Who do you think of when some mentions " the great American authors"?
Well, those have their merits, but for my money, the Miriam brothers, (Noah) Webster and (Peter) Roget are "the greats", although technically Roget is British. I would certainly be inept without them. I have had these two books--the dictionary and the thesaurus--since high school. Yes, they are yellowed and showing signs of extreme wear (notice the missing covers) but I love them. I keep them handy, on the bookshelf behind my seat and I use them both several times a day.
I use spell-check but I love the feel of flipping thru an actual dictionary and searching for the proper spelling of a word. Sometimes it's a hunt. Sometimes I confirm my own suspicions. I especially love going to a library where there's a huge, unabridged dictionary. I used to get a kick out of telling Julian "the library has a dictionary that weighs more than you do", although that's no longer true so I had to stop. Apparently, the dictionary is growing at a slower pace than one son. :)
would like to do a dictionary scrapbook someday, with specialized definitions as the journaling.
So, now you know.



The 2Peas promt of the day is:
When making a layout, do you always need a title?

In short, yes. To me the title is vital because it draws the reader into the page. To me, a good title makes you want to read the rest of the page.

I like bold titles. I can't think of any layouts I've done without some kind of title.

So now you know.


Scrapbook stores across the country are scrapping pink this weekend to raise money and awareness for breast cancer.

My favorite local scrap store participated and I volunteered to do a Quickutz make & take for the croppers last night. This was a secondary version of the card we made. The only difference in this and the actual card we made was the QK font--I made the sample for the store, prepared the kits and then completely forgot to make one for myself--so when I got home I had to improvise with the fonts I have. The store's card used Zoe, which I really liked. My version uses the Blossom Mini.

And, I added ribbon. Of course.

The flourish on the lower part of the card is a Revolution die--one of the 4x4 dies.

In other news, I have Scenic Route paper from the Ashville Collection in my hot little hands and yes, it delightful. Can't wait to use it!

The boys and I are making felt pumpkin magnets to day and they are all amped to get crafting.

Happy Saturday!



At least once a day in our house, the following can be heard, usually in a loud voice:

"Stop pounding on the floor with your brother!"

Muttered under breath:

"You're going to kill each other."

Can someone explain why this is? They do this wrestling-tickling-laughing-running-competitive-physical smack-down that (because our house is not on a slab) sounds like something horrible is going on, judging from the noises of floor impact. (Thankfully, we have carpet, right.)

It's pure boy craziness for a good 30 minutes, usually in the afternoon. As long as no one is getting hurt, I try to stay out of it. It's always surprising how well G holds his own against his brother, despite his 40 pound/24 inch disadvantage.

They get sweaty, and run out of steam so then we start baths and things go back to calm and collected.

I'm thinking of putting a boxing ring in the back yard.


And BOOM! It feels like fall. The high for today is a luxurious 80 degrees. Sweet relief!

I had a right miserable weekend but I'm feeling better mostly now. I missed church and 2 meetings that were important to me...I hate being sick. One of the meetings I missed was the presentation of a new water filtration system at the local middle school in memory of my neighbor who was murdered just over a year ago. Our neighborhood and the family and friends of Mary Sadler collected money for a memorial and I am pleased that it turned out so beautifully. The local news media covered the small ceremony as did our community paper. (I'll add links to the Westview paper site when their site is updated.)

The task force that I was part of for this project originally intended to place a bench at our local park with a small plaque on it. I was shocked at the limitless amount of permissions and red tape one has to go thru to seat a bench in the park. It was crazy. So, through the diligence of one of the other members of the task force, we were able to find a different route for our memorial. The local middle school library was badly in need of a water filtration system and fountain. Apparently, the quality of the water at the school is sub-standard (go figure that out) but in conjunction with the generous donation of one of the local water filtration companies, (I need a link) we were able to provide this for the students and faculty, along with a plaque and photo of our neighbor.

Participating in this project has been a very meaningful thing to me. I hated to miss the ceremony but it seems to have gone off without a hitch. I'm so glad.

In other news, I'm going to be teaching a class at Scrap'n Memories (in Nashville) on Saturday October 27 at 2pm. The name of the class is *Don't you Love Scenic Route*! Fitting, don't you think? Photos of the class projects will be forth-coming.


PS Does anyone have this punch and have interest in selling me 50 punchies in black Bazzill?
Email me if so.
Thank you.



My head feels like it weighs fifty pounds and my chest feels like it has a gorilla sitting on it. The boys gave me a cold...bless their little hearts.

I'm going to bed.
For a year.



Only had time for one garage sale today but it was a good one--and a benefit for the elephant sanctuary as well. :) I found this awesome little cookbook from's Betty Crocker's Cooky Book and it's in excellent condition. And it was a buck.

I distinctly remember oogling this book at the library when I was a in grade school. The pictures in it are fabulous. And the recipes...
The other "find" was a boat-load of National Geographic magazines. Those are like gold for home schooling and pre-k people who like to make collages.
Continuing the vacation story, Joal's company had their annual do-something-fun-on-Saturday-night-after-the-big-meeting shindig at the Dallas World Aquarium. It's always neat to hang out with people from all over the country who do what Joal does and get to know them and their families. That's one of the things I love most about this company--they are very familial.
One of Joal's counterparts for NWYC in the Northeast is a man who came here from Nigeria more than 20 years ago. He one of the top salesmen and I had the pleasure of meeting he and his wife on the first cruise. Fast forward to early in the summer, and we got word that B had taken some time off to take his family to Nigeria for a visit--the first time he'd been back. And then later we got word that he had been detained in Nigeria and while his family was allowed to return to the states, he was being hassled about some paperwork. According to the Nigerian system, the paperwork they claimed he needed in order to return to the states would take 8 month to a year to process. The Nigerians confiscated his passport and told him to wait.
Being active and vocal in our government is what NWYC encourages all Americans to do...and it's what the home office team did on behalf of B, with efficiency and dedication. The president of the company and the team in Washington DC started contacting people in places who could get this fixed and within a few weeks B was back on American soil. NWYC people were praying and working on his behalf and God used them to make this happen.
On Sunday, we picked up the boys from my parents and drove home to TN.
Some of you may not know that my husband is a classically-trained, degreed musician and his real job gets in the way of his passion most of the time. He loves NWYC (and has for all his 9 years), but he loves music too. He writes and sings and plays guitar. I have come to refer to his music as "thinking-man's folk music". The stuff he writes is not brainless fluff--it's thoughtful--you have to pay attention to get it. If I had to compare him to someone it would be David Wilcox. Very observational and of course, guitar driven.
Joal recorded two inde albums while we were in college...many many moons ago. (Guess who did the cover art?)
So why am I telling you this? Yesterday was a big day. He finally got to spend a few hours in a studio laying down 14 songs. It's so stinking cool to have his newest stuff on disc...and on my computer now too! It's quite raw and gritty and I love it.



Found this picture of Andy today, that he uploaded to his myspace page ten days ago. His internet time has been so limited lately he hadn't had time for myspace so I quit checking it for a while. Somehow I missed this. I wish for more pictures every day and then I get one and it creates such turmoil. I have questions but no one to ask. There's worry in the pit of my stomach that I can't even begin to put words to. I listen intently to the news on the radio hoping simultaneously that there will be some mention of the goings on in AFG and praying that there is nothing newsworthy happening there.

There is only one comfort. The same God that walks me thru every day on this side of the planet is the exact God who knows the precise valley where my brother is on patrol on the other side of the planet. While it feels like he's a million miles away, we look up and take in the sight of the very same moon and stars. I pray for him and I know God hears my prayers. As Joni Erikson Tada wrote: "There is never a place where He is not."

I know this song (recorded by Dierks Bentley) was written as a romantic love song, but I think it could be read with a different meaning as well. As you read it, think of it as I do--as a song from God to each one of us--whether on the banks of the Cumberland or on the other side of the planet in an Afghani valley, and all points in between.

"My Love Will Follow You"

Take your suitcase and take your heart
Take a train to the boulevard
My love will follow you, my love will follow you
You can try to lose yourself downtown
You can burn all your bridges down
My love will follow you, yeah my love will follow you

My love will follow you
Down every highway of your soul
You can leave me far behind
But my love will be your shadow

Everywhere you go
So close the door, turn in the key
Leave me here like a memory
My love will follow you, my love will follow you

Even on a road that takes you down where
Cords of human kindness come unwound
My love will follow you, yeah my love will follow you
If you should go so far, that you cannot get back
You may not remember, but my heart will not lose track
So go ahead and take that train
In my heart you'll still remain

My love will follow you, my love will follow you
My love will follow you
Oh, follow you
My love will follow you


The weekend went by so fast...seems like it should still be Friday here. So where to start. The men and I took off on Wednesday of last week to my parents, on our way to Joal's annual company meeting in Dallas. Arrived at the meeting on Thursday. The boys and I dropped him off at the gorgous Richardson Hotel and then we hit ReCollections! Can I just say...WOW! What a loaded store. I've never seen a store with so much old and new stuff. Excellent selection of albums...that always impresses me. Great displays and a superb collection of cardstock. It was easy to spend there. My only complaint is that it's aisles were only 1 person wide, so I was feeling a little crowded, with my guys in tow.

ReCollections was among the first chain scrap stores to be built in Texas. I visited the first one (not this one) a few years back, when it first opened. It was nice then...but nothing like this.

We spent about two hours there, got some lunch and headed back to my parents. On Friday, we hung out with Nana and Pawpaw (my parents). After lunch, I needed to find a Post Office so we went out for a ride. Wouldn't ya know it, there was a scrapbook store right across the street from the little post office in Nash, Texas.

Scrapbooker's Emporium was a very nice store and is (I think) the only free-standing, non-house scrapbook store I've ever seen. Neat place. Not many samples but a great sale on my favorite adhesive tape, an overflowing discount bin of stickers to bribe certain boys with and the newest Technique Tuesday stamps! As I later told my honey, when one finds her favorite adhesive on sale, one must indulge, ya know. :) Needless to say, I'm good on adhesive for a while.

On Friday evening we grilled hamburgers with my parents and grandmother and had a lovely time. The boys gave my dad a workout when they discovered he could and would push them around my grandmother's h-u-g-e backyard in the wheelbarrow.

On Saturday, I left early and went to Dallas alone for some shopping and resting. For the longest time I have wanted to visit IKEA, and Saturday morning, I did. I have to say, I was a little underwhelmed. Now that I have seen it, I can easily shop online. I don't just seemed like a Pier One on steroids. My love of graphic and sleek does not extend to furniture. I'm more of a handmade, antiquities kinda girl than I thought, apparently. I enjoyed seeing it and found a great deal on small glass pitchers and some finger puppets for my Sunday School class.

After IKEA (which only took an hour), I managed to find (with the genius of Karen) three more scrapbook stores. The Scrap Bucket is a cool place where I found some wonderful samples displayed. The Scrap Bucket features hundreds of little tin buckets in the middle of the store, filled with items that are usually sold in packages, unpackaged so they can be purchased individually. So instead of buying an entire alphabet in the KI HeartFelt Letters, you can pick thru and buy only the letters you want, at a slightly higher piece price. In theory, this is a good idea but I don't go into a scrapbook store with layouts in I have no idea what letters I will need. I only spent three dollars there. The buckets were a little overwhelming and I am not one to dig. I did, however, ask to take a photo of this layout, that I thought was totally excellent:

Note the Scenic Route!

I did notice that The Scrap Bucket logo seems a little close, design-wise to the logo of another famous bucket store. Odd.

Next I ventured to The Scrap Spot, a small store near the hotel. I have visited The Scrap Spot in years past. It's very crowded and all the racking and shelves sit right on the floor--a pet peeve of mine. It's divided by theme and has a "bucket" section too. The woman who works there is very friendly. I did notice that not much had changed since I was there back in November. The sign always throws me off. I looks like it ought to be the sign of an ice cream parlor.

If you go to Dallas looking for a store called Scrapbook University...don't bother. Apparently it has closed. Or moved.
After all my shopping, I got some Chinese food and headed back to the hotel. I'm not sure if I ordered wrong of if the Chinese place goofed up my order but I ended up with what I think was Shrimp in Lobster Sauce when I thought I ordered Sweet and Sour Shrimp, but by the time I discovered it I was back at the hotel in my jammies, so I just picked the shrimp out and ate some of the broth and the rice. I spent the rest of the afternoon piled up in the hotel room napping and taking a nice long shower before getting ready for the evening.

Stay tuned for part two later on tonight!



jzzzwzzzu, jjgjjffjftduifr676r7t5y6 gofode8ur'hu-k

Well, sorry about that. The above was brought to you by my guest blooger, G-man. I started the post, left it unattended while the photos loaded and then of course, forgot about it. This morning (Tuesday) when I got back to ye ol' blog, there it was. I inquired of Julian, and he ratted his brother out.

Booger. Send the boy to pre-K and he thinks he can take over the blog. :)

Anyway, the top picture is of my favorite flowers in my kitchen.

The second is a layout I finished after the crop on Saturday. It's a total scraplift from a pea. Here's the original by namturemomm at 2Peas. With this layout, I used a new ink pad--Colorbox Fluid Chalk in Dark Brown. It's a "cat eye" and oh's so juicy and smoothe. Talk about easy inking!

It also uses my new set of QK Frankie Skinni Mini. Love those!

The third photo is my friend Michele, who was at the crop I went to in Hendersonville on Saturday. She's a Creative Memories Consultant. It was good to see her again and see all the new items that CM is coming into the current century with. They really are doing some nice stuff. I like the concept of the Picfolio...and the punchie-lover in me is drawn to some of their newest punches.

I also got to sit with Debbi. It was good to catch up. I'm looking forward to our Scrap Night at home!

In other news, I think I'm over the cropping frenzy. It seems I can never pack adequately (I always forget something vital--this time it was my trimmer and brown Bazzill) and something odd/awkward always happens to me.

This time it was an awkward situation regarding the items I had on the yard sale table. Another cropper approached me and said she didn't have any money but she really wanted some punches I was selling for super cheap. I said I would accept a check (it was $12). She said she didn't have her checkbook. She said she lived down the street and asked if I lived nearby. I don't (I drove about 28 miles to the crop). She asked if I was coming to the crop at ___ church. I said no. I'm still not sure what she wanted me to do. I don't even know her name...but how does one expect to shop--even at a yard sale table--without money? I'm still a little baffled by it.

It was a nice crop, overall. The positives:
  • The inside of the fascility was great for scrapbooking.
  • The lunch was 3 kinds of lasagna--a wonderful deviation from the usual pizza
  • The spa treatments looked delighful (and were included in the price of the crop)
  • No music
  • Quite a few door prizes and I was lucky enough to win 2--one from the CTMH consultant that was very cool

The challenges:

  • I have a feeling that the vendor to scrapper ratio was way out of whack.
  • The steps in the front were challenging, bordering on dangerous (not the fault of the crop planners, just an observation)
  • The bathroom had short potties and short salloon-style swinging doors placed way too high and too close to the pottie. Talk about something obviously designed by a man who has never sat to pee. :) If the need to go hadn't been so imperritive, I would have waited.

So now you know.



Have you ever noticed that "Nuthin'" is always "Somethin'"?
With children.
And it's usually a bigger somethin' than the person who claims to be doing nuthin' thinks.
If I have one nugget of parental advice (and really I shouldn't), it's this.
Nuthin' equals Somethin'

Me from another room: "What are you doing?"
Boy in different room: "Nuthin'"
Me: "What are you doing nuthin' with?"
Boy: "Ummm."
Insert extended silence.

Like snipping the ends off an entire box of popsicles at once, for the express purpose of seeing what color was inside and being able to pick the desired color.
Or seeing what happens when one throws a plastic fork into the ceiling fan.
Or _______.

I'm sure this could be a very long list.


This is a common site in our freezer. It's Daddy's favorite dessert--Purity Heavenly Hash Frozen Yogurt. He puts bananas on top of his bowl of yogurt in some sort of amusing effort to make it healthy...LOL! So with this in mind, you can imagine how amped Julian was to go on a homeschool group field trip to the Purity Dairy, where Daddy's favorite concoction is made. It was pretty neat, so he says...and I have to agree. The line was producing 4-ounce cups of vanilla for schools and hospitals today...

The plant tour includes a sample cup of ice that's what I call a great home school field trip! And yet, curiously, he wouldn't smile--not even while eating his own favorite--strawberry yogurt.

While we were on the tour I forgot to ask my two questions:
a) do people who work on the line still like ice cream?
b) what are some of the flavors that have been rejected?

Field Trips are my favorite part of home schooling. Our next one is to a bakery.

On a completely different note, would anyone care to take a guess at what these bags contain?

My clothing.
Going to The Salvation Army Donation Place.
Because they are too BIG.

My closet is sufffering from a severe lack of content, but I couldn't be any happier. Included in these bags are 3 pairs of pants that I had to stop wearing, lest they quite literally fall down. Isn't that an awesome problem to have?! Weight and health are such a struggle for me, but as I have noted in the past, a little bit of success breeds a great deal of success, for which I am completely grateful.

And of course, it means new clothing. Which means shopping. That I may actually enjoy.

This is Mr. Too Cool on the first day of Pre-K. I could have more easily coaxed a smile from a president on Mt Rushmore than gotten a nice smile out of him on Tuesday. He was all about the buisness of Pre-K and in no mood for the mom-arazzi.

Luckily in the afternoon he was a tad more agreeable. :)

In personal scrapbooking news, I'm going to be participating in the design team and teaching a class or two in the near future at Scrapn' Memories, my (l)ocal (s)crapbook (s)tore. The last time I taught in a LSS, was just after Grey was born (did I mention he's now 4.5?) so I'm looking forward to getting back to something I love. I'm in good company: Dana Beckman, Chelle Green, Jessica Turner, Mary Ann Rhodes, Pam Byrd, Christine Long, Jill Barrett and Gretchen Owens.

And I'm going on a trip to Dallas in a few weeks and planning to take in three stores and IKEA, while I'm there. You can count on a report.

And finally, my letter to the editor of our small community paper was published this week. You can read here, if you want.

And CC to my sister: you can read about the mall progress here, but only until Saturday.

May all your clothing fit nicely and

may all your ice cream be yummy!

Happy Thursday!



Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
when there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand,
to be loved as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.