Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 31

Well, here we are ... on the last photo-a-day for December. Today's photo is another one I found in the photo drawer. It was taken in November 1980 upon our arrival home from the hospital with our second precious little boy and while that is worth emphasis, in this post I will focus on that orange VW Bus in the background.
Yes ... the first family "mini van." I loved that car ... driving over the front wheels, manual transmission, the entire interior could be hosed out after a soccer game ... or a big spill, and it could transport a carload of people. I guess I should add what it couldn't do ... travel uphill at the minimum posted speed limit, could make surprise lane changes on a windy day, and the body felt like you were driving a tin can. With all that said ... we have many precious memories involved as owners of that van. And there are some incidences that we can now laugh at decades later that were pretty scary at the time.
Several months ago my co-worker and I had a great lunch conversation about our vans. She owned the same vehicle and in the same color/year. We had fun comparing our stories and I knew I would have to blog about it sooner or later.
Here are a few VW Van "disasters": One day while picking Tim up from kindergarten I got Matt out of the carseat and proceeded to slide the door shut ... only it kept going ... right off the track. No, I'm not that strong! I was only a few blocks from home but my car was filled with groceries. Thankfully the school secretary helped me get home -- I'm sure that was not in her job description. I was so thankful for her help.
We have several Wallowa Lake vacation horror stories involving the gas pump and being stranded on the darkest road between Joseph and the state park. Or when we had a gas leak between Pendleton and LaGrande. The Elgin gas station owner asked us to move it off his property. Pretty scary stuff ...
We sold this van in the late 80's to upgrade to an Astro ... well, now ... that's another chapter in car ownership.
Thanks for stopping by during the month of December. Wishing you all a happy, healthy 2009.
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 30

It was such a pleasure to enJOY a visit with Donna this afternoon. Now that the roads have cleared and we can get around we "celebrated" Christmas today with a little gift exchange.
What a clever gal ... she knows how much the family enJOYs playing a heart-pounding round of Nerts. They have witnessed the competitive, card slapping game first hand this year when it was Germer vs Dehaze : )

Can you see a theme to the cards ... clever, clever that girl. There's a deck suited to each family member. It might be interesting seeing those Ducks and Beavers flying across the table. I think we will have to separate those boys ... civil war around the card table!!!
Also in the gift bag was a gift certificate for my favorite nail salon ... a fresh manicure is a must when holding those new Barbie cards.
Another item in the bag was a small remote control lantern ... perfect for reading in the tent at Wallowa. Can't wait!
Thanks, Dehazes for the wonderful, creative and thoughtful Christmas gifts perfectly suited to our family. We are so thankful to have you in our lives. God bless you in the coming year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Working on my Goal

During the Winter Break my goal has been to start 2006 scrapbook layouts before I go back to work. Yes ... I am that far behind! I'm excited to say that I am ready to start 2005 Christmas Day layouts tomorrow so I am slowly inching toward my goal.
The digital layouts are much quicker to complete and I'm able to tell our story through multiple picture layouts that's just not possible when doing them by hand. I'm also able to fill my scrapbooks with more pages since the bulky elements are no longer a factor. I hope you are able to enJOY something fun as 2008 comes to a close.

Photo-a-Day December 29

O.K. ... so while I was in the photo drawer I found another old picture. I'm guessing I'm about two years old. For some reason this photo always triggers a deep memory ...
  • a warm day
  • sitting on a table with a tiled top for a photo shoot
  • my bedroom is being painted
... of course, I would have been too young to recall that at this age, so perhaps it's connected to some other photo event in my younger years.
It's amazing at this age what you can recall ... AND what you can't remember in the present day! hahaha

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 28

I was going through my photo drawer yesterday and found this picture. I believe it was taken in the late 50's ... now I am dating myself! We are posed in the living room at my grandparent's house during a Christmas family gathering.
Notice the icicles hanging from the tree. Many trees were decorated like this in that era. You had to put each strand of "rain" on the branches. It took hours and patience to decorate the tree in this fashion. The older I got the more I wanted to just throw it on the tree and be done with it. Do they even sell this stuff these days? I'm glad that fad is long in the past! Although, the tree does look very pretty in this picture. This must have been prior to the aluminum tree and color wheel I mentioned in an earlier post.
What a "blast from the past" ...

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 27

Bargains ... Bargains ... Bargains!
We finally got out of the house today. We can see pavement again and we don't have to stay in snow "bumper" ruts on the road to get out of our neighborhood. We actually drove 65 miles an hour on I-5!
We traveled down to the Woodburn Outlet Mall this afternoon to check out the "best buys" ... and we were not disappointed. Since the Christmas shoppers couldn't get out before the 25th the inventory was stocked and priced to sell. It was nice just to get out in the fresh air and walk without the fear of slipping. Now we only have to deal with the rain and rapidly melting snow!
Only 4 bags ... not too much "damage."

Friday, December 26, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 26

What fun we had playing Jenga with the family. I don't believe I ever played it when the boys were younger. It's hard to take your turn when the tower of blocks is swaying ... you hold your breath until your block is softly placed on top. Poor Matt ... it finally tumbled!
I got a little extra sleep this morning, tidied up around the house and worked on my 2005 scrapbooking pages. This afternoon the Gears picked us up, we grabbed a bite to eat at Baja, then off to see Marley & Me. I wasn't sure if I would like it but it was very good ... and sad. I usually read the book before seeing the movie but now I am interested in getting a copy to read. We avoided the malls and all the hustle and bustle today. Maybe tomorrow ...

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 25

Merry Christmas to All of You!
We enjoyed our White Christmas ... although, after 13 days with snow on the ground, I am ready to see pavement again. It will be years before I want to sing, "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas."
This year we desperately needed an upgrade in Christmas stockings. Matt still had a Sesame Street one! Hard to put grown-up gifts in a stocking with Big Bird on the front. We found these at Macy's yesterday while downtown and knew I had finally found the perfect stockings for the boys : )
Our morning started out with brunch: Egg & Cheese Souffle (great recipe, Home Based Mom), ham, hash browns, baked apples, cinnamon swirl coffee cake and a fresh fruit platter. I think I watched too many Food Network shows during our snow event and had to try many new recipes.
Next was opening our stockings, which always include an ornament representing something about the receiver's year. Tim's is still on a UPS truck : ) but that was the interesting part of this year's shopping -- we ended up opening several boxes with "it's on the way" messages.
This year Calleigh was interested in helping everyone open their gifts ... the paper, bows, ribbon and tape were all so very fascinating. We were all blessed with many "just what I wanted" gifts, some fun, some silly causing much laughter ... and some that brought tears. Despite the odds of the weather we enJOYed a wonderful time together as a family.
Later in the day we added a new twist to our "build your own ..." meal. This year it was Build Your Own Burrito Bar. What a great idea! Then on to a few competitive games of Connect Four and Jenga.
To top off our day we drove the eastside kids back home and got stuck in the snow at each house. Thanks to Matt's neighbors for assisting us with their shovel ... we are home safe and sound ... reminiscing about our amazing day.
More pictures to follow ...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 24

The weather couldn't cancel our family Christmas traditions. With chains on the car, light rain falling, the snow starting to melt ... we headed north to downtown Portland for our annual family day.
We met at Pioneer Square for our traditional picture, a Santa visit at Macy's, shopping at Pioneer Place and a leisurely dinner at Rock Bottom. Despite all the obstacles to our plans we had a wonderful time together ... probably one of the best. We didn't have a tight schedule and could just enJOY the day.
The only thing missing from our day was the Christmas Eve service at church. It was canceled due to weather conditions in the area. That is probably the biggest missing piece to our family tradition. We miss the soft light, worship in song, the message, being with our church family ... it is just so ingrained in our family history!
Merry Christmas to all of you!

Cookie Recipes

Marie ... I am posting the recipes you requested. Happy Baking : )

Chocolate Crackles

1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup salad oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I omit these)
about 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Melt chocolate. Combine sugar and oil. Add melted chocolate. Add eggs one at a time; beat well. Add vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to chocolate mixture. Stir in nuts. Chill dough. Drop teaspoonfuls of dough in powdered sugar. Roll to coat. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool on rack.

I usually double this recipe. I use a cookie scoop to measure cookie dough, roll into balls, drop into a large zip loc bag containing the powdered sugar, zip it shut, shake to cover cookies and then place on cookie sheet.
I like them a bit under baked ... kind of the texture of a brownie.

Gooey Mixed Nut Bars
from the kitchen of Kim

Crust: 1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup soft butter
Using a pastry blender, mix well until crumbly. Press in an ungreased 11 x 7 pan and bake for 15 minutes @ 350 degrees.

In a kettle combine:
1 Tbsp. butter
1 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup corn syrup
Cook on medium heat until melted. Add 1 12 oz can mixed nuts and stir till coated. Spread on crust.

Bake 10 minutes.
Cool before cutting.

The chocolate peanut butter cookie recipe is on the back of the bag of chips and I didn't save it. Oops : (
Merry Christmas Eve

Monday, December 22, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 23

"Hark the Herald Angels Sing ... Glory to the newborn king!"
Time to move on to something other than snowfall ...
This year I have worked at simplifying Christmas decor. I wanted to display things that do not overload the senses, have meaning, and can be handled by the grandkids. For me, clutter is not peaceful. I found a spot in our living room to set up a few of the angels I have in my collection. They've come from many different sources ... gift exchanges, a candle from Woodstock, NY when I visited in 1985, and my newest addition -- a find at Goodwill for $1.99. I discovered, quite by accident, that she plays "Silent Night" while I was in the checkout line. I thought it would be a great "hands-on"addition for the grandkids to play with plus I LOVE a bargain : )
As we draw near to Christmas, it is good to ponder the lyrics -- "Peace on earth and mercy mild -- God and sinners reconciled." -- and remember the reason for the season.

Deeper and Deeper

Our ruler is now buried below the snow on our deck. We've moved up to a yardstick!!!

Photo-a-Day December 22

We continue to have snowfall ...
Walt walked around the neighborhood and took over 150 pictures this morning. This photo was taken at Lafky Park. Looks like someone attempted to make a snow fort -- something Walt would do with the boys many, many years ago.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 21

I think we can stop dreaming ... the way things are going there's a high probability for a white Christmas this year.
Just a quick post - I haven't been feeling well today.
Will write more tomorrow.
Back to the couch and cable TV ......
P.S. I'll let you guess who is measuring the snow accumulation at our house ... I hope that's not my scrapbooking ruler!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 20

Another snow day at home ... no shopping, no malls ... Christmas activities are on hold. We are staying in and what better to do than spend time in the kitchen. I made my favorite Chocolate Crackles and then tried Kim B's Gooey Nut Bars for the first time. Since I had the supplies on hand I baked Gingerbread cookies and Reese's Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies.
While taking cookies in and out of the oven I put turkey noodle soup on to simmer. I have to say ... it is the best I've made yet! What a great lunch treat on a snowy day : )
Yesterday morning I spent some time reading one of my favorite blogs, Your Home Based Mom -- I download 26 recipes that look easy and delicious so I may be back in the kitchen soon. Of course, it's hard to move away from my good book and the cozy fireplace in the family room.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 19

O.K. ... I have to admit I was a tad bit disappointed that school was canceled today. I love the last day at school before the Winter break. Everyone is excited for Christmas and looking forward to the time off. Since they didn't make the announcement the evening before I packed and organized everything to go back to work after having four days off. I expected maybe a 2-hour delay but this morning I found all schools in our county (and most of the Metro area) closed.
Well, I made the most of the day ... including a pedicure and manicure, read, took a nap, whipped us some cookie dough -- Chocolate Crackles, my favorite ... Rae's too, and put in some time on my knitting project. I do believe I will have it completed in a matter of rows : )
This has been quite an unexpected vacation, however, I will notice it in June when we make up the time in our contract!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 18

Today is Day 4 - another weather-related No School day. I was fully expecting to work today. Last night I set my alarm and was just getting ready to climb in bed when I thought I would check our website to see if we had a 2-hour delay. Instead, I discovered we had another closure.
I am using this time off to get caught up and finding myself feeling rested after months of exhaustion.
Today is gift wrapping day. The family room is a mess but in a few hours our tree will be transformed with beautiful packages beneath it. I am truly thankful for this time off.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 17

This sign hangs outside our front entry. It was a gift from the Gears to Walt several Christmases ago ... of course, if it's weather related ... it's the perfect gift for him.
School has been canceled for three days now and it's still snowing. I just put a 21 lb. turkey in the oven so we won't have to worry about meals for days. I think I will work on wrapping gifts, addressing cards, and continue my knitting project. Perhaps I'll take a nap ... it's nice to be home.
I am thankful.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 16

Nope ... our Christmas cards haven't been sent. It's the 16th and we just picked up our cards this afternoon at Costco. I sent an online order before the snow event and due to illness and bad driving conditions we haven't been able to pick them up until this afternoon -- with the main focus of the trip --> to pick up Walt's new glasses.
We just heard on the news that our school district will be closed again ... now three days in a row ... so I guess I will have time to get caught up on many of our Christmas projects. You just may see a card in your mailbox soon : )

Monday, December 15, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 15

Our snow event is still hanging on. Tomorrow will be the second day of school closures due to the weather conditions. With the extended forecast ... it looks like more storms may be on the way ... perhaps school will still be in session until the end of June if this weather continues : ( It's beautiful and we seldom get an event like this ... but we'll have to be creative in getting last minute Christmas shopping finished. I'll have to check with Wally the Weatherman to see the best "window" of time for venturing out to the malls : )

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 14

Wally the Weatherman was right ... Let it SNOW!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 13

This was the spot where Colin spent a lot of time during his visit here. This morning we were making blueberry pancakes for breakfast and we were suddenly alarmed by loud crying from the front room. Through crying and tears we finally understood what had happened ... "Baby Jesus ... hurt my toe!" Oops! Just a little accident but it was hard to figure out what happened when he told us the first time!
On another note ... after the kids left we went over to Urgent Care. I have had a sinus-thing for over five weeks and I finally gave up on treating it myself and got a prescription for antibiotics. We did miss the staff Christmas party tonight but I wasn't exactly in the "party" mood. Even my teeth hurt : (
I'm in my jammies and heading downstairs to enjoy the warmth of the fireplace ... a cup of tea in hand.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 12

An evening of DISCOVERY ...
What fun it was exploring Grandma & Grandpa's transformed house this evening. For hours we found something new ... bubbling lights, water globes, things you wind to play music, an old-fashioned village, snowmen everywhere, and baby Jesus. It was a JOY to watch the excitement in their eyes ... to have the freedom to play with the nativity set or move people around the village. The Barbie tree was also a hit with one little girl!
It was fun to have the grandkids here ... to put some LIFE into our quiet everyday lives. Pure Christmas JOY!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 11

Feast your eyes on this display of goodies. Yum!
I just got home from our annual cookie exchange and all these tempting treats are shouting out an invitation to indulge : )
I wasn't able be a part of the exchange for the last two years due to ER visits on the scheduled date so this year was especially nice ... I've missed these yummy goodies and the great fellowship with the ladies!
I started going to this 19 years ago when we moved here. Many in the group bake the same goody each year ... due to popular demand ... we just expect to be receivers of our favorites : )
The variety is amazing and each delicious but I have to say I have a hard time resisting Jan's frosted sugar cookie trees. When the kids were teenagers I would eat a tree or two (a little deforestation!) : ) on the way home from the exchange. My family thought for years Jan only made the star shaped cookies -hahaha.
So ... I'm thinking I may need to put a variety of these in the freezer ... too many temptations beckoning me!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 10

I wish your senses could experience what I'm enJOYing this afternoon. The aroma of sugar cookies baking in the oven, the radio playing "Walking in a Winter Wonderland," sung by Amy Grant. The kitchen is warm and cozy and I am sipping a cup of Candy Cane Lane herbal tea. Well, time to get back to the kitchen and put another batch of cookies in the oven. Awwwww ... what wonderful JOY.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 9

I L-O-V-E Christmas ornaments! The ones we have collected over the years remind me of a special event in our lives, a dear friend or family member, those we've worked with or neighbors we've lived near.
This ornament was a gift from my Templeton co-worker. She MADE it!! After many attempts at crafting earrings and bracelets I can only imagine how many hours went into creating such elegant "jewelry" for our tree. I love how this dangles from the limb.
Thanks, Nancy for adding a little "bling" to our tree ... and red is my favorite color.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 8

A few weeks ago one of Walt's co-workers, who lives in our childhood neighborhood, told him that every house on the block Walt grew up on was gone. Concordia finally expanded their campus on the west side of 27th and moved every house located across the street from the gym.
Fortunately, in June the Faubion Reunion Crew drove around the neighborhood taking pictures of each person's childhood home so we have one last picture of Walt and the home he grew up in.
Sunday Matte joined us and we drove over to see for ourselves. It was very sad to see empty lot after empty lot. So many memories came to mind. We did find the houses stored a few blocks away and I believe they have plans to move them to a permanent address. There's just something about the Family Home ... it's very sad to see her gone!
Click on the photo to enlarge it for a better view.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 7

What would Christmas be without a visit to Santa??? ... sitting on his lap, having a photo taken, and letting him know just what special toy you would like him to bring you.
From the picture you can tell this was taken in the late 50's. We visited Santa at Lipman's Department store, also famous for the Cinnamon Bear. I remember -way back then- that a visit downtown required that you dress in your Sunday best and as you can see I even brought a purse. There was so much to see and experience downtown ... windows dressed with magical holiday themes, riding an elevator with an attendant calling out each floor, stores decked out in tinsel and bright colors, and finally a bus ride home.
On this particular visit I seem a bit timid but engaging in conversation -- unlike some photos I've seen where I am at a younger age -- tears are falling and I look a afraid : )
I hope you'll share your favorite Santa visit ...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 6

We spent most of the day getting the house ready for Christmas and while doing that it was also a great time to dig in ... clean and scrub the entire house from top to bottom.
Even though we are tired this evening it is a pleasure to enJOY just sitting in our "holiday home" and focusing our minds on the true meaning of this season -- the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!
I think I'll grab a cup of tea and enJOY ...

Friday, December 05, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 5

This week I gathered up as many Christmas papers and elements from my "stash" and created six Christmas cards for the TCC Regional Ministry team in reaching out to those in our community.
It was an enJOYable project since cards are usually not part of my creative outlet. It's quite amazing to see what you can do with limited resources. Nice to have a "hands on" paper project after focusing on digital layouts. I wish I could discipline myself to work on projects like this year round. Sounds like a resolution for 2009!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 4

Last week my Bunco group had our annual Christmas gift exchange and this was the gift I brought home ... a new doormat. How festive our front entry looks with these fun frosty snowmen.
Hey Wally Weatherman ... when will we have snowfall on the valley floor???? These guys look a little out of place with the weather we've been having ... : )
P.S. Nice job on the gift Donna ... great shopping at Home Goods.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 3

During the past month I have been busy, busy, busy creating, crafting ... enJOYing!
I had the day off Monday so with the help of "Master Jeweler" Nancy I was able to add something "Merry and Bright" to my list of completed Christmas projects.
Thanks, Nancy ... even though I had to string it twice : ) I gained a new skill, learned a valuable lesson in patience, and left with something precious ... it was exactly what I had in mind.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 2

What a welcome sight after a long day ... to come home to comfort and JOY! It's nice to have the tree up and all the memories over the years hung from each limb. As I have shared before, our tree is like a travelogue of our lives. Each ornament represents an event, friends, family, vacation etc. It's a nice reminder of those we love ... of those who have journeyed with us ... of those who have brought much JOY to our lives.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Photo-a-Day December 1

Sprague Labs (a blog I subscribe to) declared it's "Photo-a-Day in December" starting today! I enjoyed this in May and others have shared that it was fun to check in each day to see the "Photo-of-the Day."
My first picture is a Christmas memory from the past ... DECADES ago ... WAY back to my childhood -- do you remember Christmas bubble lights?!?!?!?

I can remember going to Grandma & Grandpa Smith's house to celebrate Christmas. They had an aluminum tree that was placed on a coffee table with a color wheel splashing bright colors on its shiny limbs. I remember how fascinating it was to watch the bubble lights and all the color in the room. Below the table were gifts wrapped in festive papers just waiting to be opened. To a small child this all seemed "magical" and exciting. It was a fun time to be with the family -- good memories.
As we were decorating our tree this year, we found a bubble light set in our ornament box that we had purchased in our early years of marriage. We probably bought them because they represented good memories and we wanted to share them with our children. Saturday we plugged them in and they still work ... bright and bubbly as the memories I have stored from the past.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around our house!

Tickled Pink

After 15 years of collecting holiday Barbie Ornaments I finally found the perfect tree for displaying them while shopping on Black Friday. Yeah to Michael's for the great deal on a pink flocked 36 inch tree ... every little girl's dream.
Knowing how much Calleigh loves dolls and Barbie I wanted to have a fun display she could enjoy and remember for years to come. The ornaments are high impact plastic so she can touch and admire each one.
I know how you all can't wait to see this : ) ... tours available by request ... hahaha. Now you can feel sorry for Walt who has to deal with a pink Christmas tree on display in our home : ) But not to worry ... we do have a traditional tree set up too!


After our delicious Thanksgiving meal and clean up it was time to celebrate Tim's birthday and play games. Colin brought his new game -- Tumblin' Monkeys that he received as a birthday gift from Uncle Tim. Then it was time for Left Right Center which was new to the Gears. Have you ever laughed so hard it felt like you'd done 100 sit-ups??? That's how much fun we had -- especially when Keith rolled three C's to end the game. This is a fun game for a large group -- great for all ages and it doesn't take any skill or concentration. Since we only had time to play a few games on Thanksgiving, we really need to plan a Game Night soon!

Black Friday Ads

While the fudge was cooking the girls spent time checking out the Black Friday ads. Calleigh was only interested in finding the Barbies : )

Fantasy Fudge

I believe the tradition of making six pounds of Fantasy Fudge on Thanksgiving morning goes back to when we were first married. We are now passing this long-term tradition down to the next generation. When most families "fight" over the wishbone ... we battle over who gets to "clean" the fudge pan and lick the spoons : )
At our house there are two kinds of fudge -- Yummy (includes nuts) and Boring (plain old fudge). We have to pour one pan of each to satisfy everyone's preference. Walt convinced the kids years ago that Boring fudge was the best which left more Yummy fudge for me! Way to go Walt ...

Toy and JOY

One of our favorite Christmas traditions over the past twenty years has been joining friends at church for a progressive dinner/gift exchange. This year we had a change in our gift giving and I have to say it was not only fun for us but will bring JOY to a child's life this Christmas.
We drew names and shopped for a toy that reminded us of that person. How fun is that??? and I had the JOY of buying Hawaiian Barbie and Ken for our recipients ... a double bonus for a Barbie fan : ) The toys we opened were then donated to the Toy and Joy Program. What great food, fun and fellowship ... and an opportunity to make a difference in someone else's life.

Knit One, Save One Update

Several posts ago I shared an opportunity for knitters to get involved in making a difference in our world. I made a commitment to knit as many baby caps as I could before the December 31st deadline and from one skein of yarn I made six caps. I carried this project with me everywhere ... I spent time knitting on breaks at work, waiting in long Costco gas lines, and I even knit a row or two while waiting in gridlock traffic!
This season I am focusing on a more "missional" Christmas. I want to see my world through different eyes. This year our Black Friday was focused on what we could buy for those in need ... sock and gloves for City Team, clothes and toys for a family our REACH group is sponsoring. I am so thankful for our church, friends and family who have encouraged me to put "feet" to what my ears hear ... what my eyes see. I encourage you to REACH OUT this Christmas and then make it a habit year round.

Yes ... we can make a difference!

Fourth Birthday

What fun it was to join our little "Jedi" in celebrating his fourth birthday a few weeks ago! He chose a Star Wars themed party and Michelle went all out with decor and activities. The cake was the same one his dad had at one of his childhood parties ... R2D2. I'm glad I saved the cake pan from a time "long, long ago" : ) It was fun to see many of the girls with their hair fixed like Princess Leia.
The big birthday surprise was special guest Ammy. She enjoyed her first weekend pass at home from the hospital. Good news! She will be discharged December 11th An answer to our prayers!!
Here are a few pictures from the big event ...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oh, my ....

We received our first Christmas card yesterday and several of our neighbors put up their lights today!
I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed : )

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Dine and Design

I'm a little behind on "current events" but spent some time this weekend working on a few layouts from our annual Family Cookie Day in October. It's amazing how a spoonful of frosting and a few sweet treats can transform an ordinary cookie into a work of art. Colin was really in to it this year. He had some very creative ideas and enjoyed the "sugar rush."
Now I need to return to my Thanksgiving 2005 scrapbooking project before the upcoming holiday.

Time with Uncle Tim
Template: Studio Ellie -Where's Ellie #3
Elements: Misty Cato -Date Bits; Digitreats -Jump Patch; Amy Bleser -Rainy Day Tag, Twill
Font: American Typewriter, Witchcraft, Pea Jenny Script
Paper: Amy Bleser -Rainy Day Paper 2&3; Anita Designs/Nana's Attic -All About Me Paper 3

Cookie Day
Template: Misty Cato Blog Template 12
Paper: Michelle Coleman -Happy Halloween 02
Brushes: Be Up2date
Fonts: Artistamp Medium, Pea Jay, Pea Frankie

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

"OPEN" ...

Gulp ... last week when Calleigh was visiting she noticed my boxed Ballet Star Barbie on the shelf ... which, by the way, was a gift from her Mommy a few years ago.
Calleigh has started noticing that Grandma has a lot of Barbies around the house. As a collector, I believe I have more than 100 Barbies ... still in the original box ... in mint condition. Many are from dear friends and family members. Some mark an occasion or event in my life.
Well, back to the story ... On this particular day Calleigh points to the box and says, "BARBIE!!" followed by "OPEN" Oh, dear ... this could get complicated.
Psst -- After a lifetime with all guys ... I'm lovin' it : )

Fall Family Fun

As our family gathered a few weeks ago on the last beautiful warm day of the season, we set up our tripod/camera and tried to capture THE perfect family photo. Perhaps for this year's Christmas card???
It's a little tricky getting nine people to pose for the perfect picture. We always have a good laugh as Grandpa sets the camera timer and nearly breaks a leg trying to jump in and look relaxed and casual. Or the grandkids only want to pose for a few pictures ... when Grandpa a.k.a. "Papa-razzi" has a huge memory card waiting for their smiles : ) The plan was to take a group picture by our bridge but the sun was much too bright that day -- too much squinting.
Regardless ... it's all about the journey ... we had a good time together in the process. Will this be THE 2008 Christmas card picture??? Perhaps, but we still have several weeks for another photo session : )
Font: Pea Stacy's Doodle Script, Pea Tiphanie, American Typewriter
Elements: Daniela Peuss -Jump Into Fall Wordart 06; Wendy's Crafty Creations -tag 14; My Scrap Shop MSSOCTDDZANFALL -Date Spot
Alpha: Pixelninchen -Alpha Holz
Template: Lina's Layouts #34
Paper: Pam McNicoli's/Digitreats -Josh Papers -Green Solid

Imagination Taking Shape

There are a few things Calleigh loves about visiting at Grandma & Grandpa's house. She loves the tray of fiber "balls" on my coffee table. She has the freedom to play with them without worry. They serve a dual purpose -- a decorative element in our living room AND something she can play with.
As the novelty of this slowly wears out, she has been heading down to the playroom with one thing on her mind ... PLAYDOH. Grandpa captured some great photos of the creative process in her new found joy. I see great artistic talent here! Keep at it, Calleigh ...

Font: Tuesday, RA-type, CK Ali's Writing, Pea Simone
Paper: Grumblescraps -Tuff Fluff 10
Template: K@trine -Template 6
Alpha: Amy Sumrall -Playdoh Alpha
Arrow: Hummie -Swirly Arrow 2

Sunday, November 02, 2008


Charlotte -- I finally got this posted : )
With so much going on this week I haven't spent much time on my photos or layouts. I thought I would share our fun Halloween evening with you. Here's the "story" in the journaling:

"Brian, Michelle, Aunt Sissa, Colin and Calleigh came by to “trick or treat” our neighborhood. Colin was Luke
Skywalker and Calleigh dressed up as a fairy princess. Michelle has been learning to sew and decided to tackle making costumes for the kids this year. She did a fabulous job!
It was a perfect evening to be out in the neighborhood -- mild temperatures and no rain. Our first stop was the Myers’ house to see “Mr. Chris.” Ella was dressed as Tinkerbell and between each house Colin wanted to hold her hand. After a full evening of “trick-or-treating” our cul-de-sac we had two very tired little ones."

I hope you enjoyed the weekend -- especially the extra hour!

Template: Purple Tulip Designs/Suzanne Blair -PTD F001
Font: Chromosone Light, Century, American Typewriter
Paper: MaryAnne Curth -bpfreebie paper 2; Cate Sforza Absolutartist -CSforza Fall Splendor Paper 1
Elements: Scrappin Obsession -Trick or Treat Button
Word Art: Digitreats -Pumpkin wordart; Purely Pixels -Trick or Treat