Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008

Another year has passed and once again I have no idea where the time went. It was a year full of many ups and downs, but we kept our heads and made the most of it. I know I learned a lot about myself and how strong I can be. I also realized that I can only do so much and saying "no" to some things is OK. Things always have a way of working out in the end as long as you keep the faith.

I finally scrapped yesterday! I completed one layout and almost did another, I just need to finish that one up. It felt so good to sit down and let the creativity flow. I am not one to sit still for long so as I was working on my layouts I was doing laundry and dishes and taking down the Christmas decor. My productive days (or days that I feel productive I should say) seem to be few and far between so it felt wonderful to get so much done and still have time to do something for me.

Do you make New Year resolutions? I generally don't, but I cannot help but look ahead and think about things that I would like to accomplish the following year. For a few days I feel new and fresh with the changing of a year, and that brings a clear head to me full of all the possibilities that can be, but life has this thing about not being so new and fresh and it's easy to just step right back into the tried and true. I do have a few things I would like to do in 2009, but it's nothing in depth, just little things. For instance, I want to start hanging pictures on the walls. We have lived here almost 5 years and I do not have a single photo of the girls (or anyone else) hanging up. But that is going to change. Just this week I bought 7 frames from Michael's and had some of my favorite photos of the girls enlarged and they are now in frames ready to be hung. I plan to look through my files and fill up our home with photos this year. I would also like to redo our bedroom and re-paint the living room. I want to read more (something that is on my "list" every year and seems to be the one thing I never do enough of). I never want to set myself up for failure because I can do that on my own without the stress of having to live up to something that just may not work out.

Have you ever had a conversation with someone that leaves you feeling so positive and energetic and intrigued and motivated that you just keep replaying it in your head? I had one of those last night with my Uncle. I am still on a high from that conversation. I am not going to get into messy details, but I have never, ever had such a conversation with my dad or my Uncle. Ever. Until last night. My Uncle called me out of the blue on Saturday and I missed the call. I tried to his call but we kept missing each other until last night. I was nervous because I haven't talked to him in well, 5 years at least, and they were always short, akward, superficial conversations. Last night was different, like it was meant to be. We talked with ease and had some deep discussions. I have a whole new light of him, one that I never imagined. We spoke for over 2 hours and it was hard to end the conversation, but it was late. I feel like I have a connection that I never thought I would have and it's a great feeling! He talked alot about our family history and it's quite impressive and I am eager to read more into things. I had no idea that I had some Russian roots (Romanoff's) and Royalty to boot. Even some important people in history are connected to me and I am eager to read up on them in a new light. I have never been much into History, but now I am interested and excitied to read about things. He and Kara are going to talk soon because she is into history and they are going to have a great connection, I can feel it.

Good things are going to happen in 2009, I can feel it deep in my bones. I hope your 2009 is blessed for you as well.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope your Christmas was full of wonderful memories, plenty of love and good times!
I miss Christmas already. It was a great day, not too long, not too short... just right.
Our Christmas started out with a bang, literally. We were awakened at about 1AM to a huge crashing sound that brought myself, Skylar and Ashlyn scrambling out of bed, and Kenny running up the stairs from his hobby room with our hearts thumping wildly to check out what caused that awful noise. We looked out the back doors to discover that our awning covering the back porch had fallen down from the weight of the record snowfall we've had and had pulled part of the eaves and soffett down with it. There was insulation flying around everywhere along with the huge snowflakes and it was difficult to see what exactly had happened for a few minutes. I think we were all stunned at what we were looking at and all I could do was laugh. One of those I cannot believe this is happening laughs, mixed with thankfulness that it wasn't our roof colapsing which is something we have been a bit stressed about. Of course Kenny didn't think it was funny.
As we turned to head back to bed, Skye and Ashlyn's faces lit up because they saw that Santa had arrived. That was a moment of pure joy for me because I rarely get to see their first reaction and that within itself made all the stress of the awning dissapate. It was hard to get back to bed then, but I insisted that we all try to get some rest.
(I need to mention that Kara and Nathan slept through this, I am not sure how, but it must be because they are teenagers. That's the only logical thing I can come up with. Heehee. They were sure surprised to look outside and see it in the morning.)

It was a long restless night and after several times of telling the girls to wait until 6AM, we finally dragged out of bed and started the morning. We had a wonderful time opening gifts and laughing and enjoying the reactions of Skye and Ashlyn. After our phone calls to family, Kenny and I went outside to assess the damage from the awning. We then decided that we needed to get up on the roof and start shoveling the snow off before something could happen there. I was scared at first, but once I got up there it was pretty amazing how much snow we had on the roof. It was up past my knees and the wind was blowing and it was cold. But I dug in and we laughed a lot. I accidentally dropped my shovel and was afraid to climb down the ladder because I was slipping on the roofing and was afraid that I was going to hurt my ankle on the way down. He told me to just slide off the roof and jump into the snow. I was so scared I started to cry, but realized I would have to get down at some point so I went for it scared as all get out. I was really not prepared for such a short slide off and easy drop into a huge pile of snow. I was up past my waist in just the fresh snow we had shoveled from that small section of roofing and I immediately cried out in joy. I am such a dork, but I was terrified. Right then and there I knew I would have to do that over and over again because it was so fun! Kenny's brother TJ showed up a few minutes later shortly followed by his brother Chris and we managed to clear the roof in a relatively short time. We brought our lab Angel up there with us and she was having a great time. Our great dane Charlie wanted up but he wouldn't let anyone help him so he just whimpered from below at Angel. We even let the girls up so they could slide off a few times into the snow. Might as well have fun with it and that's just what we did. They, like I, were scared at first but realized quickly how fun it was.
After we were done with that, I put the turkey in the oven and then took a short nap. Shoveling snow takes alot out of you and being exhauseted already didn't help things. A nap was nice and I woke up feeling a bit more human. Kenny's brother TJ and his family came over for dinner and we played a game of cards after. Once they wen't home Ashlyn and I snuggled and watched some TV and then it was off to bed.
It was one of the most memorable Christmases I can recall and one of the most fun. The day was perfect, not too long, not too short, but I was sad that the "spirit" of the day had to end and that when I woke up today it was "just another day". We could have moped and stressed about something that we had no control over, but instead we decided to let it be and just make the most of it. We had a great time and enjoyed every minute of it. It's a special day that comes once a year and I wanted to live it up. I am blessed to have such a loving husband, amazing children, wonderful extended family, a roof (in one piece) over my head and food on the table. The snow is beautiful and I have never had such a white Christmas and may never again. Spokane set a new record for the largest amount of December snowfall ever... so far we are at over 46" with more on the way tonight. It's pretty amazing to say the least.

It was a magnificent day and a memory I will carry in my heart forever.

I leave you with a few photos of the awning. All the other pics are on my other camera which doesn't hook up to our computer. Maybe Kara took some I can share later.
God Bless!

Friday, December 19, 2008

let it snow and snow and snow and snow......

Good morning! I know one thing for sure, we are definitely going to have a white Christmas, there is no doubt about it. Yay! We have 2 feet of the beautiful white stuff on the ground right now with more on the way in the coming week. Spokane set an all-time record for snowfall amounts yesterday with 19.4" falling in a 24 hour period. WOW! It started snowing early Tuesday morning the 17th of December and didn't stop until late last night. We still have a few more inches predicted to fall today. I have never ever seen anything like this in my life and I am at a loss of words as to how to describe it... awesome, in the true sense of the word, is the only thing that comes to mind. You see it and it looks like a lot, but until you get out and really get in it do you fully realize how much there truly is. It pretty much shut our city down. We are used to snow, but not used to the massive amounts we've had in such a short time. The schools shut down only for the 2nd time in over a dozen years (last year being the first) and the city encouraged everyone who could stay home to do so. And we did. Kenny had to go to work and he struggled just getting in and out of the driveway and said it was very rough and he almost got stuck several times.
The kids love it, as do I, it really sets the tone for Christmas break. This is a freaky year for Winter weather so far. I am just thankful that we haven't had an ice storm. Stay warm and safe my friends!

I am going to leave you with some pictures. I have to go to work this morning. Ugh. I seriously doubt anyone is going to be shopping today since the roads aren't in any better condition since it's back in the single digits for our highs today, but they told me to come in. *sigh* At least they called Kara off for this evening.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

had some time to create

The past few weeks have really flown by! I had all these plans to create all these wonderful Christmas-ey projects, but that was squashed. It's all good though because they will still be here waiting for me next year. Haha!
My BIL and SIL arrived on Saturday morning and it's been non-stop since then. Today was actually the first real down day I had (well I did have some time yesterday since Ashlyn was sick and I called into work, but I worked around the house and did some organizing before I took some time for myself) and I really used it as a down day. I didn't do anything around here other than one load of laundry and then I wrapped up some scrappy projects. I even took a nap. It's nice to have one of those days every now and then. As much as I hate that Ashlyn wasn't feeling well yesterday, I really needed that day to decompress and just take some me time. I was feeling burnt out and run down and like I haven't done anything for me in such a very long time. Yesterday was good for my spirit and I think it was a gift that I was given.

My grandfather, Roy E. Stier, passed away on Monday. I am sad, but not overly distraught. I haven't spent all that much time with him for one, just a few hours here and there over the past decade, and he was 91. He lived a long and full life and had so many experiences and did so many great things with his life, that I know he knew he lived a great life. He wouldn't want anyone to mourn his loss, but look back on how much he lived. He was an author and has 5 books in print, all of which I own, but sadly, and embarassingly, have never read them. It's on my list. I haven't read anything lately which is also something I need to change.

Onto some brighter things, I finally finished a project that I started about a month ago. I saw these on a magazine cover and then again on the amazingly talented Linda Albrecht's blog and knew I had to expand my horizons and give them a try. Working with clay has been something i wanted to tackle for awhile now and I can check that off my list. I am sure you will be seeing more from me in the future. They didn't turn out like I had envisioned, but I really think that is due to a lack of time, however I am still pleased with them. I really like how elegant 'Dapper' and 'Grace' turned out. It all started with trying to find something to put on her head and the white flower with feathers seemed to work well and then I just had to create someone to go with her. I am glad to have something finished and ready to display and enjoy before the season ends. :)

I hope to be back soon with something to post, maybe scrappy related, maybe not. Until then, take care and I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving (a bit late)

I know it's after the fact, but I hope everyone had a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving. I woke up early, cooked much of the morning and fiddled around here and there. We ate around 1PM and then Nathan called, which was a wonderful surprise. And then it started snowing! Tiny little flakes dancing around, but it really made the day magical. Kara and I headed off to work at 5PM, which we volunteered for, and we got home a little after 10. It was crazy busy, but fun and everyone seemed in a great Holiday mood.
Kara and I had to be back to work by 5:30AM yesterday, so we decided that we would hit Toys R Us for their Black Friday sale since it's right next door to M's. We got there at 3:45AM and there wasn't much of a line yet, but it quickly filled up. By 4:30AM the parking lot was packed and the line was wrapped around the store down the road. So glad we got there early. We were also in and out quickly and got Guitar Hero 3 for the Wii and a few other things that were on our list and then headed out the door to work.
We worked from 5:30-2PM and I think by 10AM we were both wiped out, but it was a steady stream of busy at work and everyone was in a great mood and we had fun. All the employees brought items to eat and we had a huge spread of anything you could imagine. In fact there is even enough food for today, which is nice. It's not often we can graze at work all day. :)
It was snowing heavily by the time we walked out the door and we were still hyped up from the shopping spirit so we made our way over to Walmart (I was seeking an Ice Blue DS bundle for myself). The DS was gone, however we decided to pick up some gifts that are really going to make the true meaning of Christmas present in our household come Christmas Eve when we have extended family with us. It's enough to make me cry right now. Even my dh cried because he also knows how much this is going to mean to some people. (I am not going to spill the beans because there might be eyes out there. ;)). My heart is full. That's the only way I can explain it.
I decided to try one more time to locate that DS online last night before bed and I am so glad I did because I found one and it's on it's way to me. :) That's my Christmas gift that is going to be wrapped and placed under the tree. Now I remember what it's like to be a kid.
I know it's boring to read all this withouth any pics, but I have just been busy and haven't had time to do much of anything. The next few days are long days at work and when Wed. comes and I have a day off I am going to create something. At least I hope to.
I hope your weekend is a great one and if you are/were out shopping you got some great deals! Enjoy each and every moment of the Season, I know we will.

Friday, November 21, 2008

more MAA projects

TGIF! I have some more projects to share with you that I created with fabulous My Acrylic Album pieces.
First off is a "button tree" I made with a left over page from the tree album and plenty of buttons. It was actually a quick project and I like how it turned out.
I also have an album that I created to send back to Dee to keep as a display/example piece. I received the boy skull and crossbones album, but I had to "girly him up". Making Memories was extremely generous and sent each DT member some product from the gorgeous Paperie collections to complete these albums with. I have to admit that I was a bit worried about having to create with the "greenhouse" Paperie collection. I mean it's stunning and all, but green is not my favorite color and I usually struggle with it, however, once I dug in this album came together quickly and I really like how it turned out. In fact I want to keep it. I don't want to send it back to Dee (pretty please can I send something else?!). The best part is that even after using all the stuff I did, I still have a lot of this gorgeous collection left. *sigh* I am going to miss this album, but if it helps promote MAA then I am more than happy to help. This is the first time I have had to create something that I wasn't able to keep so I am having some separation anxiety. heehee.
(some of the photos are really dark, sorry about that)

I am working on another album and I hope to have it up sometime next week, but we'll see.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 17, 2008

an ornament and a Christmas 2006 MAA album

I just love Christmas music. There is something about it that lifts my spirit, especially when it's cold and snowy outside. We have a local radio station that plays Christmas music 24/7 from about Thanksgiving through the New Year and the kids know that during this time the radio is tuned to this station and that is all they are allowed to listen to (at least in the living area, they can listen to whatever in their rooms.) *grin*. As I was driving home from work today I was pleasantly surprised to hear the station playing Christmas music already. I got really excited and started singing along. I must admit though that it's difficult to be in the spirit when it's in the 50's and warm, nonetheless it was still uplifting.

Here is an album I created with a wonderful acrylic Tree album from My Acrylic Album. A star shape also comes with the album, and I used it to create an ornament instead of keeping it with the album. If you haven't checked the site out lately, you should! There are several new items as well as a DT call. :)

I hope your week has gotten off to a great start! Mine has! I found an amazing deal about a week ago and splurged just a bit. ;) I ordered a Cricut Expression, the Jukebox, the Design Center, some cartridges and several other goodies to go with it, and when I arrived home today, a big ole box was waiting for me. It was like Christmas. I cannot wait to get some time to sit down and play. I am so excited!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

it's a party!

It's a birthday party! Little Monkeys (StoreMoreStamps) is celebrating their first birthday and you get the presents! Want to know more, well read on!

Alma, from The Cats Pajamas stamps, was quite generous and donated 2 stamp sets to each DT member to play with (lucky us!). I just have to say that these stamps are fun and whimsical and cute as can be! I must have been under a rock because this was the first time I have seen or even heard of them, but I am now a huge fan! We each got to play with "You say It's your Birthday" and "Smells Like Cake" sets. These sets are perfect for adding a little fun to anyone's birthday! Be sure to check out the other wonderful stamps that Alma carries, you will want to add them all to your collection. :) Thanks Alma!

I created a card and a coordinating treat bag. As soon as I saw these stamps I thought whimsy and pink with a bit of elegance.

Speaking of stamps, are you looking for a great way to organize all your acrylic stamps? Check out the Store More Stamps storage system set!. This unique system gives you the room to store you fabulous stamp collection in a colorful and efficient way. There are many colors to choose from, including a brand new set, Apple. It's quite pretty and I can almost smell the orchard. You can also alter the storage box to suit your decor or personality.

Okay, time for the fun stuff! Take a minute to go leave a little love on both the Little Monkey's blog and The Cat's Pajamas Blog then come back and tell me how you currently store your clear stamps and how the Store More Stamps system would help you out. You might just be the lucky winner of these great prizes:

a "Smells Like Cake" Stamp Set from The Cat's Pajamas! and a set of Sleeves with Inserts from

Thanks so much for stopping by and celebrating with us!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

things happen in three's

This has been a crazy week for our kids. Ashlyn fell down the stairs on Friday night and landed on her elbows/forearms on the brick landing. She hit hard, and I have to say that I am surprised that she didn't break anything. I fully expected to pick her up and see bone sticking out of her arm, and by the grace of God she just had a large scrape. Her angels were watching over her for sure and I was shaking for a long time. That being said, she still has some discomfort and swelling in the area. I took her to the clinic on Monday morning to have it checked out because she was having some pain but because she could use her arm fully, they wouldn't do an x-ray. They said that unless it's obvious, they don't want to expose her to radiation unless necessary. *sigh* I was told to bring her back if she's not feeling better in 2 weeks. Well, I am not going to wait that long. If she is still having pain through the weekend then she is going back and I will not leave without an x-ray. My mommy gut just feels that something is not right.
And then Sunday night, Skylar dropped a wooden easel on her foot. I took her to the clinic on Monday night because she was having a hard time, even though she managed to make it through school AND volleyball practice. They did an x-ray and determined that there wasn't a break (which I figured), but needed to wait until the AM for a Radiologist to look at it, so they put her in a shoe just in case there was something going on. Well I got a call Tuesday morning to get her in for a walking boot because she does have a few areas that appear to be fractured, but they aren't for sure. So we have an appt. tomorrow with an Orthopedic dr. and she will more than likely have to have an MRI so they can see the injured area more closely. It's going to be a fun day tomorrow.
And then yesterday morning, Debbie called telling us that Emily had fractured two of her lower vertebrae (at least that's our understanding) because she fell out of her bedroom window. She was being kept in the hospital overnight and should be sent home today. She was in a lot of pain and will have to wear a back brace for awhile, but thankfully there should be no long-term damage. We really don't know what she was doing sitting in her bedroom window, and it's a second-story window, but she was evaluated and found that she did not try to harm herself, which is what our first thought was.
So, it's been quite interesting around here to say the least. I am still nursing my ankle, but it is feeling better, which is a good thing.
I am just hoping that this is it for awhile, my mommy heart cannot take any more.
I'll be back soon with some scrappy projects. :)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

November CMD projects

It's been gloomy and gray the past few days. It's been raining pretty much non-stop. I suppose I shouldn't complain because we really need it, but it reminds me so much of living in the Seattle area and it was like this quite often. I miss the sun. :) It has been nice to hang out inside. I have been really productive around the house. Ashlyn's room is done! I set her bed up and moved her dresser and shelves upstairs. I even surprised her with some new Littlest Pet Shop sheets. That made her light up! I must say that it turned out well. The blue is soft and clean and fresh and relaxing and soothing. I want to paint the living room that color now. Today her task is to go through everything and get rid of things she no longer needs or uses and to move the rest upstairs.

I went to the Dr. yesterday. Of course my ankle was in very little pain. *eyeroll* I suppose it's a good thing because I don't want to regress. I do have some areas where the muscle has built up something that has caused some bumps, but they aren't anything that is going to cause things to get worse. She thinks my tendon is agitated which causes the muscle to become agitated, thus causing the area to react. I did everything right by resting it and I just need to continue to take it as easy as I can and take care of it just as I have been. I turned down a Cortizone shot in the area yesterday because I wasn't in the mood to tolerate that. If I am having problems in a few weeks or if I change my mind, she said to come in and get it. I am sure I will, I just have to be in the right frame of mind because having a needle poked multiple times around the area of my scar is one of the most painful things I have felt and I don't the mental strength right now. She gave me some heel inserts to try and suggested I get some different shoes and some different insoles to take the pressure off the area. So I went straight out and got some new shoes and am going to get the insoles on my way to work this morning. I also have to wear my ankle brace at work at all times. I don't have the support in the area of my ankle to handle the pressure of being on my feet or even walking around for long periods. We hope it was a fluke thing and that it continues to heal. If not I will more than likely have to quit working. I am not sure what I will do then since I am able to work around the kids with this job, which is the reason I am there.

Here are my final Color{Me}Daisy projects. Everything is made with the beautiful November kit. I struggled a bit, but am pleased with the end results.
Have a wonderful Saturday!