September 28, 2007

September 27, 2007

Taking A Break

Chery, one of my best friends in the whole wide world, is coming to visit this weekend!! She and I met in college over 20 years ago; I was the editor of the campus literary magazine and she was my assistant editor. We just clicked and have been friends ever since. It's been over a year since we've seen each other and I am SO looking forward to spending the weekend with her and her wonderful little family.

I'll be working on my kit from Crop Paper Scissors, so hopefully I'll have some layouts to post next week. I'm almost done putting the finishing touches on the baby album I'm making for Ben. And I'm sure there will be at least one good story or picture from the weekend to share.

September 26, 2007

The End

I have reached the end of my posting marathon. I am out of layouts that I want to share, so now I'd better get busy creating some more. Otherwise there's sure to be more rambling about weird stuff like dog food.
Speaking of dogs, I got a call from some lady yesterday saying she had my dog. I was a little confused because I knew I had seen my dog earlier and we live about 13 miles out of town. So I looked outside and sure enough, my dog was laying in the yard. Turns out it was my father-in-law's dog and the lady was calling me from 120 miles away! We kept his dog for about a year while he worked back east and he'd never changed the tag. The lady was on her bicycle calling me on her cell phone, so I told her to ride the dog home, since she wasn't too far away. My mother-in-law was very surprised when I called to tell her that some stranger was going to show up at her house with the dog in tow. She didn't know he was gone and even used a choice cuss word, which I loved because she never cusses and it was so cute coming from her!

Layout for One Little Word challenge. The word was automatic and I chose to protray the water guage in my kitchen, which drives me crazy with worry each and every day.

Also a One Little Word challenge. This one was balance and I felt very tired after completing it, thinking about all that I balance in my life!

September 25, 2007

Ridiculous Advertising

Yesterday I had to visit the-store-that-shall-not-be-named to buy pet food. The bag of dog food we usually buy had been redesigned and in the corner of the bag was a big advertisement that read "new colors and shapes". As if the dog would care that they'd added green morsels in the shape of triangles. And, if the advertisement was meant for me, the consumer, I say "Who Cares?" I couldn't stop laughing at the ridiculousness of it. I even pointed it out to the lady who was loading her car next to mine. At least it was good for some community interaction.
Thanks Sam.

Do you know American Girl? We've got the fever around here. Claire saved all of her birthday money and bought these Itty Bitty Twins. So cute.

This is a layout I did with the word "seek" for the One Little Word challenge.

And Claire on the Oregon Coast on New Year's Eve. The surf was incredible.

September 24, 2007

But I Eat the Sides

We had some friends over for dinner last week and we were trying to decide if we should have blackberries on our ice cream for dessert. Ben said no way he was having anything on his ice cream, just plain please. Our friend suggested he put some blackberries on the side, to which he replied "But I eat the sides!" Such true logic for him at five, and so hilarious for the rest of us.
A page about kite flying on a very blustery day last spring.

Ben doing his pokey, proddy, destroy-stuff "boy thing" in the woods. The same little boy who touches my face gently in the morning and says "I love you."

We've sung this song to Claire since she was a tiny baby and it was so nice to reflect on that memory while I was making this page. I also sang it for quite a while after I finished because it was stuck in my head. When I used to work the freight crew at our local food co-op, the other girls and I would try to think of the worst jingle ever to sing, knowing it would get stuck in everyone's head for the day. Funny how all those memories came out of one little page.

September 21, 2007


Amen. Stayed up late with the kids watching Star Wars, and now everyone is tired this morning. Looking forward to the weekend. I get to check out the new kit club at Crop Paper Scissors, led by none other than my friend and favorite teacher Erin. From the sneak peaks she's given me, it's going to rock. Lots of American Crafts paper, one of my many favorite lines.

Gotta love these shots where the kids are actually enjoying being together. Claire had on Mark's leather jacket and was chasing Ben and trying to kiss him. Every time I look at this page I think of monkeys because the pattern paper that coordinates with the stripes has monkey all over it.

Another paint ball picture. Notice Claire is in one of her princess dresses as she's holding the gun, which I think is just hilariously appropriate for her. The brackets really work here and I'm so glad to finally use them.

And here's our budding photographer. She's since moved on to actually shooting great pictures with my digital SLR. Love it that she's showing an interest in one of our favorite hobbies. Now if I could just get her to take piano lessons!
Have a great weekend!

September 20, 2007

Thanks Dad

for posting a comment on my blog. I like to know our families are seeing what I'm posting. It's such a great way for our farway relatives to get a little peek into our lives. So here goes the next three.

Ben likes Claire to help him dress up as Mrs. Nesbit from Toy Story, complete with makeup.

I am really proud of Mark and the work he does. It amazes me that he has such an acute understanding of the life of plants at such a deep level. The event we attended was orchestrated by the university and celebrated him as an inventor and patent awardee. This event is where I met the woman whom I then met again later. I talked about these meetings in my coincidence post.

Ben has a discovery toys race track that he likes to do all kinds of things with besides using it as a racetrack. This time he made hats for all of us to wear.
Claire has been so upset to go to school this week because she wants to stay home and play in her room. One of the downfalls of living so far out of town is that we have a lot of travel time. She's often gone from home nine hours on a school day. I know this is normal for a lot of kids, but not for us. We all really like hanging around home. I'm hoping we get a little down time this weekend for her to lounge around. It's got me thinking a lot about how we overschedule our kids. I really like to hear my kids say they're bored because it means they've got a lot of extra time to relax and do nothing. And so it should be with kids. There's plenty of time for busyness later in life.

September 19, 2007

Another Three

Here's the next installment in my layout-posting extravaganza.
My boys on the day Mark got his new paintball gun. It looks like he's actually going to get to go off into the woods this weekend to shoot at other guys. Joy.

Ben is still completely obsessed with his transformers. In fact, he's playing with them right now as I post this. I used a little paint around the photos on the page on the right, and I'm really liking the painting on my pictures technique.

And here is my darling Claire at her 8th birthday party. I have wanted to use these felt border flowers for a long time, but haven't felt the love. Still don't know if I like them or not, but the color was perfect here.
It got darn chilly here last night and Ben and I are a little cold in the house this morning. I am waiting for the fuel guy to come fill up our oil tank so we can turn the heat on. Gotta love the price of oil! I guess I could build a fire, but it just seems like it's too early for that.
Happy Wednesday!

September 18, 2007

Three A Day

I loved all of the layouts I did last weekend on my retreat. There's something about being in a room full of creative women that sparks my artistic side. I promised friends that I would post layouts when I got back, but there's so many of them that I'll give you a break and only post three a day. Like little well-balanced meals.

Our family at Easter. Scenic Route is one of my very favorite paper companies and you'll see a lot of their stuff on my pages.

Ben and Claire playing on the boat on our cruise to Alaska. The title letters are acrylic paint on my Heidi Swapp lemonade stand foam letter stamps.

Some shots I got of the kids last spring when we were out flying kites. And yes, I punched all those holes for brads, and it wasn't even that big of a deal!
If you know me at all, you know that I hate it when things aren't perfect. For some reason, this blog is not accepting my spacing on my posts. Sometimes the text will be right under the picture and sometimes it will give me line breaks. And I tried to break this paragraph, but it's having none of it. So I've got this really nice run-on paragraph. Ugh! But I'm going with it.
Happy Tuesday!

September 17, 2007

Home Again, Home Again

I'm back from my scrapbooking retreat in the wilds of Idaho. I met so many fun new people and really enjoyed a full weekend of no responsibilities. I completed 24 12x12 layouts, 4 9x9 layouts, and an 8x8 alphabet book of Ben's baby pictures. Plus I got to hang with my friend Erin for the weekend. And I suffered not one paper cut or glue misfortune. Thanks to the gals at Crop Paper Scissors for putting on this fantastic event and putting up with all 60 of us!

Here's the Palouse Divide Lodge, formerly known as North/South Ski Bowl. The ski area closed in 1995 and the new owners have done a great job in creating this retreat and conference center.
Here's all 60 of us girls posed for our group shot in front of the pond.

These are the gals from our cabin. I got to know them fairly well this weekend and I've never laughed so much in my life. Great people!

And my friend Erin and me. She's really special to me and so amazingly creative!

I am looking forward to posting my layouts over the next few weeks, but today I'm concentrating on getting my brownie troop to Sunnyside Park this afternoon to make s'mores.

September 13, 2007


I am leaving with my friend Erin today for 72 hours of creative fun at the Palouse Divide Lodge in the Clearwater National Forest of Idaho. I have planned forty layouts plus a mini-book, and I packed some other fun projects to play with while I'm there. I am so looking forward to this time away. Thanks to Crop Paper Scissors in Lewiston for planning this shindig.
The reason I get to leave my home and family for four days is because of Mark. He works so hard to support me in my creative madness and this time is no exception. He'll be taking care of the kids this weekend in lieu of going on a week-long backpacking trip with his friends. So I want to take this opportunity to praise him a little and thank him for all the hard work he does to make life easier for me and the kids.

So here's to my bee sprayin', wood haulin', log splittin', roof nailin', gutter cleanin', tree trimmin', lawn mowin', antennae reparin', dish washin', roto-tillin', swingset buildin', kid bathin', wife lovin' man. I love you. My life would not be fun without you in it. Thank you.

September 12, 2007

Poetry For Your Wednesday

The yellow jackets and paper wasps are incessant on our farm. Mark has spent many hours hunting and spraying them and even with all of his effort it is sometimes impossible to sit on our porch in the heat of the day. Ben is terrified of being stung, so in an effort to give his some control we got this bug zapper for him before we went camping this summer. I must say I'm a little ashamed of the pleasure I have derived from killing them.

As much as I'm a lover
of nature, I cannot abide
the attention of this yellow jacket.
The incessant humming drowns out
the song of the birds
and I do not want to share
my coffee with anyone.
I am here looking for solitude.
But who is the intruder really?
Me, with my decadently scented
beverage, my cork-soled shoes full of smells
of faraway. I am enticing.
I have learned to live
with bees this summer. I give them
a wide berth and a flick of my hand.
I soothe my terrified children.
I put bubbles in my bird bath and hope
for death. Just because I fear the sting.

September 11, 2007

Happy Birthday(s)

Today is my brother Ray's birthday (he's the one on the right). He's turning the ripe old age of 22 today. Happy Birthday Ray!
It is also the birthday of my brother-in-law John. I won't tell you how old he's turning, but suffice it to say he's even riper. Happy Birthday John!

I woke up thinking about these two and then I turned on NPR and was immediately reminded that this is our country's sixth anniversary since 9/11. Claire was 2 years old, Ben wasn't around yet, we were living in a different house where we had satellite television and I could watch the horror unfold right before my very eyes. Mark and I both got very choked up this morning trying to explain to Claire what had happened on that day. You have to be very careful when you're talking to the kids about "bad" people because it can lead to a lot of apprehension, but I think it's an important historical fact of our life as Americans of which she should certainly be aware.
So I'll be mourning along with the rest of the country today, but I'll also be thinking about these two great guys who are luckily still in my life. Happy Birthday Ray and John!

September 10, 2007


They've been on my mind because some really "coincidental" things have been happening to me in an almost Truman-esque way lately. For example, I'm driving down the road and a song is playing that I like. I'm thinking how I downloaded that song recently and that leads me to think about the other songs on that CD. I'm thinking I really haven't heard U2's "Beautiful Day" in a while and it would be oh so nice. Then it comes on the radio next. No shit. Gave me goose bumps.

Then, last March Mark was honored as a patent recipient at a WSU banquet. We sat at a table with some other folks and met a couple who had just moved here from Kansas. Had a great time and went on our merry way. Last week as I was going through some of my art stuff, I found the pictures and ephemera from that event and decided to scrapbook it. I spent some time looking at the seating cards and Mark's name in the brochure and about the people we met and what we ate. The very next day I met the woman from Kansas again at an impromtu women's meeting I had just that morning decided to attend!!

I am a fairly grounded person. Religion and the metaphysical world don't do much for me. But stuff like that sure makes me think. About life. And what's out there that we know nothing about. Either I am an extremely powerful and important person in this universe, or it's all just a coincidence.

A little brain fodder for the Monday morning.

September 9, 2007

Good Time Being Had By All

We've been having some fun around here for the last week or so. I just spent a good portion of the weekend cleaning up from an amazing dust storm that hit us recently. We were all so excited to watch the storm coming in we didn't realize we'd left all the windows open. What's more, we had just shampooed the carpet a couple of hours before! Nice mess, lots of wiping down and sweeping up, but Mark got some great photos.

And the kids headed back to school. (Here she breathes a big sigh of relief and sheds a tear of sadness.)

Claire is starting grade 3. I love this picture because of her bicycle in the foreground. It's like she's leaving the fun and carefree summer behind and heading out for new adventures.

Here's Ben checking out his cubby at preschool. Of the eight students in his class, six of them are boys and four of those are age 5. Looks like it's gonna be a good year.

Each Labor Day weekend my inlaws host what has become fondly referred to by family members as "Water World" at their house on the Columbia River. We float and boat and swim and ski and eat and drink for many days.
Nephew Brian is rockin' on his wakeboard these days.

Nephew Kevin spent a lot of time and effort perfecting his skiing technique.

Claire and Brian and Ben had a blast behind towed behind the boat, and althoug Claire at first pouted and screamed that we were going too fast, I think she relaxed and enjoyed the ride after Mark ignored her!

Looking forward to the new routine and some much-awaited creative time.