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a tag, some photos and yada yada yada...

So - the tag.
There is a complete rash of tagging going on yet again - LOL! And I've been tagged twice. So here are the rules: List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether or not they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your LiveJournal/blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

Now - i dpn't listen to very much. When we're in the house, there's usually some form of kid music going on. You know - Barney, The Wiggle, Elmo - something along those lines! So some of these are old ones, but ones I LOVE!

My seven songs:
1. How to Save a Life - The Fray (I may have to ask for some Grey's soundtrack's for Christmas)
2. Pretty Vegas - INXS
3. Walk Away - Kelly Clarkson
4. Upside Down - Jack Johnson
5. Not Ready to Make Nice - Dixie Chicks
6. Lullaby - Dixie Chicks
7. Devil's Party - INXS

I think everyone has been tagged with this! LOL! If you haven't been yet, then consider yourself tagged and come back and let me know! :)

Matthew -

He started to pedal his tricycle this last week! Yay Matthew! Not completely all the way yet, but he's getting there. He also has worn u.n.d.i.e.s to bed for the last few nights without incident! Double yay!

Yes - Waterdog Part 3 will be coming to a scrap page near you soon! He has also been driving around the Fisher Price Chevy Truck that we have had forever and having a blast with it - yes photos to come too!

Camera - I am in love with it again! Having fun figuring out the manual settings and getting really good - no color adjusting photos! Yay! My goddaughter wants me to come out to take her photo (she's a budding model and is doing commercials, movies and theatre in her local area) and the grandmother of the baby wants me to come out and take photos of their whole family soon!
The roses and fern were picked out of Diane's yard and the sunflowers were on the side of the road coming home from the baby shoot. Pretty huh? They sure have been brightening my days! There's just something about fresh flowers!

Published - Yes - if you look very closely - you can see my name listed 1st in the contributing authors! Fun, huh? The book is currently at the printer and will be on Amazon at the end of Oct. And yes, you bet that I will link and share my story when the books ready. There is a website that RNP is very hard at work at that I will have a link at the side too when she has it done.
Scrapbook Publishing - I submitted several things, and it seems that nothing has gotten picked up. :( bummer. But I will keep trying!!! Yes, I will! I am currentlyy working on a layout to submit to SS with the photos of that very cute baby below! I was really hoping to get at least 1 layout picked up by the SSDigi6 Mag, but it seems that all the calls have gone out now. It's a personal goal of mine to get a layout in one of their issues, so I will just keep trying!

Scrapbooking - Heather, Jan and Gina - you all rock! You brighten my day in several ways this last week - and for that I thank you!!! And for all of you just being you - I thank you too!
And speaking of Heather - check out what she has done with the mini kits that she created for my Chick's Life workshop! How cool is that calendar??? You can buy either one seperately or both of them together. And if you want a chance to WIN her calendar - check out this thread!

Ryan - he is doing REALLY well in school. He seems to be enjoying Student Council - which is cool. We have made a bribe of sorts with him. He really wants to rent a game from Blcokbuster, but since they are almost $8, we told him if he gets all his spelling words correct on his test, we will go get him one. He has missed 2 words the last 2 weeks! Awwwww! And yes, I'm a hard nose and I'm upholding that he must get them all correct. If he only misses 2 again this week and does really well on all the other stuff, like he's been doing so far, then we'll see.

Let's see - what else! It's taken me an hour to get this entry in. Does it take everyone else this long too? is that why I always put this off till last? LOL!

I am loving that the fall TV season is starting up again! Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, ER, The Unit, gosh - what am I not watching??? They're all so good right now!

Michael is in school this week - here in town. The temp has cooled off so nicely. Although this week it's going to be right at 100 degrees again. Bummer. It was down to the low 90's for at least a week!

Alright - I have to go get Peanut from school. He has a field trip to PetsMart this week - Should ber fun!!!

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Guess what I did today...

Yes... a baby shoot! The baby was born a week ago. He is doing great and was such a sweet little guy! Although we had a hard time getting the binky out of his mouth sometimes - LOL! I took almost 250 photos, some good, some bad and some really great! I am super pleased! Hopefully they all will be too! I really looked at my camera and read the manual last night and figured a few things out. I had a setting wrong and that's why my shots were coming out so very dark. I hardly had to PS these at all! YAY!!! I had to bring Ry and Matthew with me and that was interesting, but wasn't too bad. They kept them busy for me while I worked! I'm tired now though...
Just thought I'd share some of my immediate favorites and then I'm off! Will try to come back a do a real post here in a bit.









Can you see the bee???

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remember...


Credits: grey paper "Backyard BBQ DeZine Kit" The DigiChick Designers. Photo off the intenet. Fonts: Jenn Olson & Futura Md BT
This is my layout for this week's Chick's Life Prompt. You can see the full prompt here and the gallery here.
Journaling reads: 5 years ago, I was awoken by Michael with the news that something very bad had happened. The impressions of that day and it's resulting events are still etched in my mind. Trying to keep 3 year old Ryan distracted in the other room while I sat glued to the TV all day. Holding my pregnant-with-Matthew belly with tears streaming down my face. Watching in utter disbelief as the towers came crashing down. The total silence in the skys over Phoenix except for the not so usual patroling Air Force jets. Wondering all the while what kind of world I would now be bringing my children up in. 5 years have passed. The towers standing are but a memory, the pentagon is fixed, the field in PA is once again growing grass. But the memory of what happened that day is still with me. I never want to forget. For forgetting would leave the door open. And the people that died that day deserve for this not to happen again. So I will wait my turn in line for security in airports without complaint, I will be aware of my surrounding still and I will never forget...

I have watched several programs this week and still sat and cried through them all. The utter disbelief of that day has given way to total sadness. The disbelief is still there, but has changed from disbelief that it happened to disbelief about the days events. If there was a do-over, how many things could have been changed? How many more lives, if not all, could have been saved? How many families wouldn't have been torn apart? How many servicemen spared by not going to war afterwards? But then, if the events of that day had not occured just like it had, how many other things would be different? Both good and bad?
I read somewhere in the aftermath of it all, the story of a family dealing with the loss of their wife and mother from her death in the Towers that day. I felt a connection to them, for Robbie has down syndrome. He turned 2 on the day that they found his mother's body. I know that life is not always an easy path for a parent of a child with special needs, and I also know that it can sometimes be all the more difficult when there is only one parent present. I have thought about this family and was delighted when Robin's post last night mentioned them and that there was a article with an update on them. I was amazed at Alonso's inner strength in the 1st article and even more with the newest one.
To quote from the article:
"Alonso has always been willing to discuss his loss, and said that effort was intentional.
"I felt there was an example to be set, a story to be told," Alonso said. "Every time my child smiles, the terrorists lose. Not only did they want to destroy the infrastructure of our buildings, they wanted to destroy the infrastructure of the families. In this house, they didn't succeed." "
You can find the article here and the wonderful tribute that they have put online here. Thanks again for sharing it with me, Robin!
I feel this way too. We must not forget. We must remember why there are so many lives lost, both from that day and from the resulting war. I feel we owe it to them to never forget why they died. So that they didn't die in vain. I know that the whole politics of the war are so volatile, but I still feel that we need to be a presence to support those that are overseas and here at home, where ever they are stationed. They are in place to protect us, no matter what the reason that they are where they are. But the basics are that we must not forget, for in my opinion, forgetting will let the door open, even just a crack. And evil could have a chance to walk through that door again. '
Tomorrow I will wear red, white, and blue and I will hug my children and husband and hold them close. And I will remember...

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saturday...

I've been continuing my "purge" kick lately. I cleaned out the "Hole" (you know - the small space on the backside of the bar area on the kitchen counter underneath - aw com'on - you know!) yesterday. I have a box that I put all the boys school work in when it comes home. The phone books are in there. The boys each have a notebook folder with school stuff - phone #'s, teacher info, etc. and I have a folder with Matthew's therapy stuff and one with DS stuff and one with kid craft things. It had gotten so bad that the door wouldn't shut. Last year it took me until past Dec. to clean it out and it was a big mess with 1/2 of another school year on top. So this year I knew I wanted to do it sooner, but I probally wouldn't have if it hadn't been closing. It was bugging me. So I did it. Threw out like 5 or more phone books (who uses them - I go to the internet!) and purged school work. I still have a grocery bag dull of both their work from last year. Ryan's teacher had them do so many cute things - most of it in there is his. Not sure what's next on the purge list. I *might* be done for a bit.
Matthew and I made it to 3 stores yesterday. Target, JoAnns and WlaMart Market. We have had a cold front come through and it's only on the 90's! Hurray! So nice to be able to go to 3 places and not be a sticky ball of sweat when we're done. Helps alot with Matthew's co-operation too! I have been trying to get some kind of system for the work I do for Diane for years. I have all these notes in different places. So I looked to buy just a notebook (from the clearance items of course), but found this FiveStar Flex Hybrid NoteBinder sytem instead. I neend to add all sorts of different things into it - so this seems perfect - not bulky, yet i can still add things to it. I need a calendar in there and items printed from the internet, so I can just punch them and put it in there. I bought this planner systems from Dianne Rigdon (when they were on sale) and I want to also try to make a planner for me again too. I bought these really cute 3x5" side bound notebooks. They are kraft paper (we know how I love kraft!) with a turquiose band where they are bound on the side. I should be able to pull apart the spine and add/take out what I want. And it's a nice little purse size. We'll see though. Planners seem to be like school supplies for me - I always want more and am always searching for the perfect system for me. I made this one this year, and I love it - but it's too big to tote around (but sits nicely on my desk and is still my Chick's Life organizer). I also have another 3.75"x6.75" one that Michael gave me thats a super cute denim (so me!), but it's too big for the purse too. So the search continues. I have to start the Diane one, for I have too much stuff out floating everywhere and it needs a central place to be. But I'm still not sure if I'll make the purse planner. Had the new SS Slice of Life mag in my hand, but after flipping through it - put it back. I just don't want to spend $9 (down from $15 with a 40% off coupon) I don't have on something that will sit and collect dust, so I'm trying to be really good on if I truely want something.
Took some photos this week - the ones of the boys from a couple posts ago,and this one of Matthew and Michael. I've been so disappointed with the amount of grain and the darkness of the photos. I really have to play in PS to get results and even then they are still grainy. Angela has a great photography challenge this week to learn how to take the photos better with less grain, so I've got to practice. The baby should be here anytime now, so I need to brush up on my lighting.

Not sure what's on the agenda today. The boys are making a fort in the living room right now - so there will be blankets to put up later. Gotta do my Chick's Life layout for tomorrow's new prompt, uploade my Aug. review (seen below), submit a layout to a Scrapbook Trends call, do some laundry and who knows what else. Maybe we'll go for a swim later. My parents get to go visit my brother in a week. I wish I could go too. Rumor has it that he and his girlfriend are both coming for Thanksgiving this year! Yay! Yay! Yay!

Credits: Chick's Life August Mini Kit - Heather Rosellit, The DigiChick. Fonts: DSP Pollyanna, Jenn Olson
And here is a Chick's Life one from a few week's ago.

Credits: Classic Kit - Yvette Sanders, The DigiChick Boutique. Font: Jenn Olson
Journaling reads: Home is where the heart is... where the door is always open for you to be welcomed in. Home is always saying you’re sorry and “I love you!” It’s where 2 little boys love to sneak into their parent’s bed 1st thing in the morning for sweet snuggles. Home is sometimes disagreeing with each other - but never staying mad for long. Sometimes, I wish for Pottery Barn surroundings, but then I realize that I love the unpretentiousness of our surroundings and I am at peace with it again.
Home is 4 walls where within a family loves...
Later all...

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peace...


This was the view from my backporch last night. Pretty, huh? Straight out of the camera too.
I am actually home alone at the moment. Michael's at work, the boys are in school and it's just me! :)

Ryan has his first student council meeting today after school! Amazing huh? 3rd grade. I can't believe it. He's so excited to have been choosen for the student council! They didn't have to campaign or anything yet. They brought home a form to get parental consent and then the teacher picked who would go. She picked 3 from Ry's class. It will be interesting to see if being on it lives up to his expectations. I hope so.

I showed Matthew's pages to his teacher. I told her I knew that weren't what she was expecting. I know that they were supposed to work on cutting and pasting. Oh well. They're super cute anyway!

I just got a call from Diane, the lady I work for, and I need to drive up to her house after I pick up Ryan from school tonight. She is missing a huge container of her watercolor teaching supplies that she just can't be without! They were shipped and have dissappeared. So up we'll go and hopefully find it for her, lost somewhere in FedEx. I was planning on going up there on Thursday alone and get some work done too, but oh well. We'll see what happens.
Ok - I'm off for today! Have a good one! :)

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When digi meets school work...

Matthew's teacher sent home these pages to be filled out about some of Matthew's favorite things. I'm pretty sure they are to go into a book (the ones I made when I was in there last time) about themselves that they will work on all year. I was dreading it, for you were supposed to have your child help you pick and cut out things from magazines to illustrate what they like. I had started, but knew it would take awhile to help Matthew trim the pics. and I kept thinking of all the actual photos of him that I had doing some of the things. Sooooooo, yeah, you got it, I cheated and did digi pages to add to his book. They turned out super cute though, see?






Papers by DDE, inked edge action - Atomic Cupcake, font Jenn Olson.
Used some items from off the internet, but alot are photos that I took. Hopefully Ms. Pat will think they are so cute that she won't be mad for me doing them all by myself. LOL!
Well - thanks for letting me know I'm not alone. I don't always ramble or talk about things when they are bothering me on here, but when I do, it sure makes me feel better! :) There is something to be said for getting it off your chest...
Steve Irwin's fatal accident - this just makes me sad. It was announced on the boards while I was up last night, so I heard right before they had even announced it here. I googled it and nothing came up until about 5 minutes after that. Matthew had been watching "Safari Wiggles" with Steve in it alot in the last week. Ryan was a little shocked when I told him this morning. Very sad for his family, for Australia (and the world) and for animals in general...
I did a layout with Ryan (for a change) last night. I can't get him to take photos very oftern and usually they have cheesy grins. I bribed him to pose - ooooo, he wanted me to get down his legos from the closet - such an expensive bribe, LOL - and acutally got a few good shots. Tried to get a good one of the 2 of them together and am not sure if I suceeded in that or not yet, have to go look at them again. Took the one of the 3 of us in the top Matthew layout, but the shadows are pretty heavy on me. At any rate - got this good shot of Ryan and scrapped it! What do you think?

Credits: Grey paper - "Backyard BBQ" DeZine Kit, The DigiChick Designers; boy tag and fastener - "MudRoom Elements" Jen Wilson, Jen Wilson Designs; green paper - "Sophisticated Tidepool Papers" Jen Wilson, Jen Wilson Designs; striped and dotted papers - "Dirty Boy Papers" Kim Christensen, ScrapArtist; black stitch - "Stitches" Gina Miller, Gina Miller Designs; aged chipboard star - "Wintersgrace Elements" Jen Wilson, Jen Wilson Designs; inked edge and staple - "Little Black Dress" Jan Crowley, The DigiChick Boutique; doodle frame and love you forever word art - "Art for Asher" Creative Team, Digital Design Essentials; "Date Stamps" Amber Clegg, The DigiChick Boutique; little hanging tags - "Summer Whimsy" ScrapArtist; torn star shape - Step Krush, Digital Paper Tearing. Font: Jenn Olson
Journaling reads: I am realizing more & more that you are not my 8 year old son, but my soon-to-be 9 year old son. And it kinda freaks me out! You are growing up right before my eyes, it seems.
I think I'll be submitting it, although I dont know where yet! LOL!
I did this one of Reba.

Credits - Young and Carefree Kit - Amy Knepper, The DigiChick Boutique. Font: Jenn Olson
And this one is for this week's Chick's Life Prompt. You can see the whole prompt here and the gallery here. We are starting a new month with the chance to earn Heather Roselli's cute Sept. mini Kit made jsut for our Challenge! So cute!

Credits: red paper from Vintage Diva Kit - Laura Alpuche & Fee Jardine, The DigiChick Boutique. Black paper, ribbon and notebook paper - Teacher Let the Monkey's Out, Valerie Fowler, The DigiChick Boutique. Date Stamps - Amber Clegg, The DigiChick Boutique. Paper Tear & arrow tear - Steph Krush, Digital Paper Tearing. Font: Jenn Olson
Journaling reads: I love fresh, new school supplies. I think I always have and it hasn't stopped even though I'm not in school anymore. I really concetrated on not going overboard this year for the boys. It always seems that the prices are just so nice for back-to-school, but, come on, how many boxs of crayons do they need... really? I couldn't resist buying a few things for them though anyway! There is just something about opening a brand new notebook & using a brand new crayon to color in a drawing... no matter how old you are.
Ok - that should be enough to have bored you out of your skull for a bit - LOL!
Hope everyone is well and Happy Labor Day!

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excess...

I've had Lee and RNP e-mail to check on me in the last few days, so I guess I'd better update. LOL!
Excesses...
I've thought about this alot lately.
Digital - there just seems to be excess everywhere - tons of designers, tons of women creating, tons of sites, shopping, freebies, sales... excess. It all just seems too much lately. Yet I still feel the need to surf. Why? I have more kits on my hard drive than I could use in a year. I am blessed to get a very nice amount for free from my CT's and a few very generous designers, and I could scrap with those endlessly. Yet, I still find stuff out there that I want. Yes, want. Not need. I don't have much money to buy items and I am seriously attempting to cut back on my buying. We don't have the money for it and I have tons of... excess. There just seem to be so many out there right now - women scrapping digital. I'm feeling like a tee tee tiny fish in a big pond that no one notices. I really want to be published. I have so many friends that are tooting left and right and I feel that I could be too. But I feel unnoticed in this big pond. Everytime I log on - there is a new site, a new designer, a site that had gone away, a designer that has decided to stop creating. Excess. And now Simple Scrapbooks is jumping in with both feet with their new digital magazine. While it's SOOOO awesome (really, it is!), it's also the 1st presence of the big dogs in in little digi pond. There will be more changes and, I'm sure, excess brought around by this.
Weight - excess again. I've totally gained back all the pounds that I lost last year. Sucks. Probally a huge part in this mood that I seem to find myself in. Emotions everywhere, cry at anything. Feeling so lost and wondering if I can accomplish things.
Excess - things. I purged and organized and sorted again in the last 2 weeks. That did feel good! Really good! It's so nice to have more organized closets again. To have less of some things. I really, really need to do more of this. Really.
Excess - time???? LOL! No - I feel in such a rut lately. No mojo. I did actually do 2 layouts today, both with heavy inspiration drawn from places. But you know, it usually jump starts the creative juices that way - so we'll see. It's very nice to sit here - with the boys asleep tonight and not have to worry about anything or anyone at the moment.
Excess - blogs. I have this insane amount of blogs that I read. I have them all in Bloglines, so it's super easy to check on and read them. But I have way too many in there. Excess.
So - where am I going with all this ramble tonight? I dunno. I just feel like I'm floundering. I've had a couple internet breaks of sorts, and you know what? Life went on. I didn't really miss anything. People still had their little dramas and such. And life goes on. Several people have surprised me in the last few months, some good and some bad. And I've learned how real friends can be.
I am not really a sit-on-the-floor kinda mom. But I'm thinking I need to be. I don't really remember my parents playing with me. Of course, my memory sucks, so they probally did and I just don't remember! LOL! But I want my kids to know that I was there, sitting on the floor with them. I want them to pass it on, later in life, playing with kids.
There was a story on Dateline last Friday night, 2 young adults who just happened to have down syndrome got married. They have an apartment together and a life. And I sat on the couch and cried. I so want that for BOTH of my sons. I hope and I pray that it will be and they will both find someone to love and love them and settle in for a long life together. And yet, it makes me so very hopeful that it can be...
There are so many families, people in this life that have so much less than we do. So many families with more too. I need to stop more often and be grateful for all that we as a family have. I look around at my hodge podge home and I long for Pottery Barn. But then I think of Katrina and all that have lost so much and have yet, a year later, to regain it. And 9-11's anniversay is coming up soon. So many were lost forever then. So many are overseas away from their families right now, defending this country from afar. It may not be Pottery Barn, but it is ours and it's confortable. And my children do not have to worry about knocking anything over and breaking it. They can be comfortable and be themselves. and that's more important.
So - this is probally not the update everyone is wanting, but it's on my mind lately. It's so hard to get here and have coherrent thoughts to type everything out lately. Michael has switched to weekends, starting this weekend, so he will be home during the week now. The boys are in school. Matthew is back to a full boat of a PT, ST, MT, and OT. 4 therapists - 4 days a week. I have so much guilt in the summer, feeling like I'm not doing enought with them, teaching them. Then school returns, and I feel the same way. Are they learning what they need to? Am I teaching the right things to them? Are we sending enough time doing what we need to to get them where they need to be. So much guilt, this being a parent thing. Not enough, too much... is it ever just right???
We had visitors this last week - Grammie and Grandpy came spur of the moment from VT. We knew they had vacation, but they kept saying they weren't coming. Grammie called Sat. morning and asked about coming. They called back at 5pm that night and were here at 10am the next morning. They left yesterday afternoon and we had a really nice visit. Grandpy even got to return to VT with a really good story to tell. You'll have to click here though, 'cause I'm too lazy to re-type it! LOL!
I also have like 9 new layouts that I haven't posted here. I have 2 more in progress, but not finished and at least 1 more that I need to do. Maybe I'll post a few at a time.
We actually went out tonight and I got the photos for this layout. It's for the ad inspiration challenge at TDC. It's actually an ad that I sent to Marsha that I had saved out for composition, so it's nice to have it done.

Credits: background paper - Summer Whimsy, ScrapArtist. Paper tear - Steph Krush, Digital Paper Tearing. Date Stamp, tab & staple - Amber Clegg, The DigiChick Boutique. Font: Jenn Olson. I pulled the flowers out of a photo I took.
Journaling reads: You have an utter fascination with the watering system for the fruit trees out front. You have discovered that you can open & shut the valve, turning the water on & off as you do. You love to throw rocks into the water & watch the splash. Tonight you even managed to, almost standing on your head, get the top of your head wet in the water. It was so hot out, that at least it kept you a little cooler! :)

Credits: I Love School Kit - Laura Ping of Ping Designs. Font: Jenn Olson
Well - that's it for tonight. Sorry that I rambled and rambled, but I'm reflective lately. things are fine here - just plugging away. Am still actually reading too! I'm on the 5th Diana Gabaldon Outlander Series book. Fabulous - absolutely fabulous! I will be forever grateful to Andrea for suggesting the series! Will try and get back with more soon! :)
And on that note - I'm off to read a bit! :)

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About This Blog

Kit used in header is
Digitally Smitten Kit Freebie
by Digital Design Essentials

Digital Photo Frames by
Nancy Comelab.

Photos in header by
Adrian Hindes of
Canyon Photography


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