October 31, 2007


Happy Halloween! Would love to post some photos of all the fun we're having here, but alas my camera is not compatible with my dad's software, so you'll just have to be happy with my words.

Went to the Houston Zoo on Sunday. The weather was and is gorgeous here. The zoo was having trick or treating day, which was really fun for all the kids that were there, but not so great for me, who gets a little claustrophobic around lots of people. Ben got to see the tigers and Claire and I loved the Okapi, which looks like a cross between a giraffe and a zebra. Nature is amazing.

Got to visit Archiver's on Monday. It was like being a kid in a candy store! Walls of acrylic stamps and an inventory that pretty much covered all the products out there. Hung out for a long time while my mom took the kids to Target. Bliss.

Yesterday we headed down towards Galveston to visit By Design Scrapbook Boutique. This place was like a shrine to Heidi Swapp; pink walls and mirrors and bling everywhere, and in their pink classroom was the word SHE painted in giant white letters on the wall. They carry pretty much everything Heidi makes plus tons of other inventory and I found a few gems. Took lots of pictures for the gals back home.

Then we went on to a place called Kemah Boardwalk, which would remind me of Coney Island if I had ever been there. We had the amusement park all to ourselves and spent most of the day riding rides. Claire even rode the Bullet with me, the fastest wooden roller coaster in the country. She did have a little meltdown when we first got on, ripped off her seatbelt, stood up and screamed "I am not riding this thing!" But I got her calmed down and it turned out to be a good ride. Also met up with my brother Ray on the way home and got to hang out at his apartment for a while and meet his roommates. One of the guys was playing Guitar Hero on Xbox and Ben was fascinated watching him. He thought the guys were really cool and told them all about his new transformer Bumblebee!

Today we're hanging close to home and working on costumes and pumpkin carving. I might head down the road to check out another scrapbook store, but I also need to get some laundry done. I'm a light packer and need clean underwear. Hope your Halloween is spooktacular!

October 26, 2007

I'm Leaving...

on a jet plane. Tomorrow. Bags are packed. Boarding passes are printed. Alarm is set for 3:45 a.m. (yikes!) Texas here we come!

The kids have been bugging me to get a gerbil, which I have been resisting because we have quite a menagerie of pets already, all of whose care has somehow fallen to me. But, in the last month we have lost 2 of our cats; one stray who strayed somewhere else and recently, our 12-year-old kitty Booger is no where to be found. This morning when I told Claire that I thought Booger may have died, she replied "Two cats gone. That should at least be worth one gerbil." All we could do was laugh because it made sense in an 8-year-old, sadistic kind of way.

Here's the last layout I completed with my Kit of the Month from Crop Paper Scissors. Do you suppose Mark is jumping for joy at the thought of being single, sans kids for 8 days?

October 24, 2007

Fun With Dry Ice

So nice to have a father in science who can bring home a cooler of dry ice for playing. The kids had such a blast; sat on the kitchen floor for a long time dropping in the chunks and watching the fog appear. Remember all the cool things you used to do as a kid?

One more day of craziness and then some relaxation and packing for Texas. Figured out the design for an advent calendar class I'm teaching and making a super cute Christmas keepsake with an acrylic album from Maya Road. Been waiting to get my hands on this little album and Kristi at CPS just happened to have one. Love to hear the words "Go play with this." Thanks Kristi!

October 22, 2007


That's how my morning shaped up to be and how I predict the rest of my week will unfold. Lots of appointments and shuffling of schedules, babysitting and brownies, then flying to Texas bright and early Saturday morning. Did have a little time to create this weekend.

Ben dancing his little heart out aboard our cruiseship this past summer.

Pics of a little snake captured by Mark this summer. I have to laugh about this layout because I created the whole thing on a sheet of red cardstock that I didn't even notice was only 10" one way until I placed it on top of another layout to file. Just goes to show how automatic my process is now and I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing.

In other news, I'm teaching again! Planned 5 classes down at Crop, Paper, Scissors in Lewiston yesterday. I've really missed teaching and am so grateful for this opportunity. I have some great stuff spinning in my head, so keep an eye out for me. You can access their calendar here.

October 19, 2007

Happy Birthday...

to my sister Callie! She's turning the big 13 today. (Yes, it's true, I have a sister who's 13. My parents and I had that talk a long time ago, but obviously they weren't listening)! They're heading out to some Coney-Islandish place south of Houston for the day tomorrow. Have a great time Callie and we're looking forward to seeing you next week!

October 18, 2007

Dreaming of Sweat

Here's a layout I did based on a sketch of Becky Higgin's for a CK submission call. Loved pulling all of these different photos together to celebrate Spring.

This is what we're doing:
1. Hauling wood and building fires. It's darn cold this morning. Checking the temperatures in Houston; high of 93 today. Heading there next week. Can't wait to sweat again!

2. Figuring out how I'm going to paint the faces of all 12 girls in my Brownie troop in 1.5 hours next week. You know they won't want the simple designs.

3. Creating just for fun. No classes or clubs or submission deadlines. Just layouts for the fun of it. Love doing that.

4. Cracking nuts. We have lots of almonds from our tree this year and Mark spent the last 2 nights in the shop making a super-duper nut cracker. This thing should be patented to the mafia. It can easily break any body part and the kids had a blast making a huge mess in the kitchen last night.

5. Ben found his rubber band gun (which was stealthily hidden by me on top of the fridge). Mark stood in front of the pantry door with his safety glasses on this morning and let Ben shoot at him. Boys are so funny.

6. Really quite a relaxing and pleasant week after the whirlwind of last week. Enjoying this pace.

October 16, 2007

50 Posts

Today marks my 50th post on this blog. What a milestone for me. I like to start things, but don't always follow through with them for great lengths of time. But I love doing this. I love writing about our lives and sharing my photos and art. I'll have to have some kind of celebration when I reach 100!

Here's what we did yesterday. The folks in the Raptor Club at WSU were so awesome with my Brownie troop. We visited with six birds; 2 falcons, a red-tailed hawk, and 3 owls. This little screech owl is named Gwendolyn, and she can't hunt anymore because she was hit by a car and is blind in one eye. Guess that throws off your depth perception. The girls did great and asked a lot of very good questions. But the hit of the trip was really riding the city bus, just as I knew it would be. One of those simple little pleasures in life.

Here's another layout I did for my Kit Club at CPS. I LOVE this one, especially the picture of Claire with the evening sun on her face. Can't wait to share them in person with the group on Saturday.

October 15, 2007

Monday, Monday

The beginning of the week. No one could or wanted to get out of bed this morning. There were tears about tennis shoes on the way out the door. I think October is when the kids realize that they are in for the long haul with school. The newness has worn off and the grind has begun.
We had a good weekend. Nephew Kevin enjoyed his very first deer hunt. No Bambi's were killed, which was a little disappointing for him, but a relief for those of us who would have had to process the meat! And Mark's boss Rod was in town to attend Bud Ryan's memorial service and also stayed with us. We had a full house and we all loved it!
Here's a layout I did for CPS Kit Club this month. The photo of Ben was taken on the day he learned to ride a two-wheeler; the joy in his face is amazing!
Taking my Brownie troop to visit the Birds of Prey at WSU today. It will be an awesome field trip, but I think the girls are more excited to ride the city bus than see the birds.

October 10, 2007

It Weighs A Ton

Know that saying, "girls rule, boys drool"? I now have evidence that it's true.
Yesterday, Ben and I are walking up the stairs in our house, when out of the blue he says to me, and I quote, "Hey, my penis weighs a ton and I have to carry it everywhere I go."
I think we need a little more female energy in the world!!!

October 9, 2007

Gooey Fun

Have you ever made slime? My kids love it and we spent a good part of last weekend with our hands covered in goo. We like to keep adding food coloring to see what colors we can create. I'm training them early on the concept of the color wheel!

Here is my October calendar page for my Year to Remember class. We're exploring "time" this month and I got to use this cool clock overlay. The picture is one of me, pregnant with Claire, looking at the Northern Lights from our deck. At that point in time, I had no idea how much I was taking "time" for granted.

October 8, 2007

Big Dead Stuff

Here's Mark with his weekend kill. He shot it Saturday night and then spent all day Sunday boning and hauling it out of the canyon. He made an amazing shot right through the heart, so it didn't suffer, which gives Claire and I some peace of mind. We eat the meat, but we don't like to see the meat killed or hear any horror stories of the animal that ran four miles before it collapsed. This guy collapsed right away. Good job Papa. And he carefully saved the hide for Claire's bed. We have one on our bed from many years ago and it gives amazing warmth during the cold winter months. He also cut the crap out of his index finger and really needed stitches, but he refused because he is determined to get through this year without paying his insurance deductible! Boys!!

On a more girly note, here is a layout I created this weekend and submitted to Simple Scrapbooks for the Simple Schemes column. My chances are slim I know, but you never know until you try. I have decided that being published is something I'm interested in, so I am going to make a push to see it happen. Look for me on the gallery boards!
On a more somber note, an eminent professor in the Institute of Biochemistry (where Mark works) died this weekend of a brain anuerism. Bud did the research which proved that plants communicate with each other by sending gases through the air. He will be missed and we will be attending his memorial service this weekend.

October 7, 2007

Happy Birthday

It's my mother-in-law's birthday today. She's in the pink jacket in this picture taken at our family campout this past July. The other folks are her brother, mother, and sister. She is such a great MIL, fun and creative and kind and always supportive of us.

P.S. For our readers of the male persuasion who might care about such things, Mark shot an elk last night. I'll post pictures as soon as he comes back from dragging the beast out of the canyon.

October 6, 2007

The Hunt is On

Today marks the official start of my week-long stint as single parent and widow. It is the opening day of muzzle loader season here and I was alone with no one to cuddle with this morning. Poor me. But I hope to get some creative work done this weekend and Claire is having a friend over for most of today and tomorrow. Unfortunately, it appears I will not be participating in any formal World Card Making Day activities today, but I think I'll join in the effort and make some of my own! Also thinking about maybe digging out the long underwear. It has gotten very chilly here!

Here's a layout I did of "the girls" a while ago. There's always a lot of giggling and craziness when Claire gets together with her best friend Emily.

October 5, 2007

Art-full Friday

Ben and I took a little walk-about around the farm yesterday afternoon looking at all the beautiful fall colors in our yard. We also played "Africa". Our dog was our pet lion and we were searching for a new house because our house on the plains had burned down!
Beautiful rainbow over our barn before sunset. I love it when it's raining, but the sun is shining. I've heard this called "the devil beating his wife", but I've never understood that. Maybe it's a smiling-in-the-face-of-adversity thing.

I finished Ben's baby album. Just a compilation of my favorite pictures when he was small. I did it in the style of an alphabet book, so each page follows the same format. It was fun coming up with the letters for each picture.

And last, my Year to Remember class is doing a card swap with Heidi Swapp's giant playing cards. They sent us 15 cards and we have to return 10 of them decorated with a quote about time. Then they will shuffle them and send 10 random cards back to me. I'll have a little mini-book filled with quotes; so awesome considering how much I love words.

October 4, 2007

Fun and Games

We had such a wonderful weekend with the Sullivan family. Chery and I got to hit the thrift stores around here; what a blast. She is the only person I know who can keep up with me when it comes to thrifting. I can spend many hours browsing and she uttered not one complaint. In fact, every time I looked over at her, she seemed very happy to be there. Thanks Chery!

Fall around here means lots of apples, certainly more than we can eat. So we spent some time Saturday afternoon using the extras for batting practice. It was a great feeling to smash those little guys to smithereens. They splattered everywhere, hence the safety glasses.

Mark made a little joke and pitched Claire a tomato.

Speaking of apples, here's a layout I recently completed of Claire. That is a dried apple ring she is wearing as an earring. Silly kid, but I so love her unique spirit.