Some kids idolize rock stars or superstar athletes.
Some kids are fans of race car drivers, actors or characters.
Some kids get a thrill out of playing cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians.

Not my kids.
No way.

My boys have a special affection for 4 guys who’s names you probably won’t even recognize.

Kevin O’Connor
Tom Silva
Richard Trethewey
Roger Cook

Do you know these guys?
I admit it…I didn’t until the boys found a new favorite tv show--Ask This Old House on WNPT, Nashville‘s Public Television station.

Yesterday, I overheard a conversation:
Jules: “I’m gonna be Richard Trethewey. Who are you gonna be?”
Grey: “Me Roger Cook”.
Jules: “I’m gonna drive the pick up truck.”
Grey: “Go to Mini-appowis.”

I couldn’t help but laugh. How many three-year-olds know anything about Minneapolis? I’m not sure what the target demographic for the show is, but they have captured the three to ten market in my house!

My DVR is now filled with the many incarnations of this show. This Old House, This Old House Classic, Inside This Old House, Ask This Old House, This Old House Hour…

Boys. They sure do spice up my life.

In other news, I recently discovered another use for google. Besides being the most useful search engine on the face of the planet it’s also a good spell checker. Type in your word or phrase and *poof* google will ask you “Did you mean…?” and fill in the space with the correctly spelled word. It’s not a perfect system but it generally works and only take a second. Speedy intuitive spell check. I like that.

Happy Sunday!!


Just a Few Things...

One of my favorite musicians (besides the one I am married to) is Wes King. Not too long ago Joal brought me Wes' disk that bears this song--Just a Few Things I Think You Should Know. It was written as a sortof "random things I would want my sons to know if I weren't here" thing and the song got to me. It's strong and thoughtful and full of truth. I thought it would make a great addition to a layout.

The little dump truck is a "found treasure". Last summer I bought G some t-shirts at a consignment sale and I picked up one in particular because it was adorned with this little rubber dump truck emblem. It's dimensional and reminds me of the Doodlebug Jellishments. Whe he outgrew the shirt, I cut out the emblem and I've been saving it for the right page.

A larger image is at 2Peas.

Happy Saturday!!


Photo Decor

Here's my newest creation inspired heavily by the Making Memories wreath project. It's hanging in my scrap space on the wall to the right of my computer CPU. I have ordered the photo of J and the boys to fit in the little frame. (I picked up the frame at Scrappuccino a while back after Holle's class.)


Happy Birthday!!

Yep. Today's the day. I'm 34!


2Peas Challenge and Some Pink Sweetness and the Cruise Album

Todays 2Peas Challenge is to Complete these statements:

1. My current favorite song: I love lots of stuff...I can never pick just one.

2. The last book I read: Seasons of a Mother's Heart by Sally Clarkson

3. What I'm wearing right now: pajamas because it's almost midnight and I'm about to go to bed

4. The last cd I bought: Bon Jovi--Have a Nice Day and Creed Greatest Hits

5. The last gift I bought for someone: was an mp3 player just for me! I went today and purchased it because Friday is my birthday. I am one happy chick too. It's just what I wanted. Having cranked up music in my ears makes walking the treadmill so much more tolerable!

In other news...a friend of mine recently had a new baby girl. Consequently, on Monday I spent way too long drooling over the little girl clothes in search of something perfectly pink and girly for her. Girl clothes...I love my boys but shopping for their clothes isn't nearly as much fun as shopping in the girl clothes. There's a severe lack of pink in my any excuse to enjoy the frills is good enough for me. I'm so happy for them!

When I saw these two onesie outfits and their matching pants (not pictured) complete with ruffles on the backside, I just couldn't help myself. There is no other time in life when a girl can get away with wearing ruffles on her touche and not be commiting a major fashion "don't"...

The cruise album is coming along, but I'm not going to be able to finish before Joal's meeting. There's just too much to do in it. Luckily, he can share it at the meeting in September. I really like how it's coming along tho. Here's a little piece of it. I have looked at every cruise stamp or embellishment I can find but nothing was "right" to go with my "Color Me Silly--Believe" Basic Grey I had to get creative. (At least for me, this is creative...I'm usually a buy-it-pre-made-girl.)

I was looking for some clip art for another project in the MS Windows files and came across this little cruise ship on waves. It was originally a square image but I made it round. I knew I wanted something that would go into the Quickutz tag-rim to resemble the look of a small round porthole window. The colors of this clip art match the BG perfectly. I resized and duplicated the image about 40 times and then printed it onto white Bazzill for texture. I used the Quickutz tag die to cut out the images and then overlayed the black rim. Added the brad and poof...embellishment. (Yes, I impressed myself.) There's one of these tags on each two page spread.

I completed about a dozen tags before I realized that I should have cut a piece of transparency to go on top of the image and under the rim to look like the glass. Wish I had thought of that a litle earlier.

It's time to go. Today has started out with a bang...there's gum in the dryer. Wonder who did that?? I have to go to the library for new books and deliver my honey to the airport this afternoon...lots to do.

Happy Thursday!!

Blame it on the Shirt

I crossed over into a new level of dedicated scrapbooker today. See this shirt? It's the culprit.

Yes, I purchased this shirt for Grey for one reason.

I have paper that matches it perfectly.

At least it was "on sale".

But chances are great that I would have paid full price if it hadn't been.

Because I have paper that matches it perfectly.



It's Monday. I used an M's coupon to buy new scissors today. The boys had managed to cut pipe cleaners with each and every pair of scissors which basically destroys the smooth cut. Makes cutting ribbon next to impossible. So I procured a nice shiney new pair of Fiskars and they are h-i-d-d-e-n. I would tell you where but then I might have to do away with you. LOL!

It was a good mail day. I received a disk of photos collected from three different people on our cruise, basically doubling the photos selection for my cruise album. I am working on it right now, hoping to be finished by Thursday.

Also received a paper order from Cropoholics. If you need an online scrapbook store, I highly recommend Cropoholics. Great place with fast shipping.

Got a letter from my sister...wait no that wasn't a letter. A letter would have made me happy. :) This was a sock chain thing that I think I have to send other people socks for...why, I have no idea? Deb. Do I look like I have time to be shipping socks around the world?? (kidding.) Don't worry...I'm just annoyed because it came without a real letter. You know...handwritten...catches me up on the life of my favorite sister. You made me think I was in for a treat...and bam! Nothing! Gee. Thanks.

Cathy Z book in my hands, getting well-loved. The woman has amazing gifts. The things she does with ordinary words and a computer. So real and so casual. Simple does not equal fast, beginner or basic. Simple is a style statement. Simple=streamlined, low-cal, minimalist, proportional. Don't forget that.

New adventures in technology today. I *need* to have this little (9x9) cruise album done before Thursday for Joal to show it at his next meeting. (His request.) So the disk of new photos arrived today and there were some that I wanted to get printed right away. You know I think Winkflash is *the best* but it takes a few days. So, I remembered seeing an add for the WalGreens photo lab for 20 FREE 4x6 prints with your first order. Went to and sure enough...I uploaded the ones I needed to the website and placed the order. I selected to pick them up at a Walgreens in my neighborhood...and within 20 minutes, I received an email saying my order of 24 photos was ready to be picked up. I paid 88 cents for 24 photos!! They look really good. I prefer matte finish and that wasn't an option but I'll live. They offer cool border options I might play with later. Nifty huh.

Happy Monday, everyone.


Run, Don't Walk...

Ya gotta checkout the 2Peas gallery of Aidansmommy aka Tina Cockburn.

And then see her blog with her beautiful photography. She really is all that and a bag of chips! :)

Don't drool. It'll cause your computer to malfunction.

Happy Sunday!!

I am the P and the T...

So Thursday night I was invited to join a small contingent of my fellow scrapbooking enthusiasts in judging the scrapbook competition of the PTA, a national organiation conventioning in Nashville this week. We browsed thru 28 huge (did I mention they were very large?) scrapbooks from school PTAs from all over Tennessee. It was very very interesting.

Before this experience, I had no idea that PTA was anything other than a local group of parents and teachers supporting their school. It is. It's a national organization. Very official.

Someone (I can't recall who) pointed out that I could be a one-person PTA organization, seeing as how I am the P and the T in my "school". LOL! I think that was after I asked if I could make a PTA scrapbook...Hey, I said it was a particularly inspiring evening. I was ready to get to work when I left. :)

It did remind me of several things:

--Scrapbooks are not about product. Since we were in a small room filled with very experienced professional scrapbookers (some would call us obsessed), the topic of conversation of course turn to product very often.

"Who makes this?"
"Boy, that's old."
"They must love thier x tool."

As much as we discussed product and style, every scrapbook in the room showed events and moments of kids lives at school. That makes each scrapbook very valuable in my opinion. The value is not what they spent (or didn't) or where they shopped or the quality of their's about the stories.

--The ability to follow directions should never be discounted. It's an important skill. Even if you are just entering a scrapbook contest.

-- Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and contests are subjective. Don't base the value of a scrapbook or a scrapbook page on th opinions of others. Tell your stories and enjoy the process. Accollades are "gravy".

--Kids are beautiful!! Bright smiles, funny faces, fun activities...this is what being a kid is all about!

Thanks Michele for the invitation to be a "judge". I really enjoyed it.

PS. I'm now available for consultation if anyone is making a PTA scrapbook...I can be bribed with stacks of Bazzill. (LOL!)


Go Look Here

If you haven't yet taken a look at the Basic Grey Website and signed up for their outstanding newsletter, drop everything and go sign up for it it now. Their newsletter is awesome--it's published as a PDF and can easily be printed to read at your leisure.

Three companies I know of have outstanding newsletters:

KI Memories
Basic Grey

Don't miss these. They will fill your mailbox with information and inspiration!!


Prepared to Write

Prepared to Write...I am. Andy--my brother in boot camp--can receive mail now so I printed a dozen or so envelopes out last night with his address filled in so I don't have to handwrite it each time.

Letters and postcards...I hope the PO is prepared forthe influx. LOL!

Photos of the America Book

Words Worthy of Remembering

I was born in 1972. I think it was a good year to be born but then I have no experience with other years, so what do I really know? I'm happy being 34...I've always been happy being whatever age I am. Seems to me there's not much point in fretting about age since you can't change it.

One thing I do think I missed out on, however, is the Presidency of John F. Kennedy. I have read quite a few books on the 35th President and the world in which he lived. I find it to be a fascinating historical period and am particularly fond of his many powerful speeches. America was being re-born, I believe, during that time. For better or worse, it was a vibrant and exciting part of our somewhat short history as a nation.

Because of what Joal does for work, I collect historical quotes that have to do with America, history, freedom, patriotism, the spirit and people of America, the founding fathers, great historical moments, Presidential points and all things that seem representative of America to me. I have a small scrapbook of these little pieces of America and I add to it regularly. Joal and I have some rousing conversations about them...ongoing conversations that we both truly enjoy (or at least I do.)

So, this evening I was shopping my favorite quote site for some fresh material for my little collection when I came across this jewel:

“The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.” ---John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Take a moment and re-read that. Don't miss it.

A few weeks ago when I flew to Atlanta, I witnessed something that illustrates just one of the the cost of our freedom in a very real way. I was sitting in the terminal waiting for my plane when I realized that there were way too many people and a crazy number of kids waiting at the gate for *my* plane. Jets to Atlanta arrive and leave about every 90 minutes from they are usually relatively small planes and there were way too many people at the gate for a plane this size.

I double checked to make sure I was in the right place.
I was.

I was completely puzzled until I noticed that a young woman and her three sons sitting in the chairs closest to the gate were holding small American flags. The kids were well-behaved but I could tell...those boys were hyped. (I have no problem recognizing hyped boys.) Mom was a little frayed, too. (I know that look as well.)

And then, I heard her say "Just a few more minutes, son, and Daddy will be home."

That's when I took another look around and it became obvious that the gate was filled with people waiting for the arriving flight. There was only one explanation for that because airport security no longer allows ordinary people to meet deboarding passengers at the gates.

They were Military.

Sure enough--just a few minutes later, the plane I was waiting for arrived and about 30 cammo-clad, pack-totin', boot-wearin' high 'n tight Army men emerged from it. It was a sea of green...faded green cammo.
If you've never seen an Army homecoming, you have certainly missed out. It was perhaps the sweetest thing I have ever witnessed. Shrieks of "Daddy!!!"...and lots of hugs and kisses. Kids from all parts of the gate broke free and ran full-tilt to the man they had been missing...their moms didn't bother trying to stop them. Husbands and dads and sons and brothers reunited at last with wives and mothers and fathers and daughters and sons and brothers and sisters. There were tears and laughter and I swear...I wanted to hug someone too.

It was a deep moment for me. Tears welled up in my eyes. My brother was a week from entering bootcamp and I was emotional about that, but on a deeper level, it was the perfect illustration of one of the costs of freedom that so many Americans pay willingly. I wish I had some photos to share--I know they would have been beautiful--but honestly, I wouldn't intrude that way. Those moments were just too prescious and personal. I am so happy I was able to witness them tho.
I will never forget that day.

So whatever your position on the "issues" in America--Whatever your chosen party or political leanings, I hope that you will always remember the words of the President and bear witness to the truth they declare. We owe a debt for the price that has been paid for the freedom we share and the ability that is hard-won and harder-kept to choose our own positions and speak our own minds on things that we care about.

The government sometimes seems like it's an entity of itself and is too big to moved by one person but that is simply not the case. We are our government if we choose to be. We each have a role to play in it. If you are not doing your part as a citizen of this land, someone else is going to have to carry your slack. It's your responsibility as an American to participate--not just to lay claim to her goodness and her opportunities but to share in the responsibilities of upkeeping those freedoms and liberties. Guard them. These character traits of America--freedom, liberty and justice for all have been hard won and must be protected in order to be kept.

For if they are lost, America is lost.


In Music News...

Little Big Town played Jay Leno Monday was rockin', of course. Backing the band was our friend Steve Dale on bass, the great (a legendary songwriter and producer) Wayne Kirkpatrick on guitar and a guy we've met from church--Andy Hubbard on drums.

Phil Vassar has a new album coming out in a few days. I am a total PV fan. The man can definately write a song but when you look in his eyes and see him perform you k-n-o-w he's one of those guys who never quits. He has lots of potential to be a "bad boy" but he's so not one. He sings with such every part of him is right there singing for all he's worth. I love that. He's a master songwriter who understands the craft and can be really country or really rockin'. Since I go both ways--enjoying country and rock n roll--I like that.

This new album looks to be unique in that it's a collection of the hits he has recorded personally *and* the hits that he has written that have been recorded by other people. Can't wait to get it! "American Child" and "Just Another Day in Paradise" are among my all-times favorite songs. Like I said...Phil Vassar Rocks! and his arms. ...

Finally, I happened to catch a late night playing of the Video to John Corbett's new release on CMT and was wowed! Yeah...who knew? John Corbett...the guy from Big Fat Greek Wedding, SATC, Northern Exposure...he's a musician now. I'm liking his sound...and hating his side-burns. Oh well. Dude...razors are cheap. He's playing Fan Fair this year in Nashville...might have to check that out.

So, now you know.


Who Knew?

Julian (my ten year old) made me laugh out loud tonight.

It was just me and the boys for dinner tonight so I decided to make pancakes. Pancakes are usually a daddy-food. Joal makes jumbo pancakes, to put it mildly. His pan creations are about the size of the pan and generally as thick as three or four of mine. He adds in heaps of chocolate chips--which of course, melt in the cooking process and then while they are still hot, smothers them in peanut butter and drowns them in syrup. We jokingly refer to what he makes as "man-cakes"...cause you have to be a man to eat one. (Meaning...I don't usually indulge.) They are huge and they weigh a ton--we even have to get out the big plates. It's a regular heart attack on a plate. The boys love it when Dadddy cooks.

So my small delicate perfectly golden normal pancakes aren't quite as big a hit as man-cakes...but a treat nonetheless.

So J is munching away on his less than inspiring pancake when he suddenly gets a thought he must share.

"You are an excellent chef." he says, wiping syrup from his chin. "I like your mommy-cakes."

I can deal with that.

Happy Wednesday.


This and That

Several tidbits tonight...

I noticed today there have been some changes in the direction of what was once Simply Southern Scrapbook Convention. Location (it's moved to Cool Springs), date (moved to the fall), focus (less on scrapbooking, more towards paper arts) event name (like they need another name change)'s all very confusing, if you ask me.

I have mentioned before that I have taken a magazine-sabattical. I let all my magazine subscriptions but Scrapbooks etc run out and did not renew. I always buy Simple Scrapbooks at M's...but that's it. I haven't looked at the others for over a year. There was a time when I had way too many magazines and it just got overwhelming. Anyway, I was checking out the convention site for the upcoming CK Convention in Nashville and happened to see the cover of the May 06 issue of Creating Keepsakes. It made me want it. Honestly, it's the best cover since forever. The cover work is done by Susan Neal and it is awesome. Great colors. Well-designed, beautiful layout that could and should be scrap-lifted as soon as possible.

On a totally separate issue, I love good home-made salsa. Seriously. Love it. I make it pretty regularly and it's one of the few things that I really like to eat when I make it. But occasionally, given the price of winter tomatoes, I don't want to spend the money to make an entire bowl. (Good salsa can get pricey.) So, occasionally I try out one of the pre-made, almost-fresh salsas offered in the fancy foods refrigerator case at Publix. I'm usually disappointed, although I will admit to being really picky. I'm not into huge chucks. I like an almost smooth salsa. However, not too long ago, I discovered an excellent fresh salsa from a small maker in Georgia that is outstanding. It's called Salsa Ya'll and it comes in a small square container. There are a couple different heat levels available. I try to get the mild one but the hots not too hot. The best's made with cilantro. Now in my near-expert salsa opinion, salsa should never be made without cilantro. It's just wrong. For $2.99, I can have an excellent salsa with cilantro already made. How cool is that? Check it out.

Back to the CK issue...this was definately a great issus. It was great to see Ali's honesty, some older people pictures, some non-caucasian faces, and lots of multi-photos layouts. (Don't get me started on that one...) On the ad-watch--I definately want to checkout some of that Bo-Bunny stuff. How pretty! And the Doodlebug ad totally rocked. Paper Salon...oh wow. Now that is some super creative packaging. Genius. Colorbok...I need that blue suede album. NEED! Now I know why avoiding magazines is a good thing. LOL!

I think I missed the boat on the fresh face layout featured. Don't get me wrong--It's an excellently-designed LO but why is the photo black and white when the point of the LO is the little girl's favorite color? That one just totally left me. I was struck by just how many of the layouts in this issue are very Jenni-ish. Random...slightly off-kilter...artistic...sentimental. I love that. Whatever you do, don't miss the Mellette layout on the back page. It totally rocks. Stunning, as usual.

I recently ran across the gallery of an awesome pea-- *Celeste*. Check it out...she's bold and spicy!

Well, that's all for now. Little Big Town is playing Jay Leno tonight and I want to watch them. I've met their drummer. :)


The blog assignment for the day from 2Peas is to write about your dream vacation.

My dream vacation involves one word: beach.

Almost any beach will do.
Although I've always wanted to explore the Outter Banks of NC.
And travel up the eastern seaboard.
Just give me time on the beach.
Alone, with DH.

Speaking of vacations.
We'll be cruising again in February 2007!
How's that for something to look forward to for a long time?


Delightful Dogwood

One of the churches near my house has the most beautiful dogwood trees in it's yard. Today we walked over and took some photos of it.

So that we might have Life Everlasting.

From the Gospel of Matthew...
Chapter 28

1 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.

3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow.

4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.

5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified.

6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.

7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”

8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.

Surely Snappy Saturday!

Three more stores checked off my list today...what a perfectly fun day it was too.

First stop was at a new store in Hendersonville--Timeless Reflection. What a cool place. I have a special place in my heart for small unique places and this one is totally fitting the bill. Besides a perfect selection of Basic Grey and Bazzill (basic requirements, IMO), Michelle Luther has also assembled a remarkable collection of product from Queen & Co, 7Gypsies, Art Warehouse and others to arrive at a wonderful little store with great potential. A delish display of ribbons rounds out the array of fun stuff. I am totally drawn to this store. When I left, I had a buzz. I want to crop there ASAP.

Second stop was supposed to be Card and Cloth in Franklin KY but as it turns out, I had an old address. I tried to call but got the voice mail so we skipped it and went on to Bowling Green. I hope to catch it another day.

Next stop was Someplace to Remember in Bowling Green. I haven't been there in several years and boy, have they grown. The hours listed on their website are incorrect but it didn't cause a problem (for which I am thankful). I'm pretty sure they have everything, product wise. I didn't even have time to go to the basement...have to do that next time.

Final stop was Scrapbook Country, also in Bowling Green. It surprises me that these 2 stores are so close together but nonetheless, this one was interesting too. Scrapbook Country seemed like a very relaxed can read about it on their blog...have I mentioned that I think every scrapbook store should have a blog? I have to wonder if Heather Thomas is related to Terri Thomas, one of my favorite people from The Memory Box days...have to check on that.

The scrapbookers of Bowling Green are lucky to have two well-stocked stores in their area. I taught in BG for a long time at a store that has since closed and I love the area. It's not what I consider a small town but it has that small-town community feel. I like that.

I'm working on my cruise pages--hoping to get a few posted this weekend.

Happy Easter.


Why Scrap?

So a few posts ago, my friend Tracie wrote a blog entry about why she scrapbooks. I am constantly interested in this basic information about my friends. I love knowing what motivates and how they approach what they do. I am happy that I am blessed with friends who scrapbook for all kinds of different reasons and use different approaches. Sometimes it's a little odd when they all get together...but I think it's a valuable experiece.

So tell the world...why do you scrapbook and what's your scrapping philosophy?

Why do I scrapbook?

There are so many answers but the short one is very simple--I like it. I come by a love of photos genetically. My mother has preserved photos in albums for as long as I can remember. To me, the best photos aren't posed--they are fleeting moments of time captured on film. They express a realness and a reality that might otherwise be missed if it weren't captured on film.

I believe that God has given each of us a story worthy of recording and that much can be learned thru the witnessing of the stories of other peoples lives. It's our responsibility to live it out and to record it.

Paper and pen are a powerful medium. I write our stories with the passion of a participant and a loving historian. I think of my scrapbooks as letters to my children in the future and to anyone who reads them. I think of the images and words as the parts of our lives that I value and want to remember. What I value, I want my children to value as well.

By personality, I am drawn to texturally rich things. I'm a tactile learner. I can't remember the answer to 9x7 but I can remember paper manufacturers spring releases from 2002. Go figure. Scrapbooking is the perfect use for texturally rich items, especially beautiful papers, ribbons and fabrics.

Scrapbooking meets a need for my soul. It's deep. It feels good to be good at something and to have what I do be enjoyed and appreciated by my family. It feels like a contribution (small, admitantly)...a way of saying "this is me and this is a piece of me". This world is filled with negativity and ugliness. Pain and heartache. I prefer to enjoy images of love and family and friends and good.

Scrapbooking provides connections. One word...Croptoberfest. Anita. Julie. Sabrina. Carla. and others. Quite by divine accident my life has been irrevocably altered by many of the women whom I call my friends by way of scrapbooking. No other area of my life has produced such relationships.

People have all sorts of hobbies and honestly, I know some people who need a hobby or two. But really, I don't think of scrapbooking as a hobby. It's part of who I am. If Bazzill and Basic Grey and Chatterbox and all my other favorite companies closed down tomorrow, I would still journal, photograph and embellish. I'd find a way.

So now you know.

Happiness in a Bowl

Pink ribbons!

Why do I buy pink ribbons? The liklihood of using them on a LO of my own is very miniscule.

But you know what.

I buy them because I love to look at them.

I may be surrounded on every side with boyhood but I love pink.

Pink and chocolate brown.

Pink and white.

Pink and green.

The world--my world needs more pink. blissful bowl of pink ribbons!

Happy Friday.

And for my friends who are celebrating this the most holy week, Happy blessed Easter. He is Risen!!

Parental Involvement

Today the peas are discussing the answer to this question: "What is the biggest challenge facing our educational system?"

As you probably guessed, most peas first answer was "lack of parental involvement". Predictable. Everyone blames the parents, right.

I had to disagree. I spent 5 years being an overly-involved parent in my child's education and the system was still unable or unwilling to provide J with what he needed to succeed educationally, even with a heaping dose of parental involvement. Yes, that does still annoy me. It was a collosal waste of time and energy and I wish I had been able to see that earlier.

So now *I* am the educational system and the parental involvement is at an all-time high (lol). What does it say that the system says it can't succeed without more parental involvement however it has proven that it can't succeed with parent involvement *but* the parent/child can succeed without the system's involvement?? Let's think on that a bit, shall we?


2Peas Pick One Challenge

chocolate or vanilla? ---yes, please!
sandals or barefoot? ---shoes...
basic grey or scenic route? ---picking one would be like picking one of my children!!
primas or HS flowers? them!
computer journaling or handwritten? ---there's a time and place for both...but mostly computer
Madonna or Gwen Stefani? ---neither, sorry
Leno or Conan? ---Leno (Conan is dumb)
Koolaid or Crystal Lite? ---Crystal sugar.
American Idol or Amazing Race? ---neither
cat-lover or dog-lover? ---if I have to chose one, it would be dog-lover, but not intensely

I'm adding to the challenge...

hotel or camping? ---Hotel...with room service please!
SUV or Mini Van? ---Jeep!!
candles or baskets? ---baskets...filled with candles!
bottled water or tap? ---bottled
beach or mountains? ---beach
CK or MM? ---CK
letter stickers or letter stamps? ---lately, letter stickers!
love or money? ---love!

It's a Sure Sign of the Downfall of Winter


How does one do that??

This is sara*w's blog. Can someone tell me how she blurred the background of the two photos of her kids? Is it one of those 22 camera settings that I have no idea how to use yet...or is it an editing trick? I would like to know...


(Instruction manual...what's that?)

Proof is in the Pictures!

Baseball versus Lip...Lip was not the winner. Ouch!! The good news is that our dentist can work around a busted lip. Yep, that's how things go around here...the baseball met the lip the day before the dentist appointment. The other awesome news...J is continuing his lifelong streek of NO CAVATIES!!

Happy Monday!


Glorious Sunday Morning!

Yes, it's a beautiful spring Sunday morning in Middle TN--Palm Sunday too.

Yes, I should be worshipping at church with my family but I'm not. Yesterday evening around 9pm I was preparing for bed when I finally decided I'd had enough of the drippy nose and coughing so I took a new diabetic-friendly cold pill before laying down. About 11 pm I woke up.

Woke totally up and *had* to get up. I was totally buzzed. in hyper.

Wired. Like I drank too much coffee...only I didn't drink any.

All night.

Can't sit still. I've cleaned. I've scrapped. I did laundry at 3am. I vacuumed downstairs at 4am. I would have washed the cars if it hadn't been so cold. I cleaned out closets.

I created this scrapbook page for the *One Step Further* challenge. If you want to read the journaling it's here at 2Peas. The challenge is from this's new and looks cool.

It's 9:25 am--about 12 hours post-pill. I'm still high. I've never felt this way before. Yeah, um, no drug history here. Sorry. My strongest kick usually comes from a little Diet Dr. Pepper. Anyway, I don't know how long this is going to last and honestly, I was in no shape to sit in church without fidgeting profusely. :) And what if I crash before getting home?

So, I stayed home. Even tho I really didn't want to.

Antsy, edgy, fidgety, wired, hyper, energetic, like I need to move some part of my body all the time...maybe this is how Julian feels. Oh my. I've been asking the Lord to give me more sympathy for my oldest child. Oh wow!

How's that for a little perspective?

"Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed for I am your God;
I will strengthen you,
I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

--Isaiah 41:10

Computers...Can't Live with 'em...Can't Beat 'em with a Bat!

After all the mischief my last computer put me thru, I really thought I had earned a pass on computer problems for oh say the rest of my natural days....but apparently I was mistaken.

I've loaded several new things on my *new* computer organization tools, fonts, camera gear, photo editing tools, mp3 stuff, song files, etc. Surely, my new computer for which I paid $$$ for... with every gadget known to man could handle a few drivers, right.


Somewhere in the downloading of new stuff, my sound card disappeared.


What's that line in the Montgomery Gentry song? I digress.

So, in an effort to get the sound card to reappear (because I can not compute without music) I had to do a mini-reformat and re-install every (*&^ driver. Remember that hair I used to have...well, I have a lot less of it now!! of the devil, I tell ya...sent to test your charachter when you can stand it least.

But I won. I have music and I can scan at the same time. HA! Take that!!

PS Here's the Evidence

First LO ala "Creative Memories"...

Somebody tell me again why those photos had to be cut into shapes??

Dreadful as it is...I was hooked immediately!


My Introduction to Scrapbooking

The 2Peas challenge is to write about how you got started in scrapbooking. Well, that's kindof a funny story for me. I'll try to keep it short.

In 1996 just after Julian was born, I returned to my work as a floral manager in a craft store in Jackson, MS. Floral Manager was the official title...but the truth was I had at one time or another worked in every department in the store. My favorite part of the job was creating displays and merchandising. Anytime we got in new merchandise, I built the vignettes to support it.

Just after I returned from maternity leave we began to hear that we were going to be receiving a large quanitity of papers and scissors for something called "memory crafting". I had no idea what that was. The store manager was a man who was usually pretty astute when it came to craft trends. One day before our shipment of mysterious memory craft supplies arrived he delivered to me a few idea sheets and a very brief over view of the topic. I knew I would need more information, so on my next trip to the library I looked up memory crafting on the internet.


Through that internet search I hooked up with a local Creative Memories Consultant and Pebbles in my Pocket. Not to long after that, I took the CMC's beginner sales pitch and created my first page. <> Chopped photos...lack of flow...severe lack of style...way to many deco scissor incidents...


The CM products were way out of my price range at the time and the consultant was a little too pushy for my comfort level so I abandoned that route rather quickly. Pebbles in my Pocket (at that time) offered a beautiful mail order catalog that was the stuff my dreams were made of. They sold beautiful cardstock packs, albums, adhesives, pens, die cuts, templates and included wonderful information about scrapbooking. I studied their catalogs intensely and I can still describe some of the layouts.

One of the first scrapbookers I came to admire was a Pebbles artist named Brenda Cosgrove. To this day, I admire her work so much. Years later, she won a spot on the CK Hall of Fame list and occasionally still has pages published. Last time I checked, she's still teaching at Pebbles in Utah. I've always said that if I ever get to Utah--when I ever get Utah, I'm going to go when I can take one of her classes.

My research also brought me a friend named Karen--a DOTS demonstrator. DOTS is the original incarnation of Close to my Heart. She taught me to stamp and was my first stamp and scrap friend. I do miss her.

The web was my main resource for information and supplies because it would be years before Mississippi got it's first scrap store. Jennia Hart's now defunct website The Scrapbook Idea Network was an invaluable source of information for me in those early days. Thankfully, we moved to Tennessee about three years into my hobby. Tennessee has many scrap and stamp stores.

But wait...remeber that day when my manager brought me those papers about "memory crafting'. His comments: "I don't think this 'memory crafting' is going to really take off, but we need to be able to sell this stuff quickly so we don't get stuck with it. See what you can find out about it."

Funny, huh. Funny to the tune of several billion dollars being spent on scrapbooking each year. I think I know why he decided to go back into real estate a few years later. :)

So, now you know...

Beautiful Spring!

Aren't these breath-taking? I so love tulips, especially the mixed ones.

Matthew 6:30, 33-34 (The Message)

30 If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers--most of which are never even seen--don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?

33 Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

34 Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Anyone interested???

There's been a great deal of talk at 2Peas about having scrap and stamp garage sales. I was wondering if anyone around these parts was interested in doing this? I can organize it if there's interest. Email me or leave a comment.


Influential Christians??

OK, does this article from The Church Report strike anyone else as being just plain wrong?? The 50 Most Influential Christians...what is up with this? Shouldn't we be looking to the Father for influence? Since when is it OK to be a respector of persons? What good can come form this list? Someone please enlighten me on that...

(And how could they have not added Dave Ramsey to the list? On second thought, he probably declined inclusion.)


God Speed Little Brother

The upper photo is my little brother when he was actually little in 1988. In the lower photo of all of us he's on the right end. (My sister is holding my youngest son.)

Funny how he's wearing cammos in the top "Christmas" photo.
And now he's going in the Army.

See that hair. It's wildly curly and thick. It's red. Redder than red. Flaming red. And he has the personality to match. Firey, sweet, big-hearted, risk-taker, thrill-lover, stubborn, rule-breaker...Andy.

Army Andy.

God be with you, my little brother.
I'm proud of you and I love you.
Even tho this makes me cry for a million reasons, I know it's what you want and I am happy for you.

I love you.


If I were writing a magazine, this would be it. It's new from Better Home and Gardens Creative Collection. It's positively delish!!


We Did It!

The surprise was achieved perfectly...he had no idea. It was a spendid moment.

Joal has worked for this company since 1998, when he graduated college. In an age where the average person stays with a company only 2.5 years, it's a rare thing to find a company that you can really stick with long-term--but he has.

We’ve had many conversations about doing something you love and something worth doing…and we are blessed that Joal is able to do both in this work.

National Write Your Congressman was founded by David N. Adamson--a man of great faith and great character, more than 50 years ago. He believed that America would be made even greater if more of her citizens would choose to be involved in her government. NWYC is an organization that makes it possible for the everyday citizen to make his or her voice heard on the issues he or she cares about. Their motto is God, Family, Country and they take it very seriously.

David N. Adamson has passed on but the company which is now his legacy is continuing his work under the strong leadership of his son and his grandson and many of his family members. The David N. Adamson Founder’s Award is the company’s highest award and it’s given to the salesperson who demonstrates the qualities that Mr. Adamson was known for-- It’s is not an award for production or sales, but a recognition of character and faithfulness to the work.

Almost 2 weeks ago, Randy called me to tell me that Joal was going to be receiving this award at the regional meeting in Atlanta. He knew I would want to be there but hadn’t previously been planning to come to this meeting. That’s when the secret-keeping started. I was so happy for him and could not tell him why. It made me a little nuts.

I called my mom to see if she could come over to look after the boys so I could go. It took some maneuvering, but she and Dad were able to come on Friday and stay until Sunday. I am so grateful. I could not have gone without their help on the boy-front.

Joal left for the meeting on Thursday morning not knowing I would bethere on Saturday. In fact, in previous years there was an awards banquet on Saturday night and he even mentioned that this year there wasn't going to be an awards dinner. They had decided to go casual for the evening meal and play WhirleyBall instead.

With the childcare issue addressed, Randy sent me a ticket to fly down to Atlanta on Saturday morning for the awards presentation on Saturday afternoon. I love to fly and it was the perfect day for flying. The blue skies in Nashville were so clear I think I could see Atlanta as soon as we were airborne. Atlanta is only a 40 minute flight so we were up and down very quickly.

Later in the afternoon, I was standing just outside the door or the meeting room when the awards presentations were being made. It's alwayys a touching time when the accomplishments of the sales force is recognized and this one was no different. The Founder's Award was the last to be given out. Only 3 people in the room knew about it beforehand...well, 3 inside and me outside the door. :)

Joal said later that when Randy started talking about the meaning of the Founder's Award, he started mentally clicking off who in the room could be a candidate. In the space of just a few seconds he thought of one possibility (knowing there were several previous winners in the room) and thought to himself, "It couldn't be me. I haven't been around long enough."

He was sitting in the back of the room, so he saw me as soon as I walked in the door, at the same moment as Randy called his name. I've never seen my husband that overwhelmed. It was a sweet moment.

There's a great deal of respect and affection between Randy and Joal and both got a little teary. After some photos and the opening of the actual award (the silver eagle sculpture seen above) he calmed a little and got in control of his voice. He said something brilliant...but unfortunately, neither of us can remember what it was. LOL! The moment was just a little overwhelming for us both.

It was a very special day. Joal's not usually impressed by awards and trophies but I think this was different because it's a recognition based on who he is by charachter and the way he works, not a measure of his success as a salesman. Sometimes being a salesman can be irritating, difficult and discouraging. It's good to be noticed as one who works thru that and helps others to do the same. It's a compliment. A very high compliment.

We drove back on Sunday morning. The boys had a great time with Nana and Pawpaw (of course). The boys wrangled them into a trip to Home Depot (that I think my dad barely survived--it's been a while since he contained little boys) and then they had lunch on the tailgate of Dad'struck. My boys love "tailgating". My mom left a huge bowl of cole slaw in my refrigerator that I am trying to make last as long as possible. Ahhh...what bliss.

What is it with long posts lately?? Sorry about that...someday I'll get back to scrapbooking.

Happy Tuesday.