horse drawn carriages to unknown homesteads, from trains and wars and progress, perseverance, from fresh baked bread and coal stockings and brothers stolen socks offered as special gifts at Christmas in difficult times.

I am from generations of believers in His word, His love, His gifts. The beautiful of His world and all it's wonders. The song of the mockingbird, the call of the goose, the newborn fawn and the smell of wildflowers perfect because of their ethereal birth.

I am from England, Wales, Ireland and France; from Huguenot shores and the Colonial Piedmont; from mouth watering stuffing balls at Thanksgiving and Japanese Fruit Pie at Christmas.

From the Fourth of July neighborhood parade with an amazingly talented mother at the helm, leading children on red tricycles with miniature flags, babies in wagons banging pots with wooden spoons and red faced teenagers wishing they weren't both embarrassed and yet in awe of that woman, so free in her spirit; from sisters holding hands in the night to ward off the Boogy-man and music that always seemed to fly on fairy wings, magical, melodious and marvelous from mother's hands. From Daddy's who were stern, strong and soft; who gave you wings to fly, ideas to ponder and faith enough in ourselves to reach for the stars.

I am from old family Bibles, faded tin-plates, from drawers and walls and shelves; from piano tops, worn out wallets and dimming memories of smiles and laughter made bright once more with twice told (or thrice-told) stories from lonely living rooms and long distance phone calls; from cherished letters found in dresser drawers and pretty stationary boxes and in books passed along. From hearts filled with a love that never lets go and a joy with a grip oh so tight. I am from all that was and is and always will be good, kind, generous and joyfilled; beautiful, colorful, songlike and magical.

I am from Pure Love, Unimaginable Love. I am from His Love.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What a summer!

It's been a nutty summer to be sure! We've been to scout camp, Vacation Bible School and home home home. We've been sick, well, happy and busy. Both boys are working at Sonic again, their schedules are hectic and opposite and getting my oldest from work at 1am is crazy. We do what we must, eh?

We've had birthdays and holidays and doctor's appointments. Been to the pool with friends, been swimming alone and made new friends. Dalton learned to ride his two wheeler yesterday and he's got some certain new found freedom. In the past it's taken him ages to get going. Something finally clicked yesterday and his fear (of falling) finally took a back seat to his desire to be able to accomplish his goal. I was so so proud!

Of course, like a good mommy, I've got all the pictures to prove it all, including his two "badges of honor" boo boos, obligatory of a successful learning adventure on two wheels.

I've scrapped a bit, enjoyed myself and gotten new meds to deal with. I'm hoping the new doc (a whole other conversation I really don't wanna talk about) on the 27th of August will get me situated in a new place ready for Uncle Sam to finally decide I'm eligible for disability. I am facing the possibility of neck surgery before that so well see how the next month goes. In the meantime, I'm blown up like a toad on prednisone and I look horrible, but hey, it's the price you pay for being able to be mobile. Thank goodness my mind is..... ou8usab8e39274hkbtgrjk&^&*^* bdkaknbwe dguks,e gtfusiakm egusk,'

Oh sorry... fell asleep again... Yeah, it's been that kind of summer. Sleeping alot but it's the lazy days I guess. Dalton's played a lot of video games, read along side me and given me Mommy's Rest Time. I don't seem to be able to focus much, stay awake long, or sleep for any real length of rejuvenating time, but, well, what cha gonna do? It is what it is.

Today I bring you my photos of Dalton's New Bike Adventure. Tomorrow, something special!

"I did it in the yard I can do it on the street, Mom."

"Off I Go!" (He rode down the road screaming, "WAAHHHOOOOO!" Too cute.)

Obligatory Boo-Boo #1 when he turned too sharply and hit pavement.

Obligatory Boo-boo #2 on the ribs when he bit the dirt in the side yard coming off the road...

Can You Tell I'm Proud of Myself?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Drum Roll Please!

It's time to annouce the winner of my layout challenge!

My players were:

Groovy Deb

And the winner is........


Make sure you send me your snail mail addy! You've got my email!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Very Groovy 80's crop!

It's time for our Awesome 80's crop and I'm really excited about my crop challenge for you all!

My challenge will be about Heavy Metal. My husband was a HUGE fan of all the various metal and hair bands from the 80's. Soooo, show us your best metal!

I actually got 41 eyelets (some of there are double set) and used two different metallic papers. The background is red velvet paper that reminds me so much of Ashley's coat.

The particulars: You must use at least 13 metal elements on your page! Your page must be a minimum size of 8x8; and should use at least one metal colored or metal "flavored" background paper! (Think blingy type paper, paper that looks like metal, etc... I used handmade gold metallic paper that was embossed and black steel cardstock).

Upload your layout to the gallery of your choice no later than midnight the 14th and link me here in my blog! I'll assign numbers (1 through whatever...) to each layout link and pick a number via a random generator. The winner will be announced here on the 15th. Wanna see what you could win? Check this out!

There's embossed paper, glitter paper, cardstock, glitter brads, chipboard, vellum phrases, flowers, rhinestones, decorator brads and, in true groovy style, a groovy banadana to wear while you're cropping! Click on the photo to get a really good look ya'll!

Don't forget to check out the next Groovy Gal blog, Lynnette's blog for the next challenge. Links to her blog and the blogs of the other Groovy Gals are in my sidebar. Don't forget to check it out where all the fun began at If It's Groovy blog for so many other groovy challenges! There's something for everyone!

Here are the awesome submissions I've had for my challenge. Thanks to everyone who sent in a layout! I love them!

Here are some of the creations I've made for other's in the crop!
Celina (Use a slogan from the 80's)

I used this slogan: Fatherhood: Not just a job; but an adventure.
(Hey - anybody know who that was REALLY a slogan for?)

Here is Jill's challenge (using a band from the 80's create a title or theme for your layout)

This is called Precious Time after a song by one of my all time favorite bands, Journey, by the same title. The journaling is the first verse of the song.

Genie's challenge is all about excesses. The 80's was a decade of everything to extreme's. So here is my project. I used an overload of chipboard on this altered item.

And here's my layout for Lynnette's challenge! We had to create a layout about our favorite fad, toy or icon. I will always love Cabbage Patch babies!

Amy's challenge is all about BIG HAIR. We all remember the big hair days of the 80's. The bigger the better. I was one of those gals who didn't go big. Never did. Never really thought I looked good in it. BUT! Have no fear. I've got a big hair photo for you guys! This is our little guy who was determined to have BIG HAIR for Wacky Hair day during Spirit Week at his Elementary school this past February.