I Will Not Make the Leap.

I will not get into digital scrapbooking.
I will not get into digital scrapbooking.
I will not...

So I have had this little label image kit in my cart at 2Peas for-ever. Something about it just rings my bell. It's $4. I couldn't buy a package of labels for $4, right. And look how many sizes...

So, today I caved and bought said kit. Thank you Jennifer Pebbles. Doesn't she just have the perfect name for being a Pea?

And have been cutting out swooshy labels all evening. Just look at all the gallery layouts showing the possibilites! I'm positively stoked. Even though I showed Joal and I think he somehow didn't quite catch on to my excitement. I learned something new today.

I also found a few things that interest me today:

A scrap blog - My Next Thirty Years

Another paper lover blog - Cut 'n Paste (Caarolyn Peeler, the amazing)

A commentary from Phyllis Schlafly on the Crisis for Boys in Education - Eagle Forum Commentary on the Radio (scroll down the menu)

And finally, Messenger of Joy.

But then I also said I would never wear a sleeveless dress and I'm considering this one for the cruise. I like the color. Alot. I'm waffleing on the shortness that would require heels. I'm 5'6". I don't usually do heels.

So now you know.


Simple Girl

It's true. I'm a simple girl and simple things make me happy. No high-maintanance issues here.

I've been looking for this particular set of Club Scrap stamps for years and was thrilled to find them listed on SBA a few days ago for $2.50. (Can you say bargain?) They arrived in my mailbox today and it totally made my day.

Last night I made a new grocery shopping/recipe journal using my last sheet of what is most likely my all-time favorite paper from Scenic Route. Yes, I've been hoarding it for something special because it's my last sheet. It's truly vintage. :) It's no longer available from Scenic Route. I tried to make it dressy but after several unsatisfactory attemps, I gave up and left it as is. It's nice to have a fresh place to keep recipe ideas and grocery lists.

In other news, my blog friend Mimi completed this little meme (Mimi, meme...funny huh) and I thought it was too good to pass up. Hey, it's food-related. I can do a food-meme with my eyes closed. :)

Take the letters of your name and add a food-related factoid for each one.

S-Salt. I love salt and salty things. From childhood, I have over-salted, most everything. One of my limited memories of my maternal grandmother is that she was always saying salt would "dry up your blood". Turns out she's right, but I still love it. Especially kosher salt.

A-Averse to anything black. I don't do black olives, squid ink, or anything "blackened". I've always thought blackened was a fancy way of saying "burned", and I'm not buying it. Something about black just isn't appetizing to me.

R-Recipes. I enjoy reading recipes. I rarely cook anything new...but I love recipes.

A-Apples. I think apples are one of the most wonderful fruits on the planet. See, another simple thing.

H-Hot Ham and Cheese, Grilled. This is my "go to" food for anytime someone in my house is sick or we are crunched for time. It's like a magic food. Always tastes good (unless of course, you end up with it "blackened") and always soothes. Have you ever made a Double-Decker Grilled Ham and Cheese on Sourdough bread? Now that, my friends, is divine.

And finally, I have the Monday Challenge up over at the Scrap'n Memories blog. Check it out.

So now you know.



I love hearing the how and why of other home school families and after being asked again today about why we are home schooling one son and likely not the other, I was prompted to post this. (Written October 2006)

Our story has 2 parts.

Part one -- my husband was home schooled from grade 6 to grade 12. If ever there was a poster child for successful home schooling, I'm married to him. His father was/is a pastor and they moved quite a bit due to his vocation. This played a large part in the decision to home school their children. He has a younger brother and a younger sister...who were both home schooled from grades 1-12. Joal received a college scholarship as a result of his high ACT scores and musical talent. We met the first day of college and have been together ever since. He was valedictorian of our class in college and graduated with honors from 2 different colleges with 2 BS degrees--Biblical Literature and Vocal Performance.

People are often shocked to learn that Joal was home schooled. He's a born musician and songwriter. He is the kind of person who happens to life instead of the other way around. In high school, Joal did things like start a band and make 2 inde albums, work several jobs, play soccer and travel to Alaska (from New York) on a missions trip. Knowing him as I do, I have no doubt that a traditional school setting would have stifled him horribly.

Vocationally, he is a sales manager and trainer for a legislative research company and has been with the same company for 8 years now. He talks about life and liberty with good Americans everyday. He blows the alleged home school/socialization problem out of the galaxy. In truth, he's far more socially adept than I am.

When we were engaged, one of his parents main concerns was if I was open to home schooling our future children.

I was/am the product of several public school systems. I was an OK student...good grades, no real problems, no stand-out areas either. School wasn't necessarily something I hated but we did move several times and that was somewhat traumatic. My siblings are all significantly younger than I am and the year I graduated from public high school, my brother started third grade. My father was/is a pastor and there was what my parents considered to be a moral problem with my brother's third grade class that prompted my parents to begin home schooling. Less than 3 months later they moved to Texas and have home schooled ever since. I have 2 brothers and a sister...oldest brother is in college in an engineering program, next brother is in the Army about to ship out to Italy and my little sister graduated from home school last May. She will start college in January 07.

So, yeah, my parents homeschooled everyone but me.

With that in mind, I was open to homeschooling when my husband-to-be asked me how I felt about it, although I wasn't completely sure about it. We were married in 1991 and Julian was born in 1996.

This is part two of our story...a special-needs child.

I was all set to home school until we started to realize that Julian at 1.5 years was experiencing some significant developmental delays (walking, talking, fine motor skills). At 2 he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a complication of premature birth. At 3, his pediatrician recommended that we have some testing done by the school system and that resulted in several doctors and therapists advising us to have him enrolled in an early pre-k program. School at 3! Hindsight being what it is, I can't help but wonder what I was thinking.

I was led to believe and accepted that my child had needs that could only be met by a professional in a school environment. The one time I dared to ask if any of these services could be received in our home instead of in the school setting (he was only 3 after all) the therapist told me that he needed more than I could give him. (What I would say to that now!)

Honestly, I regret that I didn't fight harder for my child. I wish we hadn't spent 5 years wading thru a very broken school system. Julian was in the special ed program his entire time in school. He was passed along and moved around (to 3 different metro schools) thru 2 years of pre-k, k, 2 years of first grade and then 2 months into second grade, his teacher told me she didn't have time to plan for him so she had moved him to a table in the corner and given him coloring sheets instead of work in hopes of keeping him from distracting the other children. I remember thinking if that's all she's doing, I could certainly achieve that at home.

At this time his behavior was deteriorating due to sheer boredom and he was showing up in the principal's office for an inability to control his impulses. In truth, Julian enjoyed the principal's office. It had a comfortable sofa and a fire extinguisher and a window with a view. It also offered him interaction with adults, something he has always preferred. By this point I had encountered a therapist at the school who was determined that Julian should be placed in a special school in Madison (we live in Bellevue) where 100% of the students have "challenges". Knowing how much Julian responds to external input, I had no intention of even considering placing him where there was no positive, normal peer influence. Not to mention the extreme distance of 30-40 miles from our home.

Given my background and Joal's, we knew that we were going to have to take the bull by the horns and be the parents God meant for us to be. We started looking at options and more and more the only thing that made sense was for us to bring him home to school. Over the course of about three weeks, I began to get educated about modern home schooling and tackling the learning problems he was facing that were not being addressed. Our new mission became clear. The best thing for Julian was to get out of a system that was failing him and giving up on him and into the care of his parents and family.

I do not have a teaching degree. I do not have special training to deal with learning disabilities and attention deficit. However, no one is more motivated than I am to find what he needs to learn and become a Godly man, a good and productive citizen and a well-educated person, despite the learning disabilities he faces. We have one motto: We do not give up. We find a way. Sometimes we do it personally. Sometimes we find the right professional for advice or interaction. Parent-led education does not mean that the parent does it means that the parent is responsible for getting it done thru whatever means necessary.

I am blessed to not be in this fight alone and yes, I do call it a fight. It's not easy. In fact, it's the hardest thing I have ever done. Everything we have been thru has taught me that "train up a child" does not look the same for all children. Thanks be to God that I have a pediatrician that I trust and who shares our faith. I have a child psychiatrist who listens to me and trusts my judgment as much as her own. I have Christian parents and in-laws who are invaluable based on their many years of experience and their vested interests. I have a husband who is my champion. He never fails to believe that we can find a way to see Julian succeed...even if that way looks different from every other schooling model around. I am blessed with a younger son who appears to have none of his brother's challenges and who has a smile that brightens my every moment.

So, looking back, I think we were brought to this place of home schooling kicking and screaming and feeling monumentally unqualified and unable...but God is faithful and He provides wisdom when we need it most. We were definitely running away from a poor, unsuccessful traditional school setting that no longer had Julian's interests at heart. I went thru a period of anger toward the system but have since just moved on. From the inside out, based on 5 years of experience, for children with special challenges or gifts, I do believe that much of our American education system is failing. I do not claim to have answers and I admit that it may seem selfish to say I am saving my child as best I can but at this point that is my goal. I pray for our schools and our school administrators and board members regularly. I realize that schools are necessary and can be a good experience for some children so I hope for the best for them and pray for their improvement (and vote accordingly).

UPDATE: We have just entered our fourth year of home schooling Julian and while what we do looks nothing like a traditional school, it is meeting his needs--educational and emotional. It's still very difficult and something that requires constant daily re-evaluation. It's a very sensitive topic with me--hence the blog entries.

I think the ordinary citizen has very little idea how broken the Special Education system is. Is this a national problem of just a local one? I don't know. I've only participated in 3 schools, all in the Metro-Nashville system. Inclusion is not all it's cracked up to be. In many cases, inclusion (which at times feels like nothing more than an over-reaction to years of exclusion) seems to be the excuse for not providing what a child actually needs.

Students in an inclusion program can be blamed for slowing down a class or for being a distraction to the class. One of Julian's teachers looked at me with such disdain when I asked if she had completed some of his IEP worksheets. She indignantly reminded me that she has 30 other students to plan for and take care of. "He gets his attention from the Special Ed teacher" she said. "I have 30 other students who need me." This from the teacher who he spent half his day with. Don't think the other students didn't pick up on her attitude. Believe me, they did.

And there are funding issues. Many funding issues. At one point in the IEP process, I was told that the entire team agreed that Julian needed an aide (a one-on-one para-professional person) but that there wasn't enough money to provide one. No alternatives were given. It was a simple consessionary fact: the school could not do what needed to be done.

Is this common? I don't know. Should I fight it and *demand* more? Do I want to be that parent? I considered all the options. Even if I threw a fit, went to the school board, demanded what was legally his by law, and got it...what does that gain him? Suddenly, he's the child of "that mother". Will that really serve him in a way that is helpful and educational? I just don't think so.

At the end of his time in school, it was recommended by the principal that I come to the school and eat lunch with Julian every day, because he had such a difficult time managing the cafeteria. I did so for more than a month. Every day, with a small baby in tow, I ate lunch with my son and managed his behavior. It was an eye-opening experience. With G in tow, it was also a pain, but we survived.

I don't write all this to tell you what a good Mom I am or what a saintly thing I have done. Please. Don't read it like that. Home schooling is a small part of our journey--a path that we walk mostly because we have no other choices. It's not something that is a good fit for every family. It's just one option--one that works for us.

More on that tomorrow.


Scenic ROUTE Cardage

Scenic Route Class today...this is one of the cards we made.

It's a very simple process...just use the 7 Gypsies self-inking stamp to create the squares on a variety of papers. Cut the squares out and attach to the card in a random fashion.

Finished card is 6x6.

Happy Weekend.


Class Tomorrow

My Scenic Route Class at Scrap'n Memories is tomorrow--Saturday, October 27. Here's a peek:
In class we will complete three cards, a composition book and a mini-calendar all using the Scenic Route Ashville line.
If you have a little time in the afternoon, I think there are 2 seats left.


ADS that inspire and 2 Cards.

I have these two advertisements hanging on my desk. I am enthralled with this color scheme at the moment. The Liz ad makes me want to redecorate my bedroom--I already have the chocolate walls, but the linens are lacking. Look at the texture pattern on the duvet cover. And the sheets. I'm cutting leaves out of a Scenic Route paper that look very similar. :)

The Larson-Juhl ad makes me want to be artistic. See the frames. I am so doing this. :)

In other news, I'm totally on a card roll. See! The birthday card is another of the items from that Karen Foster "I Love Bugs" sticker sheet.


From Scott Roley

Christ is not just an answer.

Christ is no mere answer to the questions. He is everything. He is thorough. He is throughout. He is God’s consummate provision for everything personal and for everything universal. All of the brokeness that could come from the fall, is found redeemed in this One that is holy.

--Scott Roley {Oct 21, 2007}



I've acquired several new sets of clear stamps lately and last night I finally got them into CD cases. Being organized always feels so good. :)

Did you know that acrylic stamps are not actually acrylic stamps? The stamps are made of photopolymer. It's the blocks that are acrylic. Kinda like altering isn't really altering...

I have a quick card project on the Scrap'n Memories blog.

  • Did you read the Sweet Pickles Books as a child? I found one of them--Yakety Yak Yak Yak--at The Salvation Army for 39 cents last week and boy, did it take me back. I know some adults who could stand a good reading of this book. :) Especially in the age of cell-phone stupidity.



The Pumpkin Farm excursion with friends was quite grand. And very sunny!


Life under the Sun...flower.

Blogger is acting snarky so click here to see my picture of today's beauty. I'll load more tomorrow or whenever the misbehavin' blog software stops being grenchy.


Last re-run on the card

Last one...promise. It's night time so I had to scan. Balloons painted with crystal glitter paint. The "I love you" charm is actually on the inside of the card--there's a hole punched thru the front so it can be seen.
I'm stopping now.
Moving on to the big daisy.
But a tidbit of advice...when all else fails paint it with glitter!

The Card Again

Here's my upgraded version of the card from last week's make and take.
{I adore those label stickers by Lil Davis. Wish I had more. I should probably make some of these wouldn't be hard.}
  • Quickutz Revolution balloon die
  • Quickutz Nesting Squares die
  • Black pen and black ink
  • Label stickers from Lil Davis
  • ruler and corner rounder
  • Daisy Bucket Stamp
  • ribbon
  • cardstock
I have in my hot little hands the new *Sugar coated Adhesive Chipboard Alpha* from Doodlebug Designs in the famous beetle black...oh man. Glittery black letters just in time for pumpkin decorating!!
In other news, I'm sharing a tip for frugal scrapbooking. Do with it as you will. :)
Instead of spending $3 on a package of band-name pop-dots, make your own. A sheet of fun foam at a craft store will run you less than 50 cents. Apply tape adhesive to both sides as needed. *POOF* Pop dots in any size you want. For almost nothing.
Alternatively, one could also use layers of leftover chipboard.

Attention Target Shoppers

Volcanic Mommy rant ahead.
Dont say you weren't warned.

Attention Target Shoppers--yeah, I'm talking to you, lady in the green jacket, near the music. Would you please kindly remove your glaring eyes from my child. Your lack of information is showing and it's not pretty.

You think you know. But you don't.

Yes. I do know what you are thinking. It's written plainly in your glare and I've seen it before. Judgement. Lack of understanding. Condemnation. Sometimes pity, though I don't know why.

Yes. He's 5' tall, weighs 90 pounds and is 11 years old. He looks like a pretty normal young man on the outside, especially to someone who hasn't spoken to him in a conversation or seen him run full-tilt. Or picked him up off the floor after an emotional meltdown. Yes, I realize that it must look odd for his mother to have his foot hoisted onto her bent knee, tying his shoes. But to stare...and glare. Geesh.

I admit you probably don't see it every day...but in the scheme of things is it really such a shocking sight that you feel compelled to stare? And exhibit signs of attitude?

Don't think I didn't notice. I only pray he didn't.

What you don't know is that it's the fourth time today I have stopped to tie his shoes. It took 45 minutes for us to find two actual socks that he could get onto his feet and remain tolerant of until shoes could cover them. He's conviced that sockage is the motherly equivalent of modern day torture devices.

No, it's not something I really understand, but so what.

What you don't know is that I've seen that look before. No, not on your specific face but on plenty others. I recognize it a little too easily now and the pain of it lives right on the top of that part of me that grew in when I became his mother. No. It doesn't get easier. Each disdainful glare shoots a laser guided missile right into my stomach.

Yes, to the uninformed eye, he looks like he should be tying his own boots and wiping his own mouth with a napkin and getting his own zipper zipped and at times, controlling the drool on his lips and enunciating with a great deal more clarity...and a hundred other things I coud list. But the fact of the matter is--he can't.

He can't tie his own boots. His fingers don't work in conjunction with his brain to complete a multi-step process like shoe tying. They just don't. I know. I have tried to teach him. More times than anyone should.

What you don't know is that this child's body is broken, but not in an obvious way. Part of his brain is undeveloped and unusable. It appears on MRIs as a dark spot. Not a mass...just darkness. No electricity. It has not changed since birth and barring something miraculous, it is not going to suddenly come on like a light. It's the likely cause of seizures that bring chaos and havoc on his little life and his not-so-little body and a slew of other challenges--not the least of which is enduring staring, glaring, uninformed people.

Live with that for a minute and then glare at me for helping my son.


Make and Take Happiness

Today was Scrap'n Memories Anniversary Celebration and each of the teachers conducted a make-and-take for the customers. And boy, were there customers! It was so much fun to see the store covered up with people! My contribution was a hands-on with the Quickutz Revolution making this card:

The frame is made with the Nesting Squares die set and the balloons with a 4x4 die. Ink up the balloons with a touch of black ink on the edges for extra definition. Add string, pop dots, a sweet Daisy Bucket Clearly Petite stamp and round the corners for a quick card.
Stay tuned for the amped up version using ribbon and a few additional variations. Make and Takes are supposed to be simple and quick--a jumping off point--a demonstration of a tool or product. I always get so jazzed by the different ideas that people share while doing these little projects.
As an extra special treat I even got to meet Hollye of Hollye's Hobby blog. (Waving!)
Hope you are have a creative weekend!



So you may have noticed that there's a new(ish) term floating around the scrap community--"hybrid scrapbooking". This term refers to the marriage of traditional paper scrapbooking with computer-driven or digital scrapbooking elements.

It's something many people have been doing even without realizing. Photo manipulation (cropping and correcting), computer journaling, printing titles, making your own background paper (see my LO)--all "hybrid scrapbooking". Who knew?

The journaling for this layout is on the back of the page and is kinda personal so I'm not sharing it, but let me tell you, this child takes his "school" very seriously and it's been a sweet thing for me to watch him do take to the school model.

The little tags and brackets at the bottom are from a sticker sheet by Doodlebug Designs. (Love cardstock stickers).

There's a scrumptious Aussie blog showing off some hot Scenic Route right here. Get an eyefull.

I'm laying low for a bit. Stuff to do. Things to mourn. Hurts to get over. Tasks to accomplish. Boys to love. Fall to relish.

Can I just preach for a moment...don't underestimate the power of kind words. But in the same vein, even kind words mean nothing if they are insincere. Everyone likes to say "Didn't your moma teach you if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"...but really, sometimes you need to say things that aren't necessarily *nice*. I know it's not a very southern way to think, but life is not about nice. My mom also taught me to be honest. Be real, but be kind. You can do both if your heart is in the right place.

And that's the news from Lake Woe-is-me... hope you are swell.



a--drugs. pre-dentist and post-dentist...dude. I could so get used to the hazy life. if ya wasn't um like...illegal and deadly. it was nice to sleep good.

a1--I am so grateful for a husband who knows the meaning of loving in the "in sickness" part of "in sickness and in health. He is so good at caring.

b--if you haven't visited Tina Cockburn's blog, today is the day. Don't miss her a-maz-ing fruity-licious photos today. I'm tellin' ya...ya just don't want to miss this.

c--scrapbook stores in this town (general vacinity) are droppin' like flies these days. Just this week, one closing was announced and I heard that another is for sale. I hate it for them. It's so important to support your LSS if you want them to stay around.

On that note, Scrapn' Memories is celebrating their first birthday this Saturday. If you stop by between 10 and 2, you'll be treated to a wonderful array of make-and-takes by all the Scrap'n Memories teachers (including myself) and other fun birthday things! I hope to see you there!

d--I'm starting a new blog. Check it out here.

e--I'm purging. Scrapbook stuff that is. If you would like "the box of unknown stuff", email me atscrappinsarah at msn dot com . It may be stuff you like. May not. It's a risk. It's just all sorts of stuff. Scrap and paper crafting stuff. I'm not taking the time to try and sell you on the contents. If you generally see yourself as a trash-to-treasure person, you'll like this. If your too high-falutin' for a garage sale, you'll probably want to pass on this. Anyway, the deal is, when you get the box, you take out what you like, add some stuff you no longer need and then post to your own blog to find the box a new home...and it goes on and on. Don't be a booger and keep the box. That's rude. I'll have to send you all sorts of junk mail if you are a booger. :)

f--There's a new baseball movie coming out this weekend..."Final Season". I'm stoked.

That's all for today.



Have you ever ripped a photo?

So you know that I have an intense love for tearing paper, right?
Including photo paper.
Torn photos...what a criminal act.
Say a prayer for me on Monday, if you can--I'm going to the dentist. Before discovering sedation dentistry, I was tormented by the dentist. Now, it's downgraded to a just a necessary evil. With sedation, I take a pill the night before and two pills the morning of and sleep like a baby. No running back and forth for multiple appointments, no hairy anxiety, no pain. Come home and sleep it off for about twelve hours. I remember nothing. It's the only way to go, if you ask me.
Joal's home. (Those are two very sweet words.) He went to Dallas this week to record a training DVD for his company. I've been ribbing him about being a movie star...ahhh, yes, a man of many talents I am married to. LOL!
Happy World Card Making Day!
What's your favorite kind of chocolate?
PS I can't figure out what is making my blog posts be so sporadically spaced. I'm working on it.



I fell in love with these little felt pumpkins a while back at the craft store. The boys and I made magnets out of some of them but I snagged a few for card-making. (The finished size of the folded card above is 5.5" x 8.5", so you can tell, they are a good size. The striped paper is Scenic Route's newest...Ashville. De-lish.
I was surprised by how well I liked the pale blue background. Pale blue isn't usually what I think of when I see pumpkins...until now. :)
In other news, Noell Hymen of the Paperclipping blog posted some thoughts about acid-free scrapbooking yesterday. This, in particular, jumped out at me:
We take more pictures than any generation before us.
We document more events, feelings, thoughts, and stories than ever before.
If some of the pages don’t withstand the years because of periodic acidic
items, our children and grandchildren will still inherit many more
well-preserved photos than what we’ll get (or got) from our parents.

For most people, I think she's right on the money. The birth of consumer-friendly (easy and affordable for even novice photographers) digital cameras and home-printing systems has changed the face of personal and family photography, especially in the last ten years and nowhere is this more true than among scrapbookers. Since going digital in 2006, I have taken more than ten thousand images. (Luckily, I've only printed a small fraction of those.) The freedom to snap off twenty shots in hopes of getting one good one--one that is worthy of scrapbooking--is amazing and creatively liberating, in a way that I never suspected it would be. There is no "film commitment" to worry about and deleting excess is as easy as 2 clicks.

Becasue of this ability to be selective with what I save and what I print, I have more photos to choose from, and by extension, more photos to scrapbook and store. In the pre-digital days, I would be lucky to get 2-5 great shots per roll of film and to find them, I had to have the entire roll printed. Now, I only print what I love and plan to scrapbook. Where I was previously getting only 2-5 scrap-worthy photos per 100% of what I print is scrap-worthy. Think of the $$ saved!

However, how does this apply to the future of scrapbooking? I agree with Noell that my children will likely inherit far more photos and scrapbooks than anyone in my family ever has, for a variety of reasons. But what if they don't want them? What if, despite my attempts at brainwashing, my sons don't care about "Mom's hobby" and what it yields? What if there are so many volumes of scrapbooks documenting their childhoods and lives, that they find it overwhelming and inconvenient to have the scrapbooks and albums? How would I feel if I were in their shoes?

It seems pretty easy for me to rack up a single scrapbook of every one to two years of our lives. The average lifespan of a woman in America is a nice round 73 years. If I end up on the same pace, I will leave behind at least 36.5 albums! Do I really want to burden my sons with that many volumes...

Stay tuned.