Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Note To the Teacher

If you don't eat breakfast, even when your mommy and daddy ask you to repeatedly...

And you go to school with an empty tummy...

And you decide that you are going to do things your way instead of the teachers way...

And you get a yellow face (instead of a green happy one!) on your calendar...

Then, this just might be what you have to do when Daddy finds out:


Just sayin'

Peace, ya'll!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Muse - Book Staircase

I love books.

Its a love my kids now share....even in this digital age, there is nothing quite like turning the pages of a book...especially if its an old one.

I found this image on Whimsy and Wonder. There is only one staircase in the house, and with toddlers still learning to navigate it, the soft carpet is probably a better idea for now. BUT this is definately being added to my Pinterest boards...its just so cool.


What sort of neat decorating tricks have you used in your home? In what ways have you customized your space to feel like "home" to you?

Peace, ya'll!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Muse - The One With the Pink Socks

I'm forever intrigued by the way weddings are being done these days.

From colored shoes to weddings in fairy wings, the wedding scene is much much much more personalized than ever.

I'm particularly in love with this picture from Heavenly Blooms because of the colors. The idea that ALL of the wedding party would be wearing a bit of hot pink on their feet is awesome.


Besides I love colorful socks:


Check out the entire wedding, while you'r over there. Its stunning.

All the photos are from White Gorilla Media.

So, what could you do with this muse?

Peace, ya'll!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Heard at our house…Noah’s first edition

My little is an extremely brave and fiercely independent little guy.


At first, we kind of thought of him as our all-action-few-words guy. He didn't do a lot of talking unless he DIDN'T want something...THIS for example, means NO!


Then the jabbering began...He's jabbered away a mile a minute for some time now...always with the conversational tone, like he was really explaining something to us. Alas, not one word was desipherable...

Suddenly, I realized there are REAL words in his jabbering. Mr Noah has begun to use real words.

These are the most common things we hear:

Hi, Mama!

Hi, Dayee! (that would be daddy)

HI, hunnnnnnneeeee! – he says hi to the dog all the time.

Hi, day! – this is hi to Jayden…sometimes he says Brober…

Brober – aka BROTHER

Tan ooo, Dayee! (He thinks the expression is “Thank You Daddy” instead of just “thank you”…so he says Thank you Daddy to everyone!)


I go bye bye car – He wants to go for a ride.

I woe you! - equals I love you.


AAAAAWWWWIIITTTTEEE!!! – (Alright!)

Nye, Nye – this is Good night.

Gamma - Grandma (of course!)

Air Brampa? – Where’s grandpa?

Bah Yet Ball – this means basketball, but it pretty much describes every ball…


BASSSSSE Ball – obviously Baseball – which is any ball not described by the word above.

I can!! - he wants a crayon. (He doesn't always color with a sombrero on...it was a special occasion!)


I hunreee – Hungry – we actually hear this one A LOT!


I yan nack – this means I want a snack – “snack” equals fishy crackers or whales.

I yan teets – this means he wants fruit treats.

vi- mins – equals vitamins…our kids get gummie vitamins and calciums….so it’s a TEET…but healthy!

Bus tee – this is brush his teeth. He LOVES to brush his teeth…I suspect it’s the fruity toothpaste and electric spinning brush that makes that possible.

Pay! – this is “spray” aka spray hair gel…he likes me to spray his hair and then he brushes it himself.

All of this conversation (there is more) is accompanied by the cutest gestures…Mr. Noah talks with his hands and uses his face to the fullest when expressing himself. It’s just the cutest thing ever to watch.


He has also started to sing. He sings the Backyardigans theme, anything on the radio he recognizes, and he tries to sing along with us when we sing to him. (let me tell you, it makes this singing mama proud to hear both of her boys sing all the time!)

Mostly we laugh a lot with him. He's totally silly:


We laughed a lot at Jayden when he was in this stage – are you supposed to laugh at your kids that much?

I hope we don't damage our children by cracking up at them...they are REALLY funny!!!

Ok...well...except when they have "TV face"


Peace, ya'll!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Muse - Microwave Popcorn

Popcorn is somewhat elusive to me.

It always smells better than it tastes to me...well...unless you add a butter and salt...or parmesean cheese...or seasoning salt...or garlic...ok, sorry...I'm back.

Regardless of whether or not popcorn is elusive to ME, I thought this one of my most favorite frugal ideas. See, my kiddos and hubs LOVE popcorn...movie theater butter popcorn...which, frankly, isn't all that great for them what with the preservatives and chemicals and all.

So, I found this frugal, healthy option intriguing:

Make Your Own Microwave Popcorn


Ok...so why is this a muse?

Well...in the field of food, its a creative and frugal way to have something yummy - a concept we can all appreciate.

In the field of imagery, I'm completely in love with the colors in the photo.

In the field of imagination, I'm intrigued - how, exactly, does one set out to remake a recipe like this...or Oreo's or Nutter Butters, or whatever. The idea to make my own convenience treats has not really ever been something that I think of while standing in front of the cookie aisle.

Now...what would you do with this muse?

Peace, ya'll!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tigers say RAWR!!!

Ali Edwards posted a really cute post about how her little girl is coloring on herself the other day.

It got me thinking about the fun times we've had around our house with crayons and markers. Jay's quite the little artist. I'm never sure whether I should be dismayed or thrilled at his budding artistic talents.

Mommy: What is the world are you supposed to be?

Jayden: A tiger...rawr....


Mommy: Tigers growl louder than that!

Jayden: RRRRAAAAWWWWWWRRRRR!!!


Mommy: Aw...such a cute tiger...smile for mommy, little tiger! Now we have to go wash that off.


Jayden: NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

THIS would be why we use only fully washable coloring materials in our house.

Peace, ya'll!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Just Keep Swimming

August is always an odd month to me.

Its hot.

Sometimes unbearable.

All the trees and grass and plants look a little worn out, like all that summer growing has exhausted them.

But then, there is the preparation for heading back to school.

School here will begin on 8/22...it seems like a life time away, yet it is so close.

Where did summer go? But, when will fall be here, already?

It seems odd to be posting swimming pictures now, although it is still summer. My mind is on back-to-school....yet, the reality is that summer is still HERE (and in a big, hot, sticky way!)

Both our boys took swimming lessons for the first time this year courtesy of their Grandma Barb. I have NO pictures of the little, as he did a morning class with Daddy and I was at work while that was going on.

But I was able to make a couple of the afternoon sessions that my big boy was in.

He hasn't done a lot of pool stuff...and wasn't all that keen to get into the water. He hung out on the side of the pool, watching and waiting and feeling safe.


But he did eventually decide he wanted to get into the water. He hates to get water in his eyes...so I was intrigued to see how he would handle this...


He professes to LOVE it now...


Do you remember swimming lessons? I do...lots of them. Several pools, several teachers, evben different towns.

Its quite amazing to see this part of my own past come full circle.


Peace,ya'll!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Process - Preparing for a crop

I've mentioned a couple of times that I'm preparing for two crops at the Creating Keepsakes Convention.

When I'm preparing for my crops, I know the following:

1) I have to have to fill approximately 10 hours of crop time
2) I cannot take my entire scrapbook studio with me (BUMMER!)
3) I work better with a plan
4) I need to be able to transition my process from the crop to home for the things I don't get done

Now, I scrap once a month in my home with a wonderful group of ladies. The process I use for that is only slightly different than what I have been doing to prepare for the convention. The difference is that at home, I might dart off to my studio to get some little bauble to make a layout just so...I will not have that luxury for the crop...

So here is what I've been doing to prepare:

First, I have assembled a number of kits:


To be honest, these kits could easily supply 10 or more layouts. BUT, I have a number of them because I want to have some variety in the supplies I'm working with during the crops. I don't want to get bored. You can check out the process I'm using for my own kit assembly HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Next, I print and sort photos. I've recently taken advantage of several photo processing deals and ordered tons of photos all at once. Honestly the box was more than a little daunting. I sorted them out into layouts and stacked them up to make my assembly easier. I do this for the majority of my layouts.


Once I know what pictures I'm using, I go on the hunt for sketches and/or inspiration. I know that my sketch will have to accommodate journaling, as journaling is a key element for my design process. Keeping in mind the story behind the pictures that I'm going to want to tell, I construct a sketch for my pictures using graph paper. I might make notes and/or put the title on the sketch too.


Then I put my journaling together. I use plain old Microsoft Word text boxes, sized to match the approximate journaling space on my sketch. Usually, I just journal on white cardstock using a typewriter font for my standard process.


Then I put pictures, sketch and journaling into a zip lock bag and stack them up for scrapping.


Now, all I have to do is put my kits, my picture packets and some miscellaneous tools into my scrap tote.

For me, the limitations of working within a kit help me to be more creative. I don't have every supply in the tote with me, so I'm forced to use what I have. Its amazing inspiration.

Hopefully, Ill have some layouts to share soon!

Peace, ya'll!

Monday, August 08, 2011

Monday Muse - The One with the Gold Mirror

I stumbled on House of Turquoise quite by accident. Its one gorgeous blog, tho.

It should be noted that "blues" is my favorite color. (all you musicians out there just give a groan!)

But seriously...I love the Blues...

And I love the blues...all blues...I'm convinced there is a shade for every occasion!1

Something about this muse...

I could sit and stare at the serene peacefulness for a good long while...

LOVE this retro-meets-modern...

LOVE the mirror...I think there was one of those in my first adult home, furnished, as I like to say, in "early Goodwill." Somehow it didn't look so chic in my house...

Anyway...colors, serenity, retro-meets-modern...you chose how to be inspired this time. There is lots to see:

Friday, August 05, 2011

Friday Tangent

I’m about to go off on a tangent…so brace yourself.

It isn’t often that I get political or even controversial on this blog…Its just not the forum I choose to use for that sort of thing. I'm not even going to get overly political or controversial NOW...its just that I have something on my mind.

I hope you will indulge me on a non-craft platform for a moment.

But my husband asked me an interesting question the other day and it has me thinking about…well…a lot of things.

The Bible has some fairly stark references to “false teachers.”

Matthew 7:15,16 0- Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits....

Acts 20:29-31 - For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves . Therefore watch…

2 Peter 2:1 - But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

2 Peter 3:16,17 - as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked;

Colossians 2:8 - Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.


All of these are specifically warnings to Christians about the false teachers who claim to be Christian…a warning for believers.

Last week, my husband, doing research on this topic of false teachers, asked me who I thought some false teachers of our time might be. Now, the conversation with my husband about who exactly these false teachers may be went in a direction I won’t actually put up here. It is controversial to some and largely irrelevant to the point I want to make.

BUT my husband's question got me thinking about the debate held in the press over the debt ceiling and other political issues, about the last election, about the upcoming election…and I thought, this advice to beware of false teachers is a good principle in general, especially in these times.

During the last election, I was shocked at how little people actually knew about the candidates. They could tell you everything they had heard on the news, or read in a newspaper, seen on Facebook, Twitter, or some other on-line site, and what their friends thought, their preacher said…but they were surprisingly unarmed with facts. They didn’t know about experiences, voting records, the history of the candidate in their respective other jobs, families, public offices, etc. What they knew is what they had been told by the press and their friends.

See, the majority of "news" is one big Opinion’s column laced with facts. The STORY isn’t enough to get us to buy papers, or subscriptions or to follow one news channel over another. We, as a culture, have been groomed to respond to shock, sensationalism, high emotion, intrigue, gory details…if you doubt that, consider the rise of “reality” entertainment. The most shocking shows get the highest ratings and make stars out of their subjects.

Much of the news has gone the same way – it is no longer unbiased fact recording. There has to be a POINT, an ANGLE. Anything else is just too boring for us to pay attention. And because it is no longer unbiased on most fronts, its important to consider it with a bit of critical thinking. I’ve lamented before that critical thinking is a skill we no longer have as a culture. Back when I was in high school, we were taught to dissect the things we read and look for bias or motive on the part of the author. I’m not sure that the skill is still being taught. Either that or we have collectively forgotten about it in our age of information overload.

I’m reminded of an article I was sent by somebody telling me the horrors of using a particular set of products for my kids. The referenced data in the article was astounding. I was ready to throw things in the trash, write letters, be angry, get indignant, demand my rights be defended.

A small note at the bottom of the charts and pictures indicated where the data had come from in the form of a link. I clicked on the link.

Imagine my surprise to find that the data was over 3 years old…and, via more thorough research, found that the issue was exaggerated in the first place, that test data for one kind of test had been extrapolated to “prove” a completely different condition, and that the small risk that DID exist at the time had been mitigated through different manufacturing processes and more stringent controls. In short, the very small issue that existed was blown out of proportion in the first place and had since become a non-issue. But here was this current article, with old data and a very biased opinion about safety for my kids…and it had me all worked up! Do you see where I'm going with this?

I’ve no envy for any of the political candidates entering the arena in the new election year. I think it’s going to be an awful lot like a gladiatorial battle – bloody and brutal and only s/he with the biggest weapon and the most prowess with a kill will be left standing. Just to be clear I believe that big weapon will be the backing of the media, money to throw at every problem, and skill (or a staff with skill) in social media. The kill, of course, will be the complete obliteration of somebody’s career, lambasted in the press for some small thing blown out of proportion, maligned by popular culture for not being the popular one…it all seems rather like Jr. High or High School, doesn’t it?

I read an article about how the Department of Defense is investing millions of dollars in a project to study the spread of information and misinformation using social media. You can read it HERE.

The implications are pretty significant…if they know HOW to spread information in the most effective manner, don’t think they won’t use it. I don’t mean to go all conspiracy theory on you, but this could be the easiest way to propagandize significant events and issues…and exert some form of biased influence on the masses. I won’t even get started on how the largest portion of the population using these resources are young people.

I’m reminded of the Healthcare Bill that we all know about from the blessed and almighty media. I seriously wonder how many of the legislators who voted on the initiative (for or against) actually had any idea what was IN it...there were 2074 pages in the thing! Many of those voting admitted that they didn’t read the entire thing before voting. Today, you can go read lots and lots of “summaries” about what’s in it. But when they voted, there was no such thing. Its astounding that our leaders felt they were qualified to vote on this legislation without actually reading it.

It’s a bit like signing the contract on a new car without reading it.

Have we become that culture? Have our leaders become so careless (or arrogant? or pressured? or rushed?) that they will sign their names on a document of such weight and controversy without actually taking the time, insisting upon the necessary time, to read its content?

All of this is to say pretty much one thing: be careful where and how you get your information. As we prepare to enter the new election year, and we are constantly fed media bits and bites about our local, state and national leadership, remember to step back a bit and consider things carefully.

When you base your future (and that of your city, county, state and country) on these decisions about who to elect to government office and which taxes you support or don’t, which things need to be laws and which things should be drilled into American consciousness as sensible, know the facts.

KNOW THE FACTS.

Do your research.

Look for opinions wildly divergent form your own and really hear them with an open heart and mind.

Dig deeper than headlines and commercials.

Look beyond Facebook and Twitter for information.

And remember just because you saw it on the internet, news, blog, newspaper, whatever, it doesn’t mean it’s the unbiased truth.

Thank you, and good night.

Peace, ya'll!

Monday, August 01, 2011

Monday Muse - BALLOONS

If we were anywhere near the Montreal to see the Musee des Possibles, I would have had the most rapturous little boys in the world...

As we were NO where near, I'll have to inspire with a photo from the event:


Now, that's a serious muse.

Go create!

Peace, ya'll!