Saturday, January 31, 2009

(Click on images for larger view)

(For credits on digi page, click here)

I canNOT believe it's the last day of January! Whaaaaa? Okay, I guess a little 4-day trip to TN made it go a little faster, but geesh!

I've been having so much fun with the new collection at SIStv. It's called Modern Retro and it goes on sale Monday here. I made the little recipe/mini book and I made it to hang on the cupboard handle when I'm using it. And I'll actually be using it today to make "Becca Bars", a yummy treat that was served up at the retreat. I'm actually going to make a double batch because we have a game night tonight and a church supper tomorrow, so I'm making one batch for each. The key for me will be to not eat too many!

And, I finally finished my 2008 year in review page (top). Now that I did I'm going to upload all my digi pages to Shutterfly and have them make me a hardcover book. Got get busy on that. And I gotta get busy on doing more digi pages! I started off last year doing one a week and so far this year, I've only done that one! I really love digi, so I need to set some goals for myself in that area, like maybe 2 a month. And then I'd have 24 at the end of the year, anyway.

Well, Dustin has been on the hunt for a job again. He's been filling his time working at Chris's dad's to get the house ready for sale THIS year. But that is almost over and so he's been looking for something permanent. Martha had offered him a job at the restaurant (Old Forge Brewing Company) as one of her cooks, but, for various reasons, he didn't take the job before. But one of her main guys quit and she offered the position to Dustin again and this time he took it! YAY. So he'll be working with and under Martha. Well, not actually under her, but you know what I mean. I know she'll keep him in line! We're so excited.

Last night we braved the semi-whiteout conditions and went to see Watoto - a Ugandan children's choir - at a church in Bloomsburg (after enjoying a lovely meal at the OFBC, of course). They were SO beautiful and SO energetic and were everything I hoped this concert would be. I just wanted to bring them all home with me! You can read more about them here.

Well, the sun is shining and there are mounds of mounds of sparkly white snow and HUGE icicles hanging from the eaves out back:

Those things could kill ya! But look at the color of that beautiful winter sky! Love it. Even if it was only 0 degrees when I got up this morning. It looks like we'll be getting our first "nor'easter" of the season on Tuesday. There goes my hair appointment - and Dustin's first day of work. We'll see...
And now I'm off. To put together the PowerPoint for tomorrow's Praise Sunday service. To bake the Becca Bars. And then - hopefully to scrap a little before tonight's game playing.
Happy day!

Monday, January 26, 2009

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There's two of my latest scrapbook pages. I've been working with the newest collection from SIStv - I believe it's called Modern Retro, but the name may change. Not sure when it will be available for sale, but soon, I'm sure. I LOVE it. There's so much to it. Both layouts use pretty much exclusively stuff from the collection.

The icy-cold here continues. I think that will be the "word" for this winter. We keep getting little bits of snow here and there. Yesterday afternoon it put down about an inch - and we didn't even know it was coming. That made for some challenging driving as we took Eva home and then went to M&M's for dinner last night. I'm supposed to be hosting our "local" card group here on Wednesday and this morning Chris tells me we're supposed to get 4-8 inches that day. Well, we'll see. You never really know until the actual day comes.

We had a yummy dinner with the kids last night. And we played our first games - bowling and golf - of Wii. Chris and I have been talking about getting this and I think last night convinced us. It's really fun and it actually involves getting up off your behind and MOVING! So I'm all over that! We've also been thinking about getting a large flat-screen TV. Supposedly, the prices are really down with the surge of TV's being purchased for the digital switch that's happening. Of course, we're already digital because we use DirecTV, but we've been craving a larger picture. So, if we get the Wii, too, I suppose we'll spend the rest of the winter down in the TV room. Well, I guess if we're at least moving and not being total couch potatoes, that can't be TOO bad of a thing. I think I'll do a little survey in a couple weeks, though, of people that have gotten the Wii Fit and said that they loved it. I want to know if they're STILL doing it and STILL think it was a great buy. You know how "new toys" are...

Well, speaking of moving, I'm going to get off my behind right now and go lift some weights!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Brrrr. Already I can tell that the winter of 08-09 will be known for the cold. It's only 11 degrees outside right now - in the middle of the day. And tonight the arctic blast is coming in. Wow. I don't like it that cold. I'm cold right now. With a sweatshirt on and a blankie over my legs. At least we do have snow. I've always said that if it's going to be cold out, there should at least be snow.

I'm in the midst of getting ready for a little retreat this weekend with my fellow FGirls. I'm SO looking forward to having a relaxing (and crazy?) time getting to know them better. I'll be bringing home the latest collection to start working on, as well. Well, actually, I'll probably work on it at the retreat. Which I must go pack for - NOW.

And, oh my goodness, I just saw the date and realized that I need to get my tax estimates paid! I'm off to go scribble out some checks right NOW!


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

That photo gives me such satisfaction. It is something that I started, worked on for a whole year, and finished. All of those are my Artist's Trading Cards (ATC's). I followed the 2007 prompts of Emily Falconbridge's mini art challenge to inspire a different card each week. Yes, there were weeks where I fell behind, but I always managed to catch up. And I am SO so happy not only that I completed the cards, but for the process of creativity that the project took me through and for the invaluable memories that I can now savor. Love love love.

I can't bear to remove those cards from that holder - and I love the display so much that I've already ordered a new set of 7Gypsies cards, with a new holder, so I can do it all again. This year, I'm going to join up with Scrapgals and do their "Create '09" prompts. (If you click on the link here or on the right side of my blog, you'll need to sign in and then you'll find Create '09 in the Challenges forum in the message boards.)

I'm also getting back on track with goal-setting and lifestyle changing. I'm so excited about taking Ashley Wren's class over at SIStv. While I can't do too much physically yet - I'm recovering from both a nasty sinus infection AND a stupid, but painful, broken little toe. Who would have thought that such a little thing could cause so much pain? I broke it over two weeks ago now and there's still bruising and pain. BUT, but BUT - I CAN - and AM - working on everything else that I CAN work on! :) And with that said, I feel like I need to, um, get to WORK!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Ugh. I've been sick. It doesn't surprise me. I often do get sick right after Christmas. I'm sure it's the combination of stress and sugar that weakens my immune system and then I get whatever's going around. There was a horrid "both ends" flu going around. I'm happy to report that I resisted that one - although it probably would have lasted less time. I ended up with a good old cold that immediately went to my sinuses. I've been feeling AWful and actually spent most of the day in bed yesterday. Which is probably why I'm out among the living today - if being on my computer counts as being among the living. After so many days of being down - and especially after a day in bed or on the couch - my back really begins to hurt as well. So I started my day this a.m. with a lovely soak in the hot tub. What a gorgeous day it was. The sky was beautiful and the birds were just singing away. I've been getting a little caught up online. I've read the paper and now I'm going to have a little more online fun and then go try a little scrapping.

I found this little (okay - not so little) list on this website. And I thought it would be fun to highlight the things I HAVE done in green. What have YOU done? Feel free to copy...

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train (but not in a berth)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (I'm sure at least
one of 'em had to be born in Ireland!)

35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (not "per se", but I've climbed over
some big rocks hiking)

40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Thursday, January 01, 2009

HAPPY 2009! That's a 2-year-old me offering a simple flower to welcome you to the new year!

I can't tell you how much I love a new year! To me, it's really a fresh start. A chance to begin again. All past attempts at - whatEVER - don't count. Just start now. Okay, part of this is because I tend to be a "black and white", "all-or-nothing" thinker. Which isn't all that healthy. But the new year gives me an excuse to just.start.over. I'm psyched. I'm inspired. I'm ready. And I love the feeling.

(The feeling that I don't love today is the fact that I have a yucky cold, my sinuses and ears are full, I'm feeling very lethargic and I think it's starting to go south (i.e. to my chest). So, I'm laying low today - again - and drinking lots of fluids. Today, our beloved Penn State Nittany Lions play in the Rose Bowl and that will be a big event - with dinner - down at Chris's sister Kellie's house.)

SO, among those of us that like to document/journal/scrapbook and etc. it has become a tradition to begin the year with a new "word" in mind. A theme for your year so to speak. Here's what fellow scrapartist/journalist/documenter Ali Edwards has to say about it:

The idea behind the one little word concept is to give yourself something to focus on throughout the year. As I stated in my newsletter back in January 2007, "A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow."

Also from that same newsletter:

Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2009? It can be something tangible or intangible. It could be a thought or a feeling or an emotion. It can be singular or plural. The key is to find something that has personal meaning for you. This is not your mother's word or your spouse's word or your child's word - this is YOUR word. One little word can have big meaning in your life if you allow yourself to be open to the possibilities. And here's one thing that is totally interesting: sometimes a word will pop into your brain and it will not make any sense to you right now. Give it some time. Let it percolate a bit. I have often found that our hearts speak to us in very unique ways. Maybe this is a word you need to hear but just aren't ready for it yet. Again, be open to the possibilities.

I've had several considerations for my one little word this year. I thought about continuing with my word from last year, which I really liked, but I feel I didn't get the most out of. That word was "purposeful". I've also been considering "simplify" and "support". And, in the end, I have decided to go with ---- SIMPLIFY. This is just something that I've had on my mind a lot lately. It speaks to organization, yes, but also to just uncluttering my mind as well and really honing in on what's the most important to me in my faith, my family and my life in general. And simplifying is about removing all that hinders me from my focus in those areas of importance. Whether it's finally going through my desk and cleaning out the junk from old file folders, or sitting down and figuring out how my time can be BEST spent in serving others. In that area, for instance, I'm just all over the place and want to do so many things and then end up doing nothing. If I can just figure out how to simplify in that area. Maybe I can get a stash of handmade cards ready so that I can always send out a word of encouragement at a moments' notice. As it is right now - I always want to send a card - but, since I'm a scrapper, I feel it has to be handmade and then I don't have the time to make one right away and then the opportunity is lost. Or maybe I can decide that I'm going to give an hour a week to just visiting people that need a visit - or at least calling them. Whatever. Thinking things like this through and then formulating a simple plan will increase my opportunities to meet other people's needs in such a way as to actualy accomplish something. Another way the word may come into play is when I think about the everyday things that come up. I want to take a simpler approach and seize the moment, rather than getting so caught up in planning and preparation that the moment is lost. This could apply to the whole Christmas thing in general or to something like having someone over for supper.

I have lots of very creative friends. And I love the things that they do. But when I try to be like them, it's just harder for me. I guess it doesn't come naturally. But, I can also simplify by just being true to myself and doing things in my own simple way (by the way - simple does NOT mean sloppy or haphazard!) and being happy and confident in that.

And then there's the WHOLE issue of housecleaning! Ugh. It always seems like such an insurmountable task. But I have a great system - if only I would DO it. It would make my life so much more - yes, SIMPLE - if I would put my card system to use. My house would be virtually clean all the time and ready for whatever all the time and there wouldn't be these energy-sucking huge scrambles to prepare for company - if I even agree to have company because of the energy it often requires. To simplify would mean to get this system in order so that I am FREER to do what I really want to do with my time.

Hmmm, maybe my word should be "discipline" instead. But that sounds so negative! I like the sound of simplify better and I'm sticking with it!

So, happy new year out there. May it be full of blessings - and SIMPLE!