Tuesday, September 30, 2008

That's one of the three pages I'll be taking to Madison tomorrow when I go to visit my Mom for a week. With the summer craziness, I got 3 months behind. My plan is to mail them to her, so she gets some happy mail every once in a while (believe me, she needs it!), but I guess the next best thing is to deliver them in person. But this will be the last personal delivery for the year, anyway and probably not until spring of '09 at best.

Soooo, I'll be in Madison for a week. I hope to get in a little shopping at some of my fave places in while I'm there. Like here. And here. And here. Dare I go here? And, I'd LOVE to go here, but not alone. BUT, I'm bringing a SMALL suitcase and, therefore, will not be able to fit much extra in it! (I guess that's one good way to make sure I don't spend too much!) I'm also hoping that at least one of my siblings will be able to come and visit me while I'm there.

In the meantime, back home, there's some exciting stuff going on for Martha and Matthew. Martha is having a "cook-off" for a job that her and one other candidate are vying for. It's for a new brew-pub in Danville (the main con of the job is the distance) that she would be exec chefing. (The cook-off is at our house and doesn't involve the other guy - just Martha). She has another interesting job prospect that she'll be interviewing for on Monday - for a catering chef/event planner at a local college - which just happens to be next door to where Matthew is now working. I'm sure both places will want her and then she'll be in the lovely position of being able to choose.

And, the kids are itching now to get their own place. Limbo land is not an easy place to be and, understandably, staying with us has lost most of it's charm. It's not about us and I don't take it all personally, having been in the same situation myself. It's about not being able to set up your own household and get on with your life. And, especially coming here from AZ which is already a big enough change - well, they are READY to get on with it! This was a very necessary transition for them (staying here) and I know they are truly grateful for it. It's just that you get antsy after a while and really need your own place. Like I said, I get it.

Once they do move and are able to assess the situation with the gratitude that I know they have and that will be renewed once they're settled, I'm sure we will be treated to a lifetime of weekly meals at their home. :) Yeah. I'm gonna MISS that part!

M&M have also been looking at houses to rent. They're leaning towards staying right in the Williamsport area as they want to be near Matthew's job so at least one of them can take public transportation or walk, if needed, and just because they'd like to be closer to stuff to do. It's fun hearing about the different places they're looking at. The gas prices (for heating) are knocking them for a loop, though. Unfortunately, I don't think that's going to get much better, even though the auto gas prices are steadily going down right now...

But, anyway, I guess it's forseeable that they could move while I'm gone. I kinda doubt it will happen that fast, but it could. And Chris could have to clear out the cookstove and start a fire. And the leaves could be amazing when I get back. (Hope I don't miss them!)

I can't believe it, but I'm actually NOT taking my camera with me to Madison. I decided I didn't want to be loaded down with it. I just want to kinda travel "light" this time - even, as I said before, with a smaller suitcase. I figured I can do my laundry while I'm there. And what am I going to take photos of, anyway? I don't know - at the last minute I might throw in my little Kodak because I can barely stand the thought of NO camera... We'll see.

Well, I'm off to finish packing.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wow. My "baby" is 28 years old today! How in the heck did THAT happen? He's a fine young man and I'm proud of him. He's a husband now and a "step" daddy. I look forward to seeing what he will do with his life from here. He has many gifts. I pray he and his family will be greatly blessed!

Chris and I had the pleasure of eating out last night with our whole little family (minus one cat, one dog and one grandchild, that is). We went to the Selin's Grove Brewing Co. It was a rather long trip down in the rain due to an accident (not involving us), but we had good food, good libations and a good time.

I've had a busy week working on little gifties and ATC's for my fellow Fashionistas (those who signed up for the exchange, anyway). Here's my little projects:

Shhh, don't tell anyone, but that's one of the littles boxes that I altered. They're for holding ATC collections. And since not all of the Fashionistas are making gifts, but all are making ATC's, I thought I'd make a little something for them to store the cards in, as you can see below:

Yeah, that's kind of a lot of room - for ONE card. But it's meant to hold all 22 cards that we'll each be getting...

And that's a closeup of one of the 22 cards I made. They're all pretty much the same, just with different colors to them. I wanted to make a card that would express how much my girls mean to me and how much they inspire me.

In other news, Martha has a friend coming in for a visit today for the remainder of the weekend. We love Anna, too - it will be great having her. Tomorrow, some of the musicians from Valley Mosaic will be joining Matthew at Lycoming Valley Baptist Church where he has been leading the music Sunday mornings. And, in the evening, they will all play again at the VM's weekly gathering. So, Chris and I are planning on attending that...

Monday, I'll tackle getting all my goodies mailed off and then Tuesday I'll be packing to go to Madison for a week long visit with my mom. Wednesday a.m., before flying out of H-burg in the afternoon, I'll be getting a lovely mammogram. Won't that be nice? Always so enjoyable - NOT. I hope they have the new squeeze-reduction technology available...

So, TODAY, being all caught up on projects and all, I will be finishing up our song service for tomorrow, maybe cleaning up a bit around here and then MOSTLY laying back doing whatever I please. Tonight, PSU plays it's first "real" - as in possibly challenging - game of the season. We've crushed everyone so far, so tonight we'll see if it was because we're so good or they were so bad... Looking forward to that, because I suspect it's the first.

Happy Saturday, all!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Here are two of the adorable little projects I've made for my class with Wilna Furstenberg this week (see link at left). They are both made from Starbuck's products - the first from a cup (yes, a cup!) and the second from the cup sleeve! Ha! Is that not cool? Wilna (a fellow Fashionista) has done all the painted artwork that we were able to download and print out for use. You can see a page-by-page of the sleeve mini on my SIS gallery here. I haven't put anything yet in the cup book - not sure where I'll go with it, but it's VERRRRRY fun!

Today we're heading out for probably what will be our last bike ride of the season. We're going up to the Pine Creek area and then we're going to eat out on the beautiful deck of the Manor Hotel which overlooks the creek. It's getting chilly out at night - so we will have to dress accordingly. It's so beautiful up there, though. Love it.

Matthew's in the process of putting together a song service for the church he's working for. How ironical and amazing is THAT (because, of course, I do the very same thing for my own church every week). So, it's very hard for me to concentrate on writing because I can't help singing along to all these great praise songs (he's working off a Lincoln Brewster CD).

Have a GREAT weekend!

Monday, September 15, 2008

(Link here for credits) (Click layout for closer view and to read journaling)

One of my SISters passed away this week. (Since our website is ScrapInStyletv.com, we call each other SISters - and the community really feels sisterly...). Her name was Aleida (screen name ricanlaw) and she was 41 years old with 2 young children and a husband she was still so in love with. She'd been at SIStv just as long as I have. While I didn't "know" her well - she wasn't active on the message boards - I was familiar with her work and her name as she would post layouts and leave comments on other people's layouts. She was tragically killed instantly as a car ran a red light and struck her broadside as she was crossing an intersection on the green light. Thank God, her children were not with her. I've started a thread on the website message boards (here) for SISters who would like to honor her memory by "lifting" one of her layouts.

"Lifting", in the scrapping world (as in "scrap"lifting - related to "shop"lifting), is a high high compliment and so, I thought it would be a fitting way to honor her. So the above is my lift of one of her layouts. If you look at the thread I started (again, here), you can see Aleida's layout that I lifted.

It may seem trite, but it truly does make you pause to think about how precious life really is and how quickly it can change or be over.

What would you do differently if you thought today would be your last day on earth?

What would you do differently if you thought today would be your loved ones' last day on earth?

Now - DO it!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Here's my first photo that I've scrapped from the wedding - at least it was taken AT the wedding reception, if not of the bride/groom. As you can see it was just a gorgeous location and day... (click on the photo for a little closer viewing). That's my nephew, Calin (Bill's son) and his girlfriend, Brittany. For the digi credits, check my post of the layout in my SIStv portfolio.

Just a rainy, yucky, ugly day - ALL day. But I didn't really care. I met Deborah for lunch today after running a couple errands and then we ran a few errands together after that, too. Came home just in time to pop some veggies in the oven roast after Martha prepared what turned out to be a deeelicious cheese and broccoli stuffed chicken breast. I don't EVER want them to move out!

They, on the other hand, are really craving their own place and, of course, I can't blame them. I've been in their situation more than once and even though I adored my in-laws, it's just plain hard to live with someone else. Nothing is really "your own", you feel like you're in limbo, you don't have any privacy. It's just hard. So I don't at all take it personally, I truly do completely understand. We, on the other hand, are GREATLY benefitting, though - especially in the culinary realm - from their presence. Martha loves to cook and I think it makes them feel like they're contributing - which they majorly ARE!

I've got some projects I really need to get to (scrapping, of course) over the next couple weeks - before I fly back to Madison, so the busy factor will pick up a bit again. I have a few appointments and meetings to shuffle in the mix, (and a little "Dancin' on the Deck" party) but should mostly be able to shut myself away in the scraproom. I'm really looking forward to that! Honestly, I just never get tired of it.

I'll be hosting cards (pinochle) here Monday, in substitution for one of the gals that can't do it. So, that will be fun. But I'm gonna have to get a few things ready for that on Sunday/Monday, so that will take a little time. I'm going to make Pumpkin Pie Cake for dessert. Mmmmm. That alone is reason enough to love fall - and it IS getting VERY fall-like around here!

Tomorrow, Matthew and I will duke it out over the use of the computer - since he's leading the music at Jack's church, we BOTH need to put our song services on PowerPoint. I'm gonna go first and get done before a trip to the chiropractor (i.e. Chris). Then tomorrow afternoon, it's Penn State football time in the TV room! YAY!

Mom, I SWEAR I'm going to call you before the game starts, though! :)

All this is making me sleepy! I'm off to go read (about two paragraphs) in bed.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I've been enjoying having time to "play" lately and one of things I've been doing is taking some classes at SIStv. The latest one I completed was taught by fellow Fashionista Jo-Anne te Raa and I made the above project. I am just LOVING how these amazingly talented ladies are stretching me and challenging me. Truly.

NEXT, I have signed up for the class you'll see a blinkie for on the left - taught by Wilna Furstenberg, not only a fellow Fashionista, but also my own "Big SISter Fashionista". Awwww. I love her so. We share a strong faith in God and she is just super inspiring and talented and sweet! Her class is open to anyone reading this blog, of course, and begins next Monday for 10 (work) days. I can't wait! You can also link to her blog at the left in my list of Fashionista blogs.

In other news, I ended up taking Chris to the ER last night. He had been having some trouble swallowing and his lips and mouth were feeling tingly and numb. He came down around 1:30 a.m. (yes, I was still up!) and couldn't sleep but wasn't ready to take a ride yet. He took some benedryl and felt a little better. But by the time I made it to bed and got only a little sleep he woke me up and felt he should go to the ER - also on the recommendation of the tele-nurse we must call. There were quite a few causes as we explored the subject online and it just wasn't something we wanted to mess around with. Plus, he was feeling worse again and had even thrown up.

As it turns out, our suspicions were correct - he was having an allergic reaction. To what, we aren't exactly sure, but have some ideas (food - like melon and tomatoes that may be triggering a pollen allergy). Anyway, of course, the dr. is trained to treat your symptoms, not figure out what causes them!

So, he was given an injection of Pepcid (did you know it contains an antihistimine? Probably explains why I DON'T get allergy symptons anymore - because I take Pepcid AC almost daily!) in the shoulder and two injections in his backside - one a steriod and the other benedryl. After he showed signs of improvement, they sent him home. We laid our heads back down on our pillows at 5:30 a.m. - just as a thunderstorm was passing through. He DID actually get up at 8 a.m. and go to work. I, however, did not. Well, okay - I don't have a job. But, yeah, I slept til 9 a.m. and then the old brain started going and I just got up.

He's feeling much better tonight. And giving up the voluminous amount of watermelon he's been eating. AND, I guess it's a good thing our neighbor's tomatoes are done because we've been eating large quantities of those, too. In fact, Chris made a DEElicious tomato/watermelon salad on Sunday. I guess it's no wonder that he had the reaction he did if those foods are, indeed, the cause. And, to top it off, he had tomato soup for part of his supper last night.

All is well now and he has some drugs for the next two mornings, so, hopefully it will all calm down and life will return to normal, as well as our sleep patterns...

So - goodnight! :)

Monday, September 01, 2008

There they are. The newest Barlow family. Emily is officially Mrs. Barlow. Dustin is officially a step-dad (even though Eva calls him "daddy") and we are officially "step" grandparents. But, since there has never been a bio-dad or a second set of grandparents in Eva's life, Dustin IS her daddy (and has been) and we are just whole-heartedly filling the grandparent role (and have been) and we're tossing the "step" and just embracing the fact that we ARE her other grandparents. My heart is very very full....

The wedding ceremony was unspeakably beautiful. Everything that was said was well thought out and full of meaning. And so much was said. So much to think about and chew on and be challenged by and be inspired by. There wasn't a dry eye in the adorable little chapel they were married in.

So now all the festivities are over and life returns to normal. Well, normal as we know it. It is Labor Day, so we (Chris, Matthew, Martha and I) are planning to go to Rickett's Glen and just laze around all day. We're taking leftover food from our big shebang on Friday night. And we're taking the canoe and kayaks. And beach stuff. And books and blankies and pillows. We're just going to lay around or play around all day. I think there will be LOTS of laying around since I had a little nightmare last night and woke EVERYone in the house in an effort to wake mySELF up... Dustin and Emily and Eva may join us and a few other people. We'll see. At any rate, it's a gorgeous day and we aim to NOT labor in it.