Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Weekend Layout

So...

I got really inspired by Scrap-n-art..this newsletter has TONS of stuff in it for digi, traditional and hybrid.

I was most inpsired by the layouts by Irene Gwen. You can see more of her gallery HERE as well. I did a total lift of this:



Here's my take:



My first real attempt at one of these lush layouts...I was...marginally successful.

Have a fabulous week, everyone!

Peace.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Overrun by mice

Mice hats that is...

On my work surface right now:



Guess what time it is?

HA!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

10^100

If you could suggest a unique idea that would help as many people as possible, what would it be?

Google wants your ideas and they have set aside $10 million to be used to fund up to 5 world-changing, people-helping ideas.

They are also hoping to connect idea people with established charities for making more than just the ideas they fund to come to fruition.

Do you have an amazing idea? SUBMIT IT! They have set no guidelines, other than to say it has to help as many people as possible. You don’t have to have the technical expertise to make it happen – just a brilliant idea.

Do you have a great idea for helping lots of people?

Go here: Google Blog

Click around.

See what sparks in your imagination…remember that anyone can enter and any idea could win.

What an awesome opportunity for somebody and the world!

Peace, ya’ll!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How do I do this?

I knew the day would come when Jay would experience the bewildering meanness of another child.

I experienced it myself as a child - often. And, since I was a chubby, non-athletic child, wrapped up in books and music when it wasn't really all that cool, I experienced the meanest kind of treatment that I think was possible at the time.

Of course now, children are so tormented by their peers and influenced by an increasingly violent world, that it causes things like Columbine. Perhaps not a popular stance, but I've always felt like those boys who committed the terrible tragedy at Columbine were pushed beyond their breaking point by their peers.

Please don't misunderstand me, I don't think that the results were at all justified. I'm just saying that it isn't beyond comprehension that the meanness of a child can drive another to unspeakable things.

We are, by nature, seeking acceptance and love. We don't want to be pushed, teased, hit, laughed at or pummelled with insults. And when the pecking order that nature seems to awaken in our children begins to manifest itself, all the worst of our human nature comes out.

At the birthday party I talked about yesterday, another little boy, about a year older, was pretty mean to Jay, pushing him, hitting him and yelling at him. At first, the other child took a toy from Jay while his mother stood by and watched.

I waited for the other mother to guide her son, but she remained mute. So...I jumped in to talk my son through it. "Its OK, Jay. We take turns, OK? You had it for awhile and now its his turn. Soon it can be your turn again." He let it slide, and patted the little boy on the shoulder...to which the little boy said, "DON'T TOUCH ME!" Which again left my son bewildered and me wondering what was going through his mother's head. I jump in again, "That is so nice of you, Jay! Thank you for being nice. He doesn't want you to love him just now. Give him some space." And so on and so forth. The little boy pushed Jay out of the way to get to the slide first, pushed him down in the bouncy and was just, well...a brat.

And his mother looked on without saying a word.

Finally, just the two boys were in the bouncy and I got into the bouncy to play with my son. It was just the three of us, with the other mother looking on from outside. The boy pushed Jay down. And this time, I set a boundary for this other child, "Oh, sweetheart! We shouldn't push other kids. Lets just play together without pushing or hitting. What game would you like to play?" and FINALLY his mother spoke up, backed me up. We had a nice conversation. And then she began to encourage her son to use positive behavior.

But what I can't get out of my head is the precious bewildered expression Jay had on his face each time he was treated meanly. He has no idea how mean people can be. We have filled his world with teachers, children, family, and friends who love him. He is encouraged to share and be loving and his normal playmates are encouraged to do the same. The children normally included in is daily life watch out for each other and take care of each other. He has no idea how to navigate the meanness that some kids bring with them into a situation. And he was genuinely confused and shocked to be pushed, hit and yelled at by a boy that he only wanted to play with.

For me, there are two issues. One, that I not project my own breaking heart onto his situation, and two, that I teach him how to navigate these kinds of things with confidence, courage, and compassion.

So...how do I instill in my son that the treatment he may experience at the hands of another child does not have to affect his bigger picture? How do I instill in him that he is Blessed of God, loved mightily beyond his wildest imagination and that he is to love those that are mean to him? How do I teach him that he is to be caring, compassionate, understanding and respectful, while still enforcing boundaries? How do I acknowledge his feelings about being rejected, guide him through the situation and then prepare him for handling situations like that in the future?

Its a fine balance...especially in the moment. When what I want to do is jump in and protect him, defend his honor and scold that other child, I have to guide him carefully and with thoughtful purpose. I have to remain positive and firm. And above all, I have to remember to do it all with love and grace.

I know I'll be pondering this for some time. Navigating relationships will be something we talk about the whole of Jay's life...and each time, I will have to find a way to put on my game face, and help him find the right tools, the right way to handle himself and others that might be involved. And all the while, my heart will be aching to take over and fix it.

God has, once again, given me amazing insight...

Peace, ya'll!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Birthday Banner

We attended a birthday party for a three-year-old girl this weekend. We had SUCH a blast and Jay just ran himself to the ground.

I was trying to come up with something special for the package and decided to make a banner...my husband says its an illness...no package should be left without something home-made attached. This is what I came up with.

By the way, this is easier than it seems when you see an entire banner layed out. As long as you know your foundation, the rest sort of falls into place. There are TONS of products in this, but a large portion of it is from my Paper Posies August Kit.






Monday, September 22, 2008

Scrap shopping trip

Its now been TWO weeks since I went on my quarterly scrap shopping trip...

We did the usual Enchanted Cottage and Scrapbook Traditions. We also found a great little store in Greensboro called The Stamping and Scrapbooking Room - the best thing about this store was the amazing customer service. We got to try out some new stuff, she showed all the hidden treasures of her store and she had some things I've never seen.

Anyway..this was the supply stocking for this time out:

Cloud 9 Design Christmas papers with matching cardstocks...I realized upon returning home that I have FAR TO MANY Christmas papers. MUCH of it can be used for other projects, thank goodness. But I appear to have an addiction to Christmas lines...



Basic Grey's Ambrosia Line - or at least some of it. I found that I didnt' really care for some of the pieces, so I just skipped them. Also got Bazzills to go with these.



This is the Inque Boutique Out of this World line. I didn't realize that Inque Boutique was doing several entire scrapbooking lines...anyway, this one came as a project pack with all of these double sided papers (your seeing one of each side) and chipboard. I couldn't pass up the little chipboard phrases. They also had cute felt shapes, but I decided I'd probably never use them.



This is a mix of things for some school pages I'm going to be doing...There are papers from Creative Imaginations Creative Cafe line, DCWV's Grade School line, Scenic Route's Appleton line (I MUST get more of that line!!!) some Aple Lace Cardstock from KI and school themed brads from Karen Foster.



And the last is my usual bits and pieces for other projects: Some share and tell cards from Pebbles, inc. (these are SO COOL and come in a bunch of themes!), Journal cards from Fancy Pants, Heidi Swapp papers, die cut paper from Making Memoris, Glimmer Screens and "Frost" Glimmer mist from Tattered Angels, buttons from the Creative Cafe, shiny snowflakes in two sizes from Creative Impressions and some glitter glue (aka stickles, only no stickles) from Gary M. Burlin.



We had a super time! BUT I was hoping to see more of the new CHA then I did. Maybe next time!

Peace, ya'll!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Calling All Parents…

I’m on the lookout for some good references to get me from toddler-hood to around 3 or 4…

What are your best resources for parenting guidance and information? Good books? Websites? Parents? Grandparents? Classes?

I have a boy who is very high energy and very high intelligence, but emotionally a typical two-year-old. I think he could easily learn to read and do simple math over the course of the next year. But I really want to nurture his creativity and help him to build his social skills. And, of course, I’m always looking for ideas to burn off his considerable energy.

Do you have any great resources you’d care to share with me? (and my blog readers?

Let me know!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

And the award goes to...

My friend Mary has nominated me for the Brilliant Blog award…



I’m not sure how brialliant I am, but then, until yesterday I didn’t realize I was controversial I could be either…HA!

Completely clueless as to what this is, I, of course, wiki’d it.

It is what is referred to as a Meme.

The purpose of this one is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogosphere.

The rules are as follows:
1. When you receive the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link back to them.
2. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in their content or design.
3. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with 'Brilliant Weblog'.
4. And then pass it on!

Seems cool to me to pass along the things I find brilliant at the moment and I’d love to give some blogs that inspire me a little push…

I have over 74 blogs on my feed, so I watch a few! I find these brilliant at the moment, for their honesty, their creativity or their inspiration.

April - she’s funny, fun and passionate about what she believes – ok, seriously, she flippin’ cracks me up!

Gina - She takes amazing pictures and provides amazing links to other inspiration on a regular basis. AND you can tell has a gentle spirit.

Betsy - oh how I wish I could scrap like this! Betsy is my hero!

Johanna - for her amazing photography. Each time she has a post, I cannot believe how stunning her photos are…I almost want to get married again so I can have her take my pictures!

Roree - for her delicious scrappy goodness.

Samantha - for, oh, so many reasons. Sam inspires me in many ways – eating, scrapping, family, faith. I’m always learning from her.

Desperate Diva – holy cow this has a plethora of good things to see, consider, and covet

And one more for good measure – I’m very into decorating at the moment…so…this one is inspiring to me because she does room makeovers and shows wonderful pictures:

nesting instincts

Peace, ya'll

Friday, September 19, 2008

When I Grow Up...

I want to be like Jay:

He always has fun, even when its not supposed to be fun.

He has stylish clothing that cost $5 or less a piece.

He is 100% focused on the NOW. He doesn’t worry about yesterday and “tomorrow” is too far away to consider.

He plays hard and he sleeps hard.

He loves everyone and he doesn’t worry who loves him. As long as Mommy and Daddy are in his camp, he’s good.

He likes to help.

He likes to clean up.

Illness doesn’t dampen his enthusiasm for life and getting out in it.

Outside is a great place to be, regardless of temperature or number of bugs.

He eats simply – fresh fruit, fresh meats, fresh veggies, fish crackers, cheerios, yogurt and milk, pasta with meatballs – and enjoys every meal to the fullest.

Balls, blocks, cars and crayons provide endless opportunities for entertainment.

He doesn’t care what the intended purpose of an object is. Example: Crayons are equally useful for coloring and for rolling down the sofa arms in a race.

Every accomplishment is celebrated with clapping and shouts.

Making cupcakes is the greatest thing ever.

Mickey Mouse, Dora, Diego and Handy Manny are profound.

Nearly everything is new and exciting.

Books are the coolest thing ever.

Computers are amazing.

Every day is an adventure.

Peace, ya'll!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Hate Mail revisited - aka See, I Told You So

To This Post, a blog reader I’m not sure I know said this:

Are you kidding me???

I think there are those that need to get their heads out of their.... bible and pay attention to the real issues here.

Not that you care... but you just lost a blog follower.


Alas, I knew there would be somebody that would get offended.

Know what I wonder? I wonder what the “real issues” are for her?

For me, the issues are HUGE and scary and uncertain. For me, its about how I’m going to be able to feed my family, care for the people I love, plan for a college education, educate my kids in public schools, reduce the ever-increasing burden of my taxes, provide medical insurance, save the ever-diminishing trees and precious wild-life in my neighborhood, stem urban decay, bring home the soldiers I love, reduce all the unnecessary and irresponsible waste of resources and money, leave a legacy for my grand children, and the list goes on and on.

I wonder if she and I share some of the same fears and uncertainties...

But this whole thing brings to mind something that I find interesting so I’m going to blog about it.

What is it in our country today that dictates that we all must agree on everything to get along? Why do we have to be on “sides?” And why, if you and I are not on the same “side” must we cut off all communication between us?

I have many friends who have different political opinions, social standings, ideals, dreams, ways of raising their kids, religious beliefs, you name it. I talk to most of them often. I’ve learned that they are the SUM of their parts, not that they are defined by ONE part. These people enrich my life greatly by our differences.

It seems the atmosphere in our country these days dictates that we are polarized over things that should draw us together. We look at people with different opinions as our “enemy” and some how assume them less than we are…less intelligent, less informed, less tolerant, less loving, less…whatever…So, if I say something you don’t like, you abandon the entire relationship even though you’ve found my blog interesting up to now? You assume I’m an idiot because we don’t agree?

I could be off base here, but here is how I see it:

If we surround ourselves with ONLY like-minded people, we are certainly more comfortable, but we miss MUCH that we are meant to see and experience. What are we missing by allowing ourselves to be polarized over politics (or anything else for that matter)? Do we miss different opinions? Do we miss something that might make us more aware? Do we lose perspective on what “the other side” means and who, exactly, is on it?

You see, this is the VERY kind of thing that leads to radical behavior. As far as I’m concerned, the only thing that is ALL or NOTHING is DEATH! So, so sad that a different opinion leads to a completely severed “relationship”.

I have an amazing friend named Karen. She simply rocks. She and I are polar opposites on politics and do not always agree on spiritual matters. But we share views on raising children, on helping the underdog, on marriage. She is one of the most amazing people that I’ve ever met! And I bet she thinks I’m crazy for my politics. BUT that’s ok. Its not the end of our relationship. And THIS is what we are called to do with relationships with other people. Listen, talk, learn and if you must, agree to disagree, focus on what we have in common rather than how we are different.

I’ll say that I resent the implication that I can’t make an informed decision because I have my head stuck in a Bible. You see what I often try to convey here is that I believe my Bible is my guidance for everything. I believe it is the inerrant word of an almighty God who has given us the play book and it should be followed. It is where I go to check what people say against what God says. My most meaningful information doesn’t come from the flawed mouth of men…it comes from the perfect will of God.

But please don't for one second be deceived into believing that I never read anything else. Ask anyone who knows me and you will find that I’m VERY well read…I’m a bit of an information junkie. And not only that, but, once upon a time, I lived a very liberal and very wild life. I have had many more experiences than you could possibly imagine by looking at my scrapbooking and avatar.

I STRUGGLE with the balance between life and what the Bible tells me. I often discuss those struggles RIGHT HERE in the text of my blog and I make no bones about the fact that I’m walking out my faith, working out my faith, struggling with my faith. I STRUGGLE with concepts like obedience, submission, and meekness, because I’m a strong, well-educated, tenacious, intelligent woman who has pulled herself up by the boot-straps more than one time. I struggle with the concept that even the most inept leaders are ordained by God. I’m a Christian that might just surprise you, if given half a chance.

That said, I have formed my opinion based on what I read and know about God and, welcome to America, folks, I am ALLOWED to have that opinion. Just as you are ALLOWED to have yours.

And, AnnaBeth, while I’m sorry to see you go, I’m not sorry that I’ve asserted my God-given and American right to freely express my well-educated and, yes, I’ll put it in writing – Christian-based opinion.

I’m really so glad that you have also exercised your God-given and American right by leaving your opinion here. However, I’m not glad that your comments seem to assume me incapable of forming an intelligent and informed opinion simply because I read my Bible and understand what it says to me.

I’m glad that you and I are different, that we have different opinions and feelinsg about the candidates in the upcoming election. I believe differences are beautiful and amazing and enlightening and fascinating. Our differences make us unique and contribute richness to the fabric of our lives. However, I’m not glad that you have assumed that I have nothing of any value to say anymore because we don’t share our views on THIS.

I’m glad you finally found something worthy to comment about on my blog. I don't think I've seen your name on a comment before. However, I’m not glad that you have left me no opportunity to track back to you, no opportunity for us to open a dialog and have an intelligent and respectful conversation about our different opinions. You might have educated me. Instead you insulted me and left me no way to discuss it with you openly.

So…for anyone who might still be reading, I welcome your opinions…I assume you are all loving, intelligent and amazing people doing your very best in a sometimes hostile world…hopefully you assume the same about me.

I can’t wait to get to know you and understand where you are coming from.

Peace ya’ll!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A ChooChoo and a Purple Pony

The weekend of Labor day, we had a town festival. They have all kinds of wonderful things...big rides, horrible carnival food and, of course, the whole petting zoo thing.

Jay had two missions, the choo choo train and and the ponies. The choochoo was all about waiting in line...a very valuable skill to master if you are going-on-two.





When asked which color pony he'd like, he promptly answered, "A purple one." To which, I had to explain the normal ponies don't come in purple, but they do come in lots of colors. He settled for "back and white."

Lucky us, they actually had one that was black and white...

He's a zero fear kind of kid and this experience was no exception...he LOVED it! Though, the pictures I got don't really say that...hmmmm...






And, we had to finish with ice cream of course...




Peace, ya'll

Monday, September 15, 2008

Because it irritates me…

I’m not entirely sure how some people arrive at the work ethic under which they operate.

Some people function at a fever paced all encompassing work ethic.

Some people function at a dedicated pace, letting only certain things interfere with their duties.

Some people function at an entitled pace, letting everyone else handle their work load while they ski, sleep in, or just generally not live up to their obligations.

Here’s a little bit of advice: If you are not feeling well on Wednesday, go to the doctor on Thursday, and call in sick on Friday, you better doggone sure do what it takes to be in the office on Monday. The rest of us have already covered all your work for three days and we have work of our own to accomplish – the deadlines of which remain the same, I might add…so while we were bailing out your entitled butt, all of our own work has gone undone. Oh…and we are not happy about it.

If you have the flu, but all means stay home. None of the rest of us want it.

But if you have a headache, sniffle or aches and pains, take some OTC meds and get your butt to work. We are all doing “more with less” these days and none of us have the time, patience or stamina to cover you while you are at home watching Judge Judy.

By that same token, I’m willing to cut you much slack if there is a baseball game, soccer game, dance recital or spelling bee. Your kids need you. They need to know you are there for them no matter what.

Just remember, they are learning how to be workers from YOU and if you are a not teaching them how to suck it up when things aren’t perfect or when they would rather be doing something fun, they will work like you – some of the time, when its convenient and only if its not raining.

Peace, ya’ll!

First Day

Its been almost a month since the Bug started back to pre-school...He was SO excited to go back and has had the best time being in a class room again. He had to return to the same room becuase he doesn't make the NC state cutoff of 8/31...so...he's the oldest boy in the class. He's not the BIGGEST boy in the class, just the oldest! :::giggle:::

We haven't been sure how he would handle being placed back in a room for one year olds, because he is very into learning new things and seems to absorb information very quickly. His teachers, though, have been amazing. They have the ability to channel his considerable energy, seem to have made him a "helper" if you believe what he says, and he is once again flourishing in the structure of an organized classroom with other children.





Funny, that back pack seems as big as ever!

Peace, ya'll!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sometimes you just have to...

step back, focus on what is important and live life without giving the play-by-play...

Its been a tough couple of weeks...busy, frantic, emotional, crazy, fast...

and now...finally...I have some true breathing room.

Well..yesterday, I had some too, but I used it for breathing instead of blogging! HA!

So...So much has happened...wish I could say that it was all something life changing and amazing...but really it was just life and amazing. Its how God works.

Ok..

For today, I'm sharing layouts...much more to come layter...as I'm in the process of filtering through things to post...

First off...this one...I've been envisioning this in my head since before Jay was actually born...now I'm done and I realize that I don't really scrap this way any more...that said, I stuck to my original vision and it really is adorable. The monkey is one of a couple that Samantha Widlundmade for me. The giraffe I did myself...and I can safely say that I'm no Samantha Widlund...I not only am not really good at it, I also dislike the process!



And then there is this little baby...I loved this one...and this is more like the "now" me...simple and straightforward. This one was SOOOOO fun!



And that is all for this afternoon...have a beautiful afternoon and eveing!

Peace, ya'll.