Sunday, December 30, 2007

What I have learned in 2007



1. Everything happens according to God's plan.

2. Being content with what the Lord has blessed me with, instead of always wanting so much more.

3. I am blessed with some pretty extraordinary children! Brooke and Tyler both got straight A's. Nick doesn't get grades yet but he got all high scores! They have so many talents and gifts. The Lord has great plans for their lives.

4. Change isn't easy, but it can be a blessing in the end.

5. Girlfriends can bring you through even the hardest of times (Amy, Sunny, Karma, Diana and my sister Christina)

6. When you hear that small voice telling you something....you should listen and discern....if it aligns with God's word...it is the Holy Spirit. LISTEN!

7. Prayer is powerful. Pray, Pray, and Pray some more.

8. Working from home is the best job in the world...and I kinda took it for granted. How I long to be working from home again.

9. Even after all these years in the business, I still LOVE scrapbooking more and more!

10. My parents were right about how preteens turn into miserable creatures to live with! It has only just begun with Brooke...but I am praying that I will be able to keep an open communication and loving relationship with her even through these difficult years.


2007 was one of the hardest years of my life. Leaving Prints went out of business....which in turn took away my entire income. I ended up having to go back to work as a substitute teacher.

Our studio was flooded in Feb when a water pipe froze and burst and did over 200 thousand dollars in damage. I spent countless hours with the remodel and had to sacrifice so much family time. Things are moving along at the studio....we are nearly finished with the remodel and it is just beautiful!

Due to the children department lacking we felt the call to change churches and searched for a month to find a new church home. It was a hard change and we don't get to see our old church family as much as I would like...but we now have a whole new church family and are truly blessed by every aspect of our new church home. Praise the Lord that when we left our old church some changes were made and now they are thriving again as well!

Even among all of the chaos and hard times...the Lord was at work and I saw his fingerprintes nearly everyday. I know that it all happened for a reason.

Leaving Prints Closed and I lost a very good income- but now instead of trying to get rich...I have learned to be content with what I have. Karma, Sunny and I have put our scrapbook industry expertise into an even better use by starting www.faithsisters.com which has truly been a blessing to us...and to all of the sisters that have joined! Had we still been with LP then we may have never moved on with this endeavor.

The Studio was ruined- now we have a newly remodled studio!

Had to leave our old church family but have gained a new family and feel so at home at our new church.

Did I see the blessing right when it was happening? Absolutely not! But the Lord was never far away. Every time I felt overwhelmed I just went straight to prayer...and he kept giving me those little reminders that I needed....those fingerprints to show me that he was right there leading me along the path He wanted me to take.

I am looking forward to a blessed and great 2008!

So what did you learn in 2007?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Thankful For My Family

The past few weeks have been so busy that I haven't been blogging much. It was good busy though because most of the time has been spent with family...doing family stuff!

We had Thanksgiving at my moms house. There were a total of 29 of us gathered together for Thanskgiving dinner. It was a fabulous day of yummy food and family fun. The rest of the weekend was spent visiting with my little sister who was in from Atlanta. Whenever Julie is visiting we spends lots of time playing Canasta. It is our favorite card game ever! We only had time for a couple of games during the whole weekend cause we also spent a lot of time shopping!

The day after Thanksgiving...otherwise known as Black Friday...Christina, Brooke and I got up at 3:30am. We shopped the day away. That was until we had to sneak Christina off to her getaway.

Brent had booked a special weekend at the Blennerhasset hotel for their anniversary. Christina had no idea. Julie and I went over the night before and packed a bag of her stuff. While we were out shopping, Brent got everything ready and the plan was to meet him there by 3pm at the hotel. We were to bring Christina into the hotel lobby where the only Starbucks in the whole town is located. Julie was to pretend that she had a Starbucks craving. Well we couldn't get Christina to stop shopping! Finally we got her away from the store and headed to Starbucks. Brent was there waiting. His car was in the parking lot. Christina was riding with mom in her car. Brooke and I were driving my van. I pulled into the Blennerhasset parking lot and immediately saw that Brent had parked right in the front of the lot. So I started to turn to go out of the lot so that mom would follow me...and she didn't but instead went right up beside of Brent's car and parked. I alerted Julie about the car by pointing as discreetly as possible! We thought mom had realized too....but apparently she hadn't. Julie and I had tried to get everyone to follow us, Julie was walking by Christina trying to block her site of the car! Mom was trying to get us to walk right in the direction of the car...eventually she decided to follow us! We got Christina in and when she saw Brent she said..what are you doing here! Needless to say she was super surprised. She had no idea what else he had in store for her. At 6pm we were all to meet them at the Actors Guild for a play "The Pump Boys and The Dinettes". She was really shocked when they walked into the actors guild and there we were!

The play was really good. We all really enjoyed it...even Chad liked it!

I don't have any pictures to share because my camera is broken. :(

Christina had a great time on her anniversary! She is lucky to have such a great husband who plans fun surprises like that for her!

Things I love and Things I don't like

Things I love...
Jesus, pickles, my hubby, my kids, talking, being a mother, Gods Word, pedicures, scrapbooking, our church, reading, a clean house, necklaces, blogging, diamonds, talking, sweet tea, massages, talking (but not during a massage), being with my friends, KLOVE, vacations, Casting Crowns, mexican food, fonts, Oliver Garden minestrone and salad, Dr. Pepper, the beach, Canasta, eBay, Live Concerts, Google, scrapbook conventions, my parents, American Idol, my preschool kids, the magic eraser, my laptop, my lazyboy loveseat recliner, fresh vegetables from my earthboxes, cheeseburger soup, pickles, shoes, hanging out with family, Girl Trips and Mustang Convertibles.

Things I Don’t Like...
Clutter, bugs, dust, long lines, sassy preteens, math,people chewing with their mouth open, politics, smacking gum, commercials, being late,chipped nail polish, barking dogs, complaining, jealous people, cold weather, cleaning and bills.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

33 Miles


Sunday 33 Miles lead worship in both services and then had a concert Sunday night. It was amazing! I mean...I love their CD but seeing and hearing them live was just amazing. Jason's voice really is that awesome...just all by itself with no digital additions! They are one talented group of guys.

We ended up having a packed house Sunday night! Almost 600 people in attendance! Youth groups from all over and lots of adults too!

Then after the concert those of us that helped with the concert had a pot luck dinner with the guys. They are such sweet, awesome men of God. I sat across from Chris the guitar player during dinner and chatted with him about his new baby. His wife is due any day now...he was hoping to make it home before the birth so he wouldnt have to spend money on an emergency flight!

If you haven't heard 33 Miles then I strongly suggest that you head to their site and at least hear There Is A God. It is my favorite song by them!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What Its All About!

My kids were just too cute this evening. The boys begged and begged after dinner to scrapbook. See what having a clean scrap room can get ya! So they both made a couple of pages. Chad even came to sit and watch them. They both really got into inking! Nick especially!

The Tyler Swimmin page was done completely by him! I was quite impressed!

They both did a Chuckie Cheese Layout! I know someday they will love looking back to see that handwriting! For some reason I can't get those two layouts to upload..could be cause of the photos uploading to snapfish right now? Guess I will post them later!

After we finished their layouts they wanted to look at their albums. Nick absolutely LOVES to look at scrapbooks. He is so funny! "oh look this is our first ice cream cone." "This is our first time riding bikes." To him every page is about the first time doing something! So cute! He does get really upset looking at his baby book though...seeing all the wires and stuff on that tiny little body. Tonight he said,"mom, I don't even remember being in all that pain." Broke my heart! I assured him that I don't think he was really in pain..most of the wires were for monitoring him to make sure that he was ok. He has looked at his baby books a hundred times and tonight he finally discovers that he still has a bunch of the wires that were hooked up to him! He just thought that was so cool!

I started this blog as a place to journal everyday happenings so that I would have something to look back on for more scrapbook journaling and such...however I haven't done a very good job. So trying to get better. Decided to jump on here and get this fun evening scrapping with my boys documented!:)

I have been uploading photos to snapfish ALL day. It is taking forever...of course it probably wouldn't take so long if I didn't have 4 years worth of photos to upload! I have some of them backed up on CDs and some of them aren't....my digital photos are just in a MESS! SO trying to get that all taken care of and started out with uploading them to somewhere besides my hard drive so I can have a backup. Then to figure out which ones have been burnt to CDs and which still need to be! Then to get a better storage system figured out for all the CDs!

Thursday Catch Up!

I have been a bad blogger! Things have just been so busy with the Studio remodeling and all that fun stuff I just haven't been online much. The worst thing about not being online is missing my FAITH SISTERS! I could just spend hours on there trying to catch up with all that has been chatted about in the past week since I have been online! Some gorgeous new layouts in the gallery too! WOOHOOO! Faith Sisters also went over 200 members last week! AWESOME! There are lots of freebie digital designs added to the faith sisters shop as well! So many awesome things happening there! Gives me goosebumps to think about it!!!:)

I have been making myself spend time cleaning up clutter and organizing my scrap room! YAY! I still have a ways to go but I am happy to report that my room is now scrapable! I even spent last night scrapping for a few hours! Working on some Christmas Presents!

Tyler stayed home sick yesterday and I kept him home again today because he was so sick last night. He seems to be doing better today. Praise the Lord!!

We spent the weekend with the most wonderful group of scrappers EVER! I just totally loved them to pieces! Since they are only about an hour away I am hoping to be able to scrap with them more often! They were so much FUN!



Getting ready for Thanksgiving! We will be gathering at Mom and Dads. I am so blessed to have a large extended family who gathers together for the holidays. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays!:)

Right now I am working on uploading the last several years worth of digital photos to snapfish.com so I have them saved somewhere besides my hardrive. I think this is going to take me FOREVER! Will also be posting some applebutter stir pictures here as promised.

Meal plan for the week...um I a get a big fat F! This is what happens when I do not plan out my meals for the week! Mon- ate at Logans, Tues- ate at Logans (2 dinners for $12.99 and kids are only $2 a piece you just can't beat that!), Wed- Sloppy joes and baked squash (the squash was leftover from the weekend!), Thur- was going to be roast but my crock pot is at the studio so now???, Fri- Leftovers
Yeah so next week I gotta have a meal plan ready on Sunday!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Calgon Take Me Away!


SO TIRED! I worked all day at the studio. Accomplished alot so I am happy about that but I am so beat! My back was already tired from all of the sitting on the floor organizing photos this weekend. So I started out kinda sore and tired. Now I am REALLY sore and tired. Have I ever said how much I do not like be miss handy woman!

So today I painted ceilings. Glued cove base to the walls in the bathrooms and shower rooms, all 4 of them. Hung a bunch of ceiling tiles. Installed a flourescent light in the kitchen(that was a first!), cleaned the kitchen (health inspector coming Thurs for the every so often inspection). They had just worked on installing a new window and drywall in the kitchen so this wasn't your eveyday kitchen cleaning...oh no...it was the 3 hours to get it all drywall dust free kind of cleaning...and I am sure when I go back tomorrow some more drywall dust will have found its way back onto everything...does the stuff ever go away??

We didn't have take out...My darling brother cooked us dinner! He made a huge pot of chili and brought it down for us! Wasn't that so sweet of him! It was really yummy too. Perfect day for chili cause it was FREEZIN here!

Well I am so tired! If I wasn't so addicted to http://faithsisters.com/ I would have never have logged on tonight...but I just had to catch up with all my sisters! Tammy McClain posted the most awesome mini album for the Faith Prevails Challenge and I can NOT wait to scraplift it! If I wasn't so tired right now I would be tempted to go scrap in my semi-clean scrap room!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Meal Plan Monday!

Here is a picture of my trick or treaters! Derek (nephew) batman, Nick storm trooper, Brooke Cat, Tyler Soldier, Stevin (nephew) spider man.

Been cleaning up my scrap room and organizing pictures. Still have a ways to go but it is coming along! So excited to be able to scrap in my happy place again!!!
OK so I am totally loving this meal plan Monday thing! Lawanda you are so right..it really does help! Even though things got switched around a little bit last week I wasn't stressed out every day trying to figure out something to fix. It was wonderful!

So to add a little twist to the plan every week I am going to start trying at least one new recipe out of one of my MANY cookbooks each week! (If we like it I will share the recipe for you to try out too!) see below for this recipe I tried today! YUM!

So here is the plan for this week!
Monday- Chicken Ole' (see recipe below) Just fixed this for the first time. We loved it!
Tuesday- Take Out cause Chad and I are working at the studio prepping for our upcoming retreat

Wednesday- Crock Pot chicken, potatoes, green beans (yeah chicken twice in one week...it is on sale at Kroger! LOL)

Thursday- Tuna Noodle Casserole

Friday- Leftovers
Saturday - Chad is on his own cause I will be at the studio all weekend cooking for the retreat....we will be having taco soup for lunch and Chicken Cattatorie for dinner(OK I have no idea how to spell it but I can make it and it is yummy!)

Chicken Ole'

This one is from my Desperation Dinners Cookbook (meals in 20 mins). Fixed it for the first time tonight and my family LOVED it!
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves2 teaspoons olive oil1 extra-large or 2 medium onions2 large green bell peppers1 can fat free chicken broth (or two boulion cubes and one cup water)1/2 cup white wine1 can diced tomatoes2 1/2 cups instant rice1/2 cup sliced pimento stuffed green olives (optional)1/2 cup frozen green peas (optional)1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic2 bay leaves1 tsp dried oregano1/2 tsp ground cumin1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste1/4 tsp black pepper
1. If the chicken is frozen, run it under hot water so you can remove packaging. Place the chicken on a microwave safe plate and microwave 3 minutes, uncovered, on high, to begin defrosting.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil, over medium heat, in an extra deep 12 inch skillet that has a lid. Peel and coarsely chop the onion, adding it to the skillet as you chop.
3. Cut each breat into 3 strips about an inch wide, then add the chicken (fresh or partially defrosted) to the skillet and raise the heat to high. Cover the skillet and cook while seeding the bell peppers and cutting them into 1 inch wide strips. Cut the strips crosswise in hald and add the peppers to the skillet all at once.
4. Add the broth and wine. Cover the skillet and bring the liquid to a boil. Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes. Keeping the pan covered as much as possible, add the drained tomatoes, rice, olives, peas, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, cumin, salt and black pepper. Stir well.
5. Cook at a rolling boil until the rice is tender, 5 minutes more. Remove the bay leaves, stir well and serve!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Exhausted!

It has been a busy week! With today being the very busiest day of all! Yesterday was jam packed too but after two days of it I am beat!

Tues- phone calls, cleaning, Applebutter with Lawanda (pictures coming soon)

Yesterday was spent on errands and cleaning. Had lunch at the Der Dog Haus with mom and dad before their house closing. Yay! The house is finally sold. Dad is having sellers remorse and wishing they would have just stayed there but I think it is the best thing. They now live closer to us..only minutes away. The old house was just way to huge for two people. Heck it would be huge for my family of 5! After lunch went to Home Depot to pick up some supplies for the studio construction...we are nearly finished..just those minor things....which still take forever to complete. Think we will ever be DONE? After home depot went to drop door knobs off at my uncles so he could take them down to the studio...then off to pick up Brooke at school. Then home to cook dinner and get the kids costumes ready. I decided at the last minute to dress as a farmer...such a shame that nobody got a picture of me :) Headed to Awana....it was a crazy Awana night with all the kids being so excited about trunk or treating afterward. The game room was AWESOME! They had black lights and glowy balloons floating around, it was really cool in there! (pictures later)

After Awana we went to the parking lot for Trunk or Treat. It was the first time for our church to do trunk or treat. We had 24 trunks....some of which were decorated so stinkin cute! Brooke decorated out trunk and passed out the candy. She did a fabulous job....all the kids loved it!!
After trunk or treating we stopped by mom and dads to trick or treat. Dad was having a band practice. He is now paid to fiddle in a blue grass band! Pretty neat huh! This was the first time I met the band.....the lead singer/guitar player said, "So these 4 are your grandchildren" Mom had to correct him that I was the mom and the other three were the grandchildren....keep in mind I was dressed as a farmer...and I had pigtails and a cowboy hat...maybe I should wear that get up more often???? hehe! The band sounds AWESOME! Can't wait to see them at a performance! So proud of my dad! Came home and checked emails and faith sisters. Then talked to sunny for hours! We got the new faith sisters challenge posted! Went to bed around 3am...cause Sunny made me stay up with her to finish her tribute layout for her grandma! It turned out beautifully!

Thursday- got up early, cleaned a little, checked email and faithsisters and then went to the studio to paint. Before I could paint I had to sand. In no less than 10 mins I looked like a snow woman. I hate drywall dust! Got all the walls that needed finished! YAY! Now just have to do a spot on the ceiling that had to be repaired tomorrow. Swept the floors in the bedrooms and then headed home for a shower. Got ready for the evening and then remembered that I had brought the wet paint roller home in a bag so that I could touch up a place in my bathroom....we painted our bathroom Gobi Dessert just like the hallways at the studio;) (YES....pictures of my newly remodeled bathroom coming soon...Lawandas hubby built me a beautiful vanity). So fix the wall in my bathroom...in my good clothes! Luckily I didnt get paint on me!

Then off to the store to find Brooke some shoes for her Choir concert tonight. She grew out of her black shoes! UGH! Had 15 mins to get shoes and be back at the boys school for family night at 5:30. We ate pizza and veggies and cookies and then looked at all the science projects. My nephew Stevin won first place with her How To Clean Pennies project! YAY Stevin!

Brooke and I had to leave for the Jr High so Chad and the boys stayed there at family night. Got to the Jr High at 6:15. The place was filling up quickly...had to save seats for Chad, mom and dad. I hate saving seats! The concert was great. Brooke looked so pretty in her chior robe. Chad made the comment that Brooke was by far the prettiest girl in the 7th grade choir. Maybe we are biased but I have to agree!:) Oh yeah....on our way back from getting shoes I stopped to beg my aunt to let me borrow her Cannon Rebel DSLR! Wanted to play with it to see how I liked it...since it is the one I kinda have my eye on. She didn't want to let me borrow it and said her stomach was sick when I left with it! Jeesh she has a whole lot of faith in me huh! OK So I played with it at the concert...and now I want one even worse! Chad played with it a little too....and tonight he asked me more questions about why I want that one. Crossing my fingers that I will be getting one for Christmas/birthday. PLEASE<>PLEASE! My camera is dead....won't work at all. Rather then spend a bunch to get it fixed I just want a new one...real bad!!

So after the concert we took the camera back to my aunt. I really didn't want to but I knew she would kill me if I kept it longer! LOL Then stayed there blabbing for way to long! Got home after 9 and still had to clean the house cause mother in law is coming tomorrow. YIKE! So got the whole downstairs cleaned up and swept...now just gotta clean the guestroom and upstairs bathrooms. It's good to have company so I am forced to get the cleaning done! Been so busy with everything else that the house has been a little neglected! well at least one level is straightened and cleaned now!

Now I am off to bed! JEEESH! ANd I thought I was tired before I started typing all that. I always get a little rambly when I am tired.....apparently when I am typing too! LOL

Monday, October 29, 2007

Meal Plan Monday

So here goes for another attempt at meal planning for the week!

Last week didn't work out so well since I got sick!

Monday- Chicken and Stuffing Casserole, baked beans and biscuts
Tuesday- Cheesy Mastacolli
Wednesday- Hot Dog Roast after Awana for Trunk Or treat
Thursday- Grilled Chicken, green beans, noodles
Friday- Dinner out on Chad
Saturday- Tuna Salad Sandwiches
Sunday- Roast, veggies and biscuts

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I have been Tagged

I was tagged by Karma

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

My 7 facts:
1. I love music...any kind but mainly listen to contemporary Christian these days.
2. I worked at Hills Department Store for one year during college.
3. Have been forced to become a "handy woman" know how to hang drywall and install toilets among many other handy things!
4. I was a High School Wrestling Statistician for all three years of high school...none of the wrestlers girlfriends liked me cause I rode the bus with the team.
5. I LOVE PICKLES! Eat them nearly every day.
6. Canasta is about the only card game I know how to play...but I am really good at it! Chad won't play with me anymore cause he can't beat me.
7. I always thought I wanted to be rich but I have recently learned to be content and live simpler!

I tag:
http://luv2create.blogspot.com
http://marilee1951.blogspot.com/
http://everything-eva.blogspot.com/
http://www.sunnykohler.blogspot.com/
http://mama4joy.blogspot.com/
http://redheadscrapper.blogspot.com/
http://papercutzandpraisez.blogspot.com/

Relaxing Sunday


It was a very relaxing Sunday! Started the day off with a wonderful church service and a great sermon on Bold Love. The pastor announced that a couple who just recently started attending church and was just baptised like a month or so ago had a premature baby today. The baby wasn't suppose to be born until January...so she is quite preemie. I requested special prayer for the baby and will be doing my best on Monday to find a way to get in touch with the family so that the church can help them with whatever needs they might have. I am sure that they will have a huge finincial burden because I know Chad and I did when Nick was born premature and spent time out of town in NICU. All the expenses of hotels and meals really can break you fast.

After church I relaxed with Chad on the love seat. He watched football while I took a Sunday afternoon nap! Still recovering from being sick the past couple of days. Going to church apparently wore me out! I had intended to get some scrapping done today!

Went back to church tonight for snack supper and then bible study. Then stopped at mom and dads for a quick visit and to get my plants that mom gave me! I hope I don't kill them with my brown thumb! Mom and Dad had an atrium room at their old house and now that they have moved they no longer have room for all their plants! Mom gave me the Burrows Tail which she has had since I was a kid. She also gave me another plant whose name escapes me right now! It is suppose to freeze here tonight so I also had to bring in my other plants that have been enjoying the summer outside!

An update on my attempt at preplanning our meals! It was a good first attempt but I got sick and ended up not being able to cook. I did try to cook chicken and noodles on Fri evening...I nearly passed out halfway through so Chad had to finish...but it still turned out very yummy and Satuday I was feeling some better...so maybe it helped!

Today I didn't do the roast cause I hadn't made it to the store as planned earlier in the week since I had been sick.....SO Chad requested Tuna salad sandwiches. I think the man could eat that every day of the week! LOL

I didn't get any scrapping done today but I did spend tonight preparing the handout for my scrapbook class at Crafts tomorrow night. Hoping to get my phone calls made in the morning and then spend the rest of Monday scrapping!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pre-planning Meals

I had another day off today! YAY! It's rainy again so I just couldn't resist a little nap. After my nap I got busy finishing up laundry. I feel like I have actually accomplished something today! I have the last load in the washer and even have half of the clean clothes put away! YAY! A productive laundry day. Even got the kitchen sparkling with fresh mopped floor!


In my attempt to get things clean and organized I have decided to try my good friend Lawandas menu planning idea. She has been posting her weekly menu on her blog every week. So here goes Lawanda! I am gonna give it my best shot to do this every week and stick to it!


Mon- Pizza (I only had a half hour between school and teaching scrapbook classes!)

Tues- Tuna Salad Sandwiches

Wed- Poor Mans Steak, green beans, cheesy biscuts, mashed potatoes and gravy

Thur- Veggie Soup

Fri- Grilled Chicken, brocoli and cheese, baked beans

Sat- Chicken Noodles, carrots, biscuts

Sun- Roast, potatoes, Carrots and noodles


So lets hope this helps me be a little more organized! I am hoping to start my routine of grocery shopping on Sun night again. I used to always do that but then got into this funk where I just scrounge around to figure out what to cook at the last minute! Lawanda has inspired me to do better though!;)


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Rainy Day and Camera


It has been one of the super rainy days here. Just when it seems like it is stopping it starts up again...so dark and dreary all day. The kind of day that just makes me want to SLEEP! Why is it that I get so stinkin tired on rainy days??


I had great plans of getting the laundry finished and the house mostly cleaned up. Well as I mentioned I was sleepy today so not so much got done. I have at least finished half of the laundry. Hoping that I won't have to work tomorrow so that I can get the rest finished. The life of a substitute teacher...never knowing if you have to work or not the next day. It does kinda get old!


My camera is kicking the bucket, on it's last leg, making me crazy! It all started while we were camping. Of course the leaves were such beautiful brilliant colors. The only time we have caught the leaves at the peak....and my camera goes crazy. I got a few good pictures during our hike but but missed so many opportunities for fabulous shots the rest of the weekend. I was so depressed.


I have secretly been craving a digital SLR. I checked out the Canon EOS Rebel XTi Digital Camera w/ 18-55mm Lens at Sams Club tonight when we went to get tires. It looks pretty yummy but I havent done my research yet. Trying to convince hubby that it would be the perfect Christmas/Birthday present. So anyone know anything about this camera? Would love some reviews! Gotta make sure this is the one I want to ask santa for!


Here is a fun little thing that was sent to me...

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car): Snowball Grand Caravan


2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie): Vanilla Macadamia Nut


3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name): SMcV


4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal): Sage Yorkie


5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born):Michelle Parkersburg


6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first): McVsa


7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink): The blue tea


NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers):Paul Lloyd


9. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names):Anne Alroy


10. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter): Boso Boston


11. SPY NAME: (your favorite season/holiday, flower): Christmas Daisy


12. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”):

Mandarin Orange shirty


13. HIPPIE NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree):Bagel Willow


14. YOUR ROCK STAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour” and the year): The Scrapbook Sun Tour 2007

Monday, October 22, 2007

Catching Up






Just a quick note to let you know that the finger is healing...and I will soon be able to type better and catch everything up on here! I have been a very bad blogger:(
Life has been super fast paced. We had our trip to NYC then I subbed all week, then Scrap Camp Oct 12-14, subbed all week and then our annual primitive camping trip at Kumbrabow State Forest. Have lots of photos to share from Scrap Camp and Kumbrabow but for now will leave you with a couple. The one above is the van loaded down with all of the Scrap Camp stuff! YIKES! There was barely room for me!





I do love salad but really I wasn't eating the whole bowel!

Praying that this finger will be back to normal so I can go back to two handed typing! Even the shortest blurb takes me way to long!
The picture of my family is after a hike straight up the side of the mountain! As you can see from the background we are in peak fall leaf season! The colors of the trees was absolutely amazing! I have never seen the leaves in such vivid colors. The Lord surely painted a beautiful view for us!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kung Foo Fighting

Everyone has been getting such a kick out of my story I decided to just go ahead and share it...most of you will eventually hear it anyway...since I have been warned by many that I will never live it down!

So I posted on Monday how much I really did NOT like Chinatown! WELL!!!! Apparently I was still a little shook up about the whole purse experience because Monday night about 2AM I had a terrible nightmare! Someone was chasing me. I don't really remember much but just going on what my hubby told me! He said I was yelling and screaming and woke him up. When he touched me I bolted out of bed and crashed into either my dresser or the wall...he wasnt sure which. I scared him to death cause he thought someone was really in the house..he was ready to bust the glass of his gun cabinet! LOL He said he yelled at me and I got right back into bed and curled into the fetal position. I was immediately back to sleep...well I don't really think I ever even woke up cause I do not remember it at all! Poor hubby could NOT get back to sleep cause I had scared him to death! LOL

Well Tues morning I woke up with terrible pain in my hand! I was trying to get ready for work and everything that I did HURT like crazy. By the time I got to school my finger was looking purple and swelling. I thought..man I must have laid on my hand or something it is really hurting. I called hubby to tell him about it and he said.....you must have done that while you were fighting off whoever was chasing you! I had no idea what he was talking about! So then he told me about my performance and me scaring him to death! LOL He figured I must have hurt my finger on whatever I crashed into in my sleep!

The school nurse put a temporary splint on my finger and provided me with ice all day. I walked around with my hand sticking up all day cause if I let it hang down it throbbed even worse. The school nurse kept telling me to get it xrayed after school. Well I went and sure enough have a hairline fracture! ARGH!

Chad says he is going to make me a padded room to sleep in! he probably should! I haven't had much sleep walking since I got pregnant with Brooke....but when I was a kid I would end up anywhere but where I started out...I would laugh hysterically in my sleep..even walk outside, but would usually wake up when my feet hit the cold ground. I surely hope that this isn't the start of my crazy sleeping again! When I was a kid I never injured myself...getting old has its disadvantages!

Typing with one hand isn't easy so I will end here. Sweet DREAMS to all! :)

Monday, October 08, 2007

NYC

Wow! What an exhausting weekend! Brooke, Mom, Christina, Shirley, Kacie, Jodi and I all drove up to New York on Friday. It took us 11 hours to get there thanks to the road construction and a wreck. UGH! What a trip! WE picked up Julie at the JFK airport. It worked out nicely that her plane was delayed due to fog...so she didn't end up having to wait long for us to pick her up.
My GPS sent us right through downtown Manhatten on the way there! Let's just say that I was a bit nervous. The taxis were the worst. Nobody drives in their lane...everyone is always squeezing and HONKING! I have driven in a lot of big cities but NYC was quite a new experience! My palms were a little sweaty but we made it through the city without a scratch! We had not intended to drive in the city! Our plan was to use the subway and bus system and keep the van parked at the hotel! Boy was I surprised when the GPS landed us right there smack dab in the middle of it all!
We made a wrong turn so got a little off the beaten path. I think we ended up going by a garbage recycling center or something. It was a bit FREAKY! Luckily we had that lovely GPS....we gotta name her...we played with names all weekend but none of them really seemed to fit her! She helped us get back on the right path to the airport to pick up Julie!
Once we picked up Julie at JFK we realized there was no seat in the van for her! OOPS! Hadn't thought about that little detail since we were only planning to use subways! She sat on the cooler between mom and Shirley. It worked out fine except when I had to slam on the breaks or take off quickly. Her feet would fly up in the air as she tipped backwards! LOL
We arrive at our hotel, The Comfort Inn which is in Jamaica, NY. We shared two rooms. We were all pretty tired when we arrived at the hotel at 1am so went quickly to bed. The next morning we got ready quickly and headed down to the continental breakfast. Julie got yelled at both mornings by the breakfast attendant. She thought Julie wasn't old enough to operate the waffle maker! hehe! She kept telling her to read the signs (which said must be 16 to operate)
By 7:30 am we were off to the subway station which was a two block walk from the hotel. The New York Subway system is not nearly as tourist friendly as the Washington DC metro! I wasn't expecting no maps in the subway stations! It was quite confusing but we managed! The trick we learned was talking to locals and getting advice. We were blessed to have had some very nice fellow passengers aboard most of our trips!
Our first stop was Times Square. AWESOME! Just undescribable really! Pictures just do not do it justice!

Just a block down the street they were filming a chinese movie! Cameras all around the streets. It was kinda neat! I am sure we were crowd extras cause one scene was filmed while we were walking down the road! LOL

We walked around enjoying the sites then caught a bus to Battery Park so we could see the Statue Of Liberty! On the bus we passed by Ground Zero which basically just looks like a big whole in the ground with a fence and lots of building equipment all around. My photo didn't come out of Ground Zero but basically there was nothing to see anymore. They are ready to build. We didn't find Freedom Park...kinda bummed about that....but maybe next time!
We took the Statten Island ferry over to the island and got some great photos of the statue of Liberty. It was a little foggy but still an amazing site! The ferry to the statue and ellis island was way backed up because of a fog delay. The line was miles long. I am NOT exagerating! Next NYC trip we will plan to go up in the statue...but this time we were content with just seeing it from the ferry!

After the statue of liberty we headed to The Brooklyn Bridge. It was incredible! Being totally afraid of heights, I was sure I would freak out upon walking across the bridge but to my surprise I was just fine! no anxious scared feeling arose! WOOHOOO!! We got some great photos from the Brooklyn Bridge view!


My Aunt and cousins were so excited to go shopping in China town. I hated it! Did not feel one bit safe. Everywhere you went there were people coming up asking if you wanted to look at purses, handbags and wallets. Well not knowing we walked into one little teeny store and they took us down to a basement where they had this little tiny room stuffed with purses. Coach, Channel, Louey. It was psycho. they locked us in that little room. My aunt and cousins continued to go into these crazy places to find just the right purse. I did not like it one bit and did not feel safe at all. Obviously the purses are stolen or something...since they are hidden away in these little rooms. Later that night there were tons of people selling off blankets along 5th ave. Then all a sudden they would pack up and run. CRAZY! I am happy to report that I did NOT buy a black market purse! Just not my thing! I can't believe how insane that whole purse thing is there!

Finally, after we got them to stop purse shopping we continued on to Little Italy and had a yummy italian dinner! It was so nice and very wonderful to sit down for a little while! Then more dreaded purse shopping.
Next, we headed to Central Park looking for Belvedere Castle which was suppose to have a spectacular view. I wasn't real impressed with the view really but the park was amazing! So neat to be there and just see people laying around, reading, playing ball, relaxing at the park!
We were trying to get to the Flat Iron building on 23rd and 5th but somehow missed that too. We ended up heading back up to the Rockefeller Center. We went to the huge St Patricks Cathedral. We aren't catholic but it was an amazing site!
We took a stroll down 5th avenue and then I talked everyone into going into the TSKS booth to get Broadway tickets! We ended up with tickets to the Fantastics. We had 5 minutes to get down 4 blocks to the theater! We ran on our already exhausted legs...and were so happy to get there and be able to sit down! We were a little disappointed that the theater was like super small with a very small stage. We expected it to be huge and New York extravagance! But the performance was awesome, and I really enjoyed it! The Fantastics is one of the longest running broadway shows and is in the 17th year! It was GOOD!!!
After the show we went shopping a little more and then headed to the Empire State Building. We were all so so tired! After that we went to he subway to go home to the hotel! The subway seemed to take forever because it stopped at all stations on the way back since it was after hours. I could barely keep my eyes open!
Sunday we started out a little later. Our first stop was suppose to be NYC Botanical Gardens but halfway through the Bronx on our way to the gardens we found out that our plan had been changed. So we had to get on the train taking us back to downtown. The Bronx is just like it looks on TV. Kinda creepy to be standing there in it! We didn't have any problems though! Thank the Lord!:)
We headed to the Flat Iron building and then lunch at a New York Pizza place! I had yummy stromboli! Then shopping in NYC! My daughter had been going nuts wanting to go do some real shopping! Then it was time to take my sis back to the JFK airport!
Then off we went to start our 9 hour trip back home. We had to cross Statten Island to get on our route back home. I had a nervous breakdown driving across that bridge! We were on the lower level and my fear of heights got the best of me. I was freaking out! My hands were sweating so bad, then my whole entire body was sweating and I felt so strange...like I was gonna pass out...and I WAS DRIVING! What is it with that fear of heights thing? So crazy. I just don't understand it. I try so hard to not be afraid but it just creeps up on me!


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Shine

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven. Matthew 6:15

New Hope Baptist church had a 6th grade graduation celebration at the end of the 2006-2007 school year. Each of the graduates were suppose to share a talent. I had to talk her into it but Brooke finally decided that she would sing My Redeemer Lives. She didn't really want the people at our new church to know that she could sing because then they ask her to sing all the time.

Well she was right. The childrens pastor has begged her ever since then to sing again but this time during Sunday morning worship. Today was her day and she was a nervous wreck! Singing in front of this church and in front of her new youth group was a little more than her nerves could handle. I spent all morning trying to help her get over her nerves. Finally I went into my Sunday school room and asked them to pray for her. By the time morning worship started I could tell everything was going to be just fine! She loosened up and even had a smile on her face...much better than the tears I had been seeing all morning!

She sang My Redeemer Lives and was AWESOME! God has given her such an amazing gift! That girl can belt out those notes so beautifully! I listen and listen to her practice...but when she gets on stage in front of a crowd God just annoints her voice. God certainly uses her talent to bless people. Even though I had heard her sing that song all evening yesterday and all morning today I had tears in my eyes as I listened to her on stage....I am not kidding you! Her voice changes! It is AMAZING TO me but I know that it is God annointing her voice! AWESOME!

For such a little girl, she has always been gifted with music. She has an ear for music and stays right on pitch no matter if she is singing or playing the violin. It has been a challenge to get her to perform and share her gift. I keep reminding her if she doesn't use her gift the Lord will take it away. We certainly do not want that to happen!




The challenge on Faithsisters.com today is to use Matthew 5:16 on a layout. How fitting that I had Brooke and her talent already on my mind today! This picture is from a couple years ago...but it is such the perfect shot!;)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven. ~Matthew 5:16

Friday, September 21, 2007

Scrappin

AHHH!! The weekend! I still have tons to do but at least I can sleep in Sat morning!
McDonald family reunion Saturday afternoon....and then I plan on scrapping. Unfortunately, not personal scrapping. I have to get a poster made for my upcoming classes at Crafts 2000. Gotta have it done by Sunday afternoon because Sunday night Crafts 2000 is having a Scrapbooking Night with make and takes and free $25 retail value gift to each attendee! They have 130 registered to attend. So I am hoping that I will get some interest in my classes that night! WOOHOO!!!!

I hope to spend some time next week organizing my scrapbook room! I have so many projects coming up and my room is such a wreck I can't even stand being in it! UGH!

Tennis Update: Brooke played doubles and won her match Thursday. Her doubles team and one other doubles team were the only two matches that Hamilton won at this match. The team they were playing, Jackson, has the Greenmont Tennis club kids on it and most of them get lessons with tennis Pros. Unfortunately, we just can't afford the EXPENSIVE Pro lessons. All of the Hamilton kids tried super hard and actually did very well against the Jackson kids...they made them fight for their win!

Here are some of the kits I designed last weekend. Trying to use up some old stock to make room for the new stuff!;)





Have a GREAT weekend!:)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Where does the time go?

Jeesh this week has just flown by! There is so much to do and just to few hours in the day to do it all!




I have started substitute teaching again and feel totally out of sorts! I am not a morning person so having to get up at 5am to get me and the kids ready to leave by 7am is a bad start to the day! Then rushing to drop everyone off at their different places and getting to whatever school I am going to on time.....argh! Luckily so far I have been blessed with good classes. I was totally bushed on Wed though because I was in Kindergarten. Have I ever mentioned that teachers just do NOT get paid enough for all that they do in a day? I didn't even have a lunch break! Had to eat lunch with my kindergarteners! Not even a moment to yourself to go potty! I am just thankful that right now I do not have to have a full time job! Keep all the teachers in this world in your prayers...they certainly need it!




Boys Scouts is started again and Tennis is still taking up Tues and Thurs evenings. Brooke is kinda on a break from violin lessons because her teachers father has been ill....and now with tennis everyday until 5 and matches Tues and Thurs....it is just to much. Everyone is doing very well in school. Tyler continues to get 100% on every spelling test and Nick has only missed a couple words so far this year. Brooke just got midterms and so far has A's in everything but math and she is only 1 point away from an A in it!




Here is a beautiful rainbow photo I took for my Photos of Faith challenge! Picture perfect;)



I just got a job at Crafts 2000 as the Scrapbook Teacher! I am excited to get my classes there started! I will make 100% profit from all of the classes so that should help out a little!




Well I better go get some dinner going so we can head to the tennis match! Oh yeah...Brooke won her Tues Match against a 9th grader 9-7! She was so thrilled because she expected to be beat since the girl was in 0th grade and she is only in 7th!




I can't believe today is already Thursday! Where oh where does the time go??

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Christmas

Here are the two layouts for my CHRISTmas Layouts class at Scrap Camp coming up Oct 12-14, 2007.



Busy Weekend Ahead!




This week has been pretty jam packed. Brooke had tennis matches Tuesday and Thursday. She is doing great and so proud to be on the Hamilton Tennis Team! She is loving school and according to her grades so far (they have this cool edline thing that we can go online anytime and check grades in every class!) she is making straight A's! Nothing could make a homeschool mom who just sent her child to school any happier!!

Faith Sisters has grown into a great community of Christian women and I feel truly blessed! I know that this faithbooking ministry was something that the Lord has impressed on me as my purpose and it feels good to know that I am walking in his plan for my life!

Well it is going to be a super busy weekend for me! Chad is taking the boys fishing in the mountains while I work at the studio. We have some ladies spending the whole weekend. We have to cook for them and clean and all that fun stuff but after they are all taken care of I am hoping for some scrapping time. Of course, the scrapping time will be making up class kits and make and takes for Scrap Camp...but hey at least it is scrapping! Brooke also has a tennis match on Saturday so not sure how I am going to pull that one off!

Will be back online Monday! Have a GREAT weekend my bloggy friends!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering Sept 11th

This is a picture of one of the crosses that was found in the rubble of the fallen World Trade Center after the Sept 11th attack. The crosses became a place of healing, prayer and meditation for the workers and those who lost loved ones in the days after the attack.

On Sept 7th 2001 my grandma had a stroke. She was taken 2 hrs away to the Ohio State University hospital. On Sept 11th at the exact time of the attatcks I was lost and driving around Colombus, OH downtown trying to find my way to the hospital. I was listening to Ilene Meckly tapes about making cold calls. My husband called and was freaking out. The first thing he said is where are you? I said I am lost in Colombus. He said frantically, "don't go around any tall buildings!" I said...."huh, there are tall buildings all around me I am in downtown Colomubus." He said, "well leave get out of there, the United States is under attack!"

Talk about panic! I was freaking out! He started telling me about everything that was happening. I turned off Ilene Meckly and started listening to the news. In Colombus they were worried about the OSU hospital of all places...apparently they do some biological warfare experimenting there? Ok so now I am seriously freaking because that is exactly where my grandma is in the intensive care at OSU hospital. Not to mention my parents, aunts and uncles, pregnant sister and cousins!

When I finally made my way to the hospital the streets around it were blocked off. After much security checks I was finally able to make it to a parking garage several blocks away from the hospital. Then when I arrived at the hospital I couldn't get in! They had sealed the hospital and would not allow people to come or go! To make matters worse, cell phones were not allowed on in the ICU waiting area so I couldn't get ahold of my family there. I felt so alone, two hours away from my home and my hubby and my babies and like the world was ending. Scared to death! Finally after a breakdown there in the front of the hospital doors the guard let me in! Even though I didn't feel like it was really the safest place to be...and the ICU is on the TOP floor of the hospital...at least I wasn't alone and could be with my family! We had no idea when we would be able to get out...but at least I was in!

Later that day when things calmed down just a little and all flights were on the ground they finally started allowing people to leave. Our hotel was right beside a gas station. There were people lined up down the block in line for gas. Apparently everyone was afraid we would run out of gas or something? That sent another panic for me because I was two hours from home away from my hubby and my babies....what if I couldn't get back home?

To make matters worse my brother in law was in Salt Lake City at an insurance convention. My sister was pregnant and FREAKING out seriously bad cause her husband was never going to be able to come home! He and another man and a lady from Florida were able to get one of the first rental cars to go out of Salt Lake City. They were all strangers that had just met at the convention. They had made the decision to rent a car and drive home even before they had grounded all of the flights. Good thing because rental cars were scarce later that day. They drove 30 hours straight through and only stopped for gas. They even ate in the car. The lady from Florida still had 14 more hours to go once she got here to WV. I think her mom came and picked her up here.

Panic was the theme for that day. I remember spending much time in deep prayer. That was the only thing that kept me from having a mental breakdown I am sure. I remember praying continually that day and many days after.

I only personally knew one person who lost their life that day. Mary Lou Hague. I went to high school with her. She was one of those super nice people who everyone liked. My heart sank when I discovered that she worked on a floor that was directly hit by the 2nd plane in the south tower. They have named a building of our High School after her in rememberance of her life. There are even billboards still up in her rememberance here in our town.
Check out sites to learn more about her http://www.legacy.com/Sept11/Story.aspx?PersonID=100784

http://users.wirefire.com/pacf/Fund_profiles/Hague.htm


I had nightmares for many months. The most vivid ones still etched in my memory were terrorists catching the woods on fire behind the community where I lived. Houses were just going up in flames. I was always trying to save my photos and scrapbooks. I had that dream all the time there for a few months. WIERD!

Today I have a candle lit in rememberance of all of those who lost their lives that day. Also in rememberance for all of the soldiers that have been fighting the war on terror ever since that day. I started my day with prayer for all of those families who lost someone that day. Lord, please give them a peace today. Keep them in your prayers today.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Doodling In Your Scrapbooks

I feel like a kid again! Flash back to when you were in school sitting there with a pen in your hand taking notes. What did you do while the teacher lectured? Doodle of course! I am still guilty of doodling while listening in church and while talking on the phone. All of that doodling practice can now be put to good use. Break the gel pens out again because doodling in your scrapbook is the trend! Open up any idea book or scrapbook magazine and you will see tons of doodling.

My friend and Faith Sister Sunny Kohler designed this amazingly beautiful Doodled layout! She used penwork around the outside edges of the heart. She doodled the most adorable little flowers and bee, eye, a heart with wings, and a cloud with a sun peaking over the top...and look at all the little details around the outside edges of that white paper. This is so stinking cute that I have to say it is my FAVORITE layout that I have seen in a long time!

Doodling is defined in the Webster's dictionary as scribbling aimlessly. Scrapbook doodling is a little more planned so I don't think you would call it aimless, but remember it is just a doodle, not a drawing masterpiece! You can doodle to create flowers, lettering, plants, animals, borders and shapes. Doodling and penwork is such a great way to accent your layouts! It is an easy way to add an inexpensive personal touch to your projects. Even if you don't consider yourself a freestyle artist, you can find ways to work this hot trend into your scrapbook.

Doodling can take a little practice. Here are a few ideas you can use to practice your doodling skills:

* Doodle while you wait.

* Trace other artists doodling to get a feel for the movement of the lines.

* Add penwork around the edges of diecuts, or journal boxes. I always use short lines with a dot at the end instead of long continuous lines.

* Doodle in pencil and then trace over it with your pens so you are less likely to make mistakes.

*Use a stamped image as your base shape and then add doodle lines and shapes around the stamped image.

I have found some great doodling inspiration by looking on tattoo websites! You must be careful because you can come across some very unpleasing graphics on these sites too! Just do a google search for Tattoo. Here are a couple of sites that will give you some great doodle inspiration Every Tattoo and Bullseye Tattoos

happy doodling!
Michelle:)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Time with Friends

Another fun packed weekend! I actually slept in Saturday! When I got up it was already 10am! Kinda made the day fly by! My sister came over to help me make a meal to take over to Lawanda's family. Her grandma made it home..but was not doing well. I haven't talked to her since Sat evening when we dropped off their dinner so I am not sure how things are going there right now. Continue to keep them in your prayers.

While Christina and I were cooking Lawandas dinner....Diana came buy...she started helping with the desserts! Then our good friend Brenda stopped by too! My brother in law was already here watching football with Chad...WVU vs Marshall. The kids were all playing and having a great time!

Chad, Brent, Diana and I got into a couple canasta games after dinner. It was Diana's first time playing Canasta...but she is a FAST learner! We beat them the first game and then they beat us the second game (Chad finally got his canasta victory!)

Sunday after church everyone came back to our house for lunch. I had fixed pot roast, potatoes, carrots, green beans, spinach and beef noodles....it was oh so yummy! Diana brought a salad and Brenda brought some dinner rolls! So nice to have friends and family together for dinner after church! Maybe we will have to start rotating houses every Sunday for lunch!

After lunch we decided to see who could win the two out of three Canasta rounds. Diana and I WON! We are the weekend champions! WOOHOO!!

Oh yeah...finally, after 10 months of remodeling our master bath is ready to be used again! WOOHOO!! Well almost, Chad still has to install the faucet in the sink...he is working on that tomorrow. Lawanda's husband Kevin built me the most awesome vanity cabinet! He did a fabulous job and it was really no more expensive then what we would have paid at Lowes or Home Depot for their cheapo pressed wood vanity. Mine is solid wood and handmade! Thanks Kevin!!! I will post pictures as soon as Chad gets the faucet in! I am so happy to have my bathroom back! Sharing with the kids has been a little crazy...especially since I have a preteen girl primping for school every morning!

hugs,
Michelle:)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Sick and scatterbrained!

Ugh! I woke up feeling like I have been hit in the head with a brick. Sinus infection....grrrrrrr. Nick is sick too..both of us had low grade fevers today. Wouldn't have been so bad had I not have so much to do today! I got some medicine in me and went through the day with that wierd drugged feeling that Sudafed gives me! Ever seen that commercial with the balloon head floating around.....well I can totally relate to that balloon head guy cause that is exactly how sinus meds make me feel!






Today was my dads birthday so I went out to lunch with him. I was so out of my head that I forgot to pay! Luckily dad noticed and paid for me! He didn't even say anything until later I realized that I hadn't paid and said that I had to go back to pay...he said he paid it! JEESH! Go out with him for his birthday and HE had to pay for my lunch! Ugh Happy Birthday Dad!

We had crop club tonight. I just love Crop club nights and seeing all our scrappin friends! I spent the evening making kits and finishing a couple of projects for Scrap Camp classes! Will post them soon!



Thursday, September 06, 2007

Overwhelmed!

Now that all the kids are in school....I have found myself talking to my little Toby dog all the time! I am so not used to being home by myself! Here is a cute little picture of my Toby being cute in the grass.

Yesterday was my first day as Awanas Sparks Director. With all of the duties involved with being a sparks director on top of my work at the studio and everything else I am doing, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed yesterday. On my google home page I have "Reminders From God." It seems that today's reminder was just what I needed to read! Thank you heavenly father for the constant reminders and using the internet as a tool to remind me!


Claim My power. Use it. If not, I withdraw it. Use it ceaselessly. You cannot ask too much. Never think you are too busy. As long as you get back to Me and replenish after each task no work can be too much. My Joy I give you. Live in it. Bathe your Spirit in it. Reflect it.

I just thought that was so cool! Always the perfect words just when I need them!


Brooke had her first Jr High Tennis match today. Poor thing had to play doubles with a guy against two other guys! She was devastated! However, she was extremely excited afterward because her team won! I had no idea how time consuming tennis was going to be! I will admit that I am totally dumb when it comes to the game of tennis. Clueless!!! I have much homework to do on the subject. I do know that you do NOT cheer! Luckily I learned this from hearing another mother get yelled at for cheering instead of experiencing it myself for once! Well....at least I know one other mother on the team that is totally clueless like me!


I was all dressed and ready for bed and my good seestah Lawanda stopped by and wanted me to go to Walmart with her! Sure why not....Walmart at midnight is always interesting! Especially when that mysterious hunger that I get in the middle of the night hits! I rebelled and bought some mint chocolate Dibs. Had never tried them but as we walked past the freezer they were just calling for me! Then Lawanda and I went looking for Emergen C. I woke up this morning with a very sore throat...last time I had a sore throat my dad told me to take Emergen C and it truly did help my throat in no time. We had to really SEARCH to find it at Walmart. But just in case you ever need to find it go to the vitamin aisle...across from the "old man urinals!" I am telling you Lawanda about wet her pants right there in the middle of Walmart at 12:30am! I can not believe that the box really said Old Man Urinal!! I looked, but they didn't have an old woman one....just a bunch of canes beside the Old Man ones. my stomach still hurts from laughing....well maybe eating half the box of Dibs has something to do with it too!


Lawanda needed a good laugh so I am glad I went with her. Keep her and her family in your prayers. Her grandma has been diagnosed with Luekemia. They are hoping that she will be able to make it home from the hospital. It is a two hour drive to get back home and they will be bringing her in an ambulance tomorrow(fri).


I will leave you with a pictureof Lawanda and I being goofy as usual! I just love that girl:)



Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Awana and the Fire Alarm

Tonight was our first Awanas club meeting! I am the Sparks Director (k-2) so have been swamped the past two weeks getting everything ready for tonight! I spent the entire day today studying my bible lesson and preparing last minute things. The Awana Missionary warned us that our first club meeting would be chaotic. I am so happy that there was very little chaos! Everything went beautifully!

The kids learned the Sparks Motto tonight "My Friend For Christ". They also started learning John 3:16. I was so surprised that there were 3 or 4 children that could recite John 3:16 before the night ended!

I have some great leaders helping me out with our Sparks club! The best part of that is the friendships that we are building working together. I am so excited for what the future will bring both with the children and the leaders I am working with!

I am super impressed with the Awana club concept! We had a great turn out tonight for our very first awanas meeting at New Hope. I am not sure how many total in the entire Awana club but we had 12 children and 10 helpers in Sparks club!

I would call our first Sparks club meeting a smashing success! We were just finishing up at the end and getting children to their parents when we got a call that the fire alarm at Get Crafty Studios was going off! GRRRRRRR!!!!

My brother Matt had Christina's key to the studio and one of our assistants had my key! So I immediately freaked out thinking....oh no the fire dept will bust through the window again! They actually did bust through the window one time....but the fire was a sign on the outside!

Thankfully when we got there the fire dept was still on the outside of the building just waiting for us. My brother met us there with the key. They have no idea why the alarm went off but I have a feeling it has something to do with the electricity going off. They are working on sidewalks and stuff downtown all around us so for some reason the electric keeps going off. Anyways...that was my guess to the false alarm. I am just so happy it was a false alarm. I can't even begin to tell you the stress I was feeling as I traveled to the studio!

So I have my first Sparks meeting as the official Director under my belt! Now that we have an idea of how everything works I can only see it getting better and better! The kids are so excited about it and so am I! Being Director means alot of work added to my already pretty full plate...but I am excited...and it isn't work if you enjoy it!!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Great Color Combinations!

I just found the most awesone color site! It's called Kuler!!! If you have trouble matching up colors..or get stuck in the rut of using the same colors over and over.....this site will get you right out of that rut and give you endless possibilities! You can view thousands of beautiful color combos. There’s so many gorgeous choices and you can search by what’s Popular, Newest or Highest Rated.

You can even save the color schemes that you love by signing up for a free account. You can even go on to create and publish your own color schemes to share.

The perfect place to visit when you need a dash of professional colorization to liven things up a little!

Faith Sisters

I am so stinking excited about Faith Sisters that I can hardly sleep at night!

My friends Sunny, Karma and I have been feeling Gods call to do something BIG with faithbooking for the past two years at least. We keep saying well once this is done we will do this...or coming up with idea after idea and writing it down in a notebook. There is always something else big that comes up that distracts us from working on our faithbooking projects. It has been like this since we very first started talking about it.

We have watched several companies form carrying faithbooking products. We have seen magazine articles in the major scrapbooking publications on faithbooking. We have even seen faithbooking idea books being published. All the while we keep forming new ideas. I realized that God is not going to give us an idea and then wait until we can fit it into our schedule. When he gives us these ideas we need to act on them and carry them out. If we don't act he will move onto someone else that will act. We have already witnessed that several times now! God doesnt have to have us to carry out his plans!

Well we have learned some lessons. God showed me Faith Sisters in a dream! Seriously! Some of you might think I am nuts but I am totally serious! I had the most vivid dream about Faith Sisters and the things we were doing.

The really awesome part of it.....a month or so ago Sunny and I decided we were going to go ahead and buy a domain name. Sunny had come up with the name soul sisters and we totally loved it. Well it belongs to a porn site! YIKES! So we sat there that night thinking of ideas for our domain name. One of the next names we came up with was Faith Sisters. Crud....it was taken as well. We went through probably 100 different names and then just kinda gave up.

Well in my dream we were called Faith Sisters! So when I woke up I was already discouraged because I knew that name had already been taken:( I got the kids ready and took them to school. Then while I in the car it hit me like a ton of bricks...I have to get home and check if faith sisters is available now! So I rushed back home...thank goodness there were no police officers out that morning! I turned on my computer and sure enough FaithSisters.com had expired! It was available for us to purchase! WOOHOOOO!!!!

God used that little proof of his power to build my faith in our new Faith Sisters journey! From that moment I realized that this was his plan.....these ideas were given to me by him and he wanted me to fulfill these plans for his purpose!

I immediately contacted my faith sister Karma. All along Sunny and I have said that Karma and Josie would have to be a part of this ministry with us. Karma got just excited as me and started working on our website immediately! We called Sunny and the three of us had a three way call that lasted most of the morning! No more putting this off until everything else is accomplished.

I know that God is going to use this ministry in a huge way. I can feel it in every ounce of my being! The ideas that he is filling our minds with could only come from him. It is amazing too how completely in tune the three of us are to everything! Karma and I keep bouncing ideas off each other and just get so stinkin excited everytime something new surfaces!

This is going to be an amazing journey! A journey that will end only in heaven! Or who knows...maybe it will just continue once we are there!! I pray that this ministry will touch the lives of many. I am already recieving blessings from the ministry in the way the Lord is opening my eyes to so many possibilities. The way scriptures are just speaking to me so boldly everytime I read them! Amazing! Gods word is alive...and it is awesome to see its power in action!

So get ready Faith Sisters! So many great ideas yet to come. So many more plans to put into action.....but we have started the journey instead of just talking about it! I know the Lord is pleased that we have finally taken him out of the backseat and put him in control of our busy schedules! I can not wait to see his plans for Faith Sisters continue to unfold!

By the way...we are currently building our Faith Sisters design team! Email me if you are interested in submitting!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Family Time


We had the best weekend. It wasn't that we really DID much....but we were with family. We really wanted to go camping but my little sister Julie was coming in from GA. Julie was all for going camping too but she also wanted to spend some time with Grandpa cause he isn't doing real well these days. With Dad's camper being 2 hours away it was impossible to camp and for Julie to see grandpa too. So we just decided to hang out at mom and dads.

Mom and Dad have their own little resort at their house anyway. The kids spent the weekend in the pool and riding their bikes while the adults visited and played Canasta! Dad went to Lowes and bought a great chimenea so we could have fires on the patio and roast marshmallows for Smores! It was so great. Grandma and Grandpa came over and stayed until around 10pm on Sat night and around 9pm on Sun night! Typically they only stay for a couple hours so we were pretty shocked! Apparently they really enjoyed themselves...and it was so great to be able to spend time with them.

Christina fixed sloppy joes for lunch Sat. We had hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill courtesy of Chef Brent Saturday evening. Christina fixed a not so lovely cake for desert to celebrate Stevin staying here this year. The cake kinda tasted like corn bread with icing. Grandpa said it was good "cough, cough" but gets stuck in your throat, "cough"!

Sunday we ate lunch at Caesars after church. For dinner we had a fun time preparing Eggplant Parmesian. I was the Master Chef and had several Assistants...Jessica and mom sliced the eggplant, Juile and I breaded and fried the eggplant, Christina browned and seasoned the meat, Chris was in charge of mixing the sauce and saucing the eggplant as we layered it into the pan. Chris was also the cheeser! Needless to say the eggplant parm was fabulous! Jessica made a very yummy salad...and thank goodness cause the eggplant took a little longer in the oven than planned....maybe because we had a quintupled batch...much larger than anything I had ever made! Oh yeah, Christina did better on desert for Sun night! Blackberry cobbler...she redeemed herself....it was yummy! Maybe she should stick with cobblers instead of made from scratch cakes! LOL

Monday we met brite and early at the Mountaineer for breakfast. Julie and Chris had to head back to GA so we said farewells to them in the parking lot. The rest of us headed back to Mom and Dad's. Immediately Brent and Chad, Mom and I started a game of Canasta while the kids swam. Brent and Chad were warned several times not to play against mom and I as a team....they were determined they could beat us! Well 4 hrs and two games later they were both walking around with slouched shoulders;) Chad had earned the name ACE for his crash play...he was sure he was going to block mom from picking up and threw her the exact card she needed...an ACE...He was so mad at himself!!! Mom and I can't be beat!

Grill Master Matt made hamburgers and hotdogs for dinner. Jessica and Brooke made Brownies with a new twist for icing. After dinner we cleaned up the "resort" and everyone headed home around 6ish.

Once Chad and I got home he had the idea to play canasta again...I think he thought he could beat me without mom..poor guy! LOL He was very discouraged. The score was 3930 to 6135! LOL He said he may play against me again someday but after being beat three times in a row it kinda hurts your self confidence. Maybe I should have let him win a game??? Poor thing!

I am sad for the weekend to be over. It was just so much fun! I can't wait till all of my family can be together again!!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Prayer

I consider myself a prayer warrior. I may not have an hour carved out each day to spend in prayer, but I consider myself in continual prayer throughout the day. I pray all throughout the day every day. I know that God wants to have a relationship with me and not just in a certain hour of the day everyday. I talk to my closest friends sometimes several times a day. If I am not on the phone with them then I am instant messaging or emailing them! That is why they are my closest friends! I have constant dialogue with them. Why then should I not have a constant dialogue with my heavenly father?

I used to feel an extreme amount of guilt because I had this belief of what prayer time should look like. To me the perfect prayer time would be waking up early in the morning and spending an hour in prayer, and reading my bible, keep in mind I am a night owl. I am a little like Martha in the Bible, I have lots to do—office work, writing projects, scrapbook projects and deadlines, laundry, mom’s taxi, tutor, substitute teacher, cooking, cleaning. I have always had this dream of starting my days out with prayer and devotion time and then feel guilty because it doesn’t happen. Then one day God revealed to me that while spending an hour in prayer every morning is fabulous, there is nothing wrong with my prayer life.

I do in fact start my days in prayer. Before I get out of bed each morning I say a little prayer , usually something along this line, "thank you Lord for this day. Please bless me and my family. Put a hedge of protection around us. Let your will be done in each of our lives today. Let us focus on you amidst everything else that we will do." The Lord delights in my prayers even if they are short ones! Scripture says he "inclines his ear" and is "open to hear" my prayers (Psalm 40:1 34:15). I am so thankful to have that guilt washed away and very thankful for the realization that the Lord encourages continual prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17). No more thoughts of But I can't pray long enough, or If I can't pray one hour, then why pray? God used short prayers to accomplish huge things in the bible, such as parting the red sea! It's wonderful to have longer sessions of prayer when I can, but remembering that my short prayers can have a big impact encourages me to pray throughout the day.

Here is what my continual dialogue of prayer with the Lord kinda looks like! I pray a short prayer before I get out of bed. While I get breakfast for my children I pray for them. When I buckle up in the car I also pray for safety and the path to be prepared before me. Often times I see something that prompts me to pray. For example, when I pass by a school I ask God to protect the students and to give all the teachers wisdom. When I see a wreck I immediately pray for the people in it and for the doctors at the hospital. Seeing something beautiful reminds me to pray a prayer of thankfullness for Gods creations. Anytime that I think of a friend or someone who has been sick I send a prayer up for them. When I am heading to a meeting I pray for favor with those at the meeting, wisdom, discernment and blessings. When someone cuts me off on the road, jumps in front of me in line, or does something else equally as rude I have trained myself to calm down and say a prayer for them. When I have a dream about someone I say a prayer for them. If I wake up in the night and have someone on my mind I say a prayer for them. If I am getting ready to write an article I pray that God will give me the words. I kinda just pray all the time without even realizing it most of the time....that is just the kind of relationship I have with my heavenly father!

When I do find longer portions of time for prayer I often find my mind will wander. I read an article in Christian Womens magazine that gave me a tool for counteracting my wandering mind! I use the acronym B-L-E-S-S as I pray for my family and friends. Each letter in the acronym stands for a key area of life: Body, Labor, Emotional, Social, and Spiritual.

For example, when Brooke went from homeschooling to starting 7th grade in the public school, I prayed:
"Lord, bless Brooke’s body; strengthen and protect her during school. Bless her labor; help her to pay attention,learn, and do her best. Give her wisdom. Bless Brooke’s emotional life; help her trust and look to you for guidance in everything. Father, bless Brooke’s social relationships; bring her Christian friends and teachers at school. And bless her spiritual life; help her draw near to you and your Word more and more each day."

Prayer is how I know God, not just know about him; it's how I hear God. Time after time, when I pour out my problems, burdens, and concerns, I experience his peace, hope, love and faithfulness more clearly. I experience his comfort in trials, his unfailing love as I see him provide for the needs that I've prayed.

E.M. Bounds, a 19th-century pastor, said, "Your prayers will outlive your life." Long after my address has changed to heaven, the short prayers I've said while cooking dinner, working on the computer, or moving throughout my day, still will be a blessing to those for whom I've prayed.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Busyness

wow! I just love how God speaks to me in my devotion time with such relevant messages!

I have been feeling so convicted about always being so busy and needing to have more down time etc. Well today my devotion was on Busyness!

Being busy is not a sin. Boy did I need to hear that! Jesus was busy. Paul was busy. Peter was busy. Nothing of signifigance is achieved without effort and hard work and weariness. That, in and of itself, is not a sin. But being busy in an endless pursuit of things that leave us empty and hollow and broken inside - that cannot be pleasing to God. That pursuit of things WAS the motivation for my busyness at one point....but having some of the things that kept me busy stript away has caused me to realize that the THINGS are not what is important. The past few months I have learned to live on a fraction of the income that I once brought in....and I am perfectly content with what I have. Before Leaving Prints went out of business I just always wanted more, more, more. Leaving Prints going under has hugely affected my income but I realize that God stripped that away from me so that I could learn a very important life lesson! Also to put me in a position for the things he had in store for me!:) Things that are finally coming into fruition!

In the midst of a busy life on the freeway of humanity, it seems that the fast we go, the emptier we become. When we're always in a hurry trying to get ahead, never taking time to pause and reflect, we sacrifice a lot to stay on top. Wow! Is that ever so true! Sometimes it takes hard decisions to bring our life under control and realign our priorities, focusing on the Father and letting everything else take a backseat. Sunny and Karma are you reading this!!! For at least two years now we have known that God wanted us to start a faithbooking ministry in a big way. He has been preparing us, prompting us, filling our brains with ideas and inspiration. All the while we have been to busy to REALLY get started. Always saying that once we get this or that accomplished we will be in a position to work on something big for faithbooking. We just keep getting busier and busier and the right time never really comes along. Leaving Prints going under has forced us all to realign our priorities and focus on the father. I am so thankful that he has opened our eyes to the busyness trap so that we can take control!

In the midst for the busyness, the Cross is still there. In the midst of your emptiness, the Cross is still there. The promises of Jesus still stand today. You can claim peace in the midst of a hectic life - not without sacrifice or concentration, but you can do it.

FATHER, help us to say no to the world and yes to you. Help us to hear the true voice of Jesus Christ amid the voices of pleasure and success and power. We don't really know how unless you come and help us. Help us to make our busyness productive for you!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

From Homeschool mom to taxi driver

It is official. I am no longer a SAH homeschooling mom. Brooke started 7th grade at the public Jr High. For as long as I can remember I have always been a SAH homeschooling mom...what shall I do with myself while the kids are at school? I quickly learned I am not losing a title...just trading the homeschooling mom title for the taxi mom title!

My week has looked something like this....
Take Brooke to school at 7:40. Take the boys to school at 8:20. Monday I came home to an empty house and thought oh my heck I am home alone. Worked around the house, caught up on some emails, worked around the house some more and it was time to get the kids from school. Time to get the taxi running again! Picking up the kids from school is now an hour long process! The boys get out at 2:55 or are supposed to at least. I have to walk to each classroom to get the boys. since I am picking up both of my nephews as well that makes 4 classrooms to stand there and wait till the teacher dismisses...and of course none of them dismiss at 2:55. Then off to the Jr High to pick up Brooke... Let me just say that school has the most horrible traffic situation..you just get STUCK. Luckily an older couple from our church lives right across the street from the Jr high so I can park in their driveway....still get stuck trying to leave but at least I don't have to keep driving around the block and getting stuck numerous times...just twice to get in the driveway and then getting out! UGH! While I sit there in the nice driveway I watch the same cars go around the block, and around the block and sit in stopped traffic trying to get back to the school, and around the block....on and on and on! YIKES! Once Brooke is finally in the car it is off to the park to drop her off at the tennis courts and back to pick her up at 5pm. I thought homeschooling was a lot a work and kept me busy. GEESH, I had no idea how time consuming this taxi driver position was going to be!