Wednesday, January 28, 2009


...this man.

a wonderful father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

a family man who was married for 65 years, had three children, eight grandchildren, and almost three great-grandchildren.

a faithful man who served his church and will be celebrated Tuesday in the same chapel where he was married.

an honorable man who served his country overseas in World War II.

a man who always had chocolate in his house, God bless him.

a man who was well loved and will be very missed.

We love you Pop-pop!

More Snow!

After calling for freezing rain and a wintry mix, we finally got a good snow early this morning. It was kind of crazy around town, figuring out who was open and who was closed (Shelby County and Memphis City called it well after 6 am, and St. George's said they were opened, then changed to a 2 hour delay AFTER I had already left for school).

Ryan couldn't wait to play in it:

He settled for a snow angel first thing, but then he and Daddy tried sledding in it, and when I got home from school, he spent awhile in the backyard clearing it off of everything with his shovel.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kids Place Live

Last week, we were listening to Kids Place Live on XM Radio on the way home from school. The disc jockey, Mindy, had been talking to someone who was calling her from a place where it was snowing. It was not snowing where Mindy was (DC) and so she requested that someone send her a snowman.

Later, while I was cooking dinner, Ryan came to me with this drawing:

He said it was a snowman, and that it was for Mindy. He said she had said on the radio that she wanted a snowman and that she would take care of it. I was surprised, but agreed to send it to her. I wrote her a note telling her the story, and off it went.

Fast forward to today. Ryan is home with Scott with an ear infection. I am driving home from school alone and happen to flip to Kids Place Live (I'll admit, I listen every now and then when Ryan is not in the car). Someone had emailed in with a name for her snowman, but Mindy said she could not name the snowman, that Ryan had to call in and tell them all what the snowman's name was.

At this point I start to freak out. I am almost home, I run in, wake Ryan and Scott from a nap, and get them out in the car to listen to the show with me. At this point, she is playing lots of music, but we try to call in and don't get through. We finally figure out haw to listen online, and I leave to go tutor.

She comes on and tells the whole story, including reading my letter on the air! She asks again for Ryan to call in. I call the boys at home and we shriek together a little and I tell them to try to call again. A few minutes later, Mindy gives the teaser that someone special is on the phone. Three songs play (meanwhile, I call my sister and my parents and get them to log on to listen), and then my boy comes on!

He was so good! He answered all her questions, the snowman's name, his favorite color (red), and favorite singer (Hannah Montana). It was so awesome!

Scott recorded it on his phone, so I will try to get it uploaded for you to listen to. You can check out Mindy and the picture here.

Very exciting evening at our house!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Awoke this morning to a bit of unexpected snow. It actually kept coming; big fluffy flakes (my favorite kind) all morning. Never really stuck to the roads, and was gone by evening, but beautiful to watch.

Hope we get more!

Monday, January 19, 2009


Not sure if I have shared my vision for kids rooms, but here goes. Ryan is moving into the downstairs guest bedroom and baby is moving into his old room. Baby will get Ryan's original blue sky & cloud walls, but I will be taking down the kites and putting up butterflies.

I wanted to do Ryan's new room in blues and greens, but he had other ideas. "Red," he said. I convinced him to do just one wall red, and we went from there.

Over the weekend, the boys taped the room for me (that was a WONDERFUL gift!) so Monday morning, Ryan and I started painting. We put two coats of the same cream color on three walls, but in an eggshell to be more washable. He was a big help:

And he got a kick out of taking pictures of me, too:

Next up is the red wall, a ledge, and maybe a red stripe around the room. Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More Belly Shots

It would be really funny if you clicked on this post and saw some folks doing shooters off of someone's hot belly, but I'm not talking about those kind of shots.

When we were up at the cabin this weekend, my friend Jennifer took me up on my request to practice photography on me. I like what she got!

Thanks Jennifer!

Girl's Retreat

Every year, I try to do a scrpbooking retreat. The first I ever went to with my friends Rachael and Jenny was organized by a Creative Memories consultant. We had a ton of fun and got lots caught up on our scrapbooks.

Once I becme a consultant, I wanted to provide similar opportunities for my friends and customers. It wasn't easy. Finding an affordable place, worrying about having enough people sign up to cover the rental cost, being in charge of bringing everything and was all too stressful.

When I moved to Memphis, I had the worst luck with the places I rented! The scrapping space was usually good, but the first place was in Pickwick, which smelled of sulfur from the paper factory. The next place was just opened from the winter, smelled of moth balls, and had wasps. The next year was at a hotel, which was too expensive.

So, finally I decided, I am not doing it as a consultant anymore. What I really want is a weekend away with my girlfriend's to relax and get some scrapping done. The next year, we got 8 people together, split the cost and the meals, but still found a dud of a house. This one had heat issues, water temperature issues, and a mirror on the ceiling in what we named, "the porn room."

This year, we used my friends' cabin in Greer's Ferry and it was perfect! We had no house issues, plenty of space and light,

and the weekend was even more mild than expected, so I took a walk (and then a nap, because I am almost 8 months pregnant, afterall).

Here's the girl's who went (minus Kellie and Meredith, who left before we took the picture on Sunday morning. Kellie, BTW, has been to all the retreats I have done in Memphis and got the most pages finished this time! She was a machine!):


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Belly Shots

When I was pregnant with Ryan, we had not yet done much to our home. We did a few photo shoots in the house where we had good light and blank walls.

Four years later, there are not too many blank walls left (which IS a good thing).

So, I realized I had a blank wall in the guest bedroom/soon-to-be Ryan's room, and I had to take advantage of it before I started to paint it red (although red might make some nice pics, too). Tried yesterday, but it probably would have worked out better with a photographer instead of the tripod. I think it messed up the focus a little.

I am hoping to be a subject this weekend for my girlfriend's who all want to try out their new cameras (have I told you guys that, yet?).
Here's what I got:

A silly Ryan:

Attempts at a picture of him kissing the baby:

Solo shot:

And hearts on the belly:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Lights, Lights, Yeah!

This is what Ryan and my nieces yell out when we are driving around at Christmas looking at lights. But it applies here because we installed under cabinet lights!

My husband is awesome! He wired them up through the cabinets so no wires show. It really highlights the backsplash.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Project 365

OK, everyone else around here has posted about this, so I feel like I should, too. Plus, I have this really funny picture to go along with it...

The concept is to take a picture everyday, which lots of people have been doing and posting on blogs, etc. Why? To improve one's photo skills and to document some of the little things that take place in your life everyday.

The concept gained momentum in December when Creating Keepsakes decided to sell a kit to display these 365 pictures, plus add journaling and some decorative touches. And they decided to sell it for only $35ish (for those of you who know nothing about scrapping, this is a great deal! An album alone can run that much!). I bought into it as a way to do my family album for 2009. Imagine, being done with 2009 at the end of 2009?! And, highlighting some of life's smaller events that don't usually make it into my family albums.

So, thousands of people logged on on New Year's Day to order one of only 4000 kits. The website crashed, many people were frustrated, the kit sold out.

I had an email confirmation and thought I was good to go. Carrie got a confirmation, and I think Abbie was in, too.

Carrie got hers last Friday, and I have not even gotten a UPS tracking number yet! I am caught up in the frenzy, I admit it, and I am now worried I will not get my kit. Will have to look for an alternative.

Dianne brought her kit over to the crop for all of us to check out. I was envious, but she was envious of my School Days kit from last fall (which is also sold out). We were being a bit silly, took the above picture and titled it, "Though Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Kit."

And, of course, this will be Friday's photo of the day! :)

Edited 1/12: I got through to customer service today and I did make it through on the order, just waiting a bit longer. Whew!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

50 things...

Jennifer posted this on her blog and I think it's a neat idea. I have a list started somewhere and it includes things like hike the entire Appalachian Trail and see a space shuttle launch in person. But it's nice to use someone else's list, because I can check more things off. Usually my list is of things I want to do, but haven't done yet.

So here's mine (with a few pictures, most the pictures aren't digital and would have to be scanned in. Might make a good scrapbook, hmm?). Things in bold are things I have done, things in italics are things I want to do.

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 Disneyworld

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis

10. Sang a solo (in elementary school)

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (from the shore)

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 your own vegetables

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (I have seen it in the US)

20. Slept on an overnight train

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

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

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 (does CM count?)

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 (driven through them)

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 (haven't toured it yet, though)

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (if we keep fishing, we will probably get to do this!)

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

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Grizzlies Game

This afternoon, we got an email that a parent had donated tickets to tonight's Grizzlies game to Ryan's class. One of his classmate's dad plays for Minnesota, so we got lucky!

Ryan and I went downtown for it and hung out with his buddies:

The boys all decided to cheer for Minnesota over the home team, because it was their friend's dad's team, and Ryan was delighted when Minnesota won!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Love me Some Organization!

I have been organizing ever since we got home from our east coast trip. Still haven't gotten to Ryan and Baby Girl's room, but been doing some other stuff.

First, Scott and I dove into the cabinets the day we got home from the trip. Got rid of some old, uneeded plastic and were able to free up an entire cabinet to use for this:

So now, Ryan's art supplies are all hidden away, both to make the kitchen look nicer and to keep away from Baby Girl at some point down the road. The Pampered Chef carousel to hold markers and things is new, but I happily reconstituted the black shelves from my currently unused teaching supplies.

All week I have been going to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to use up 20% off coupons, and buying baskets to organize the baker's rack:

Now, everybody has a place to keep their "stuff"

and it's right where you need it when you walk out the door!

Finally, I also reused a shoe holder (which I had been using to hold calculators in my classroom) to hold all of our gloves, hats, etc. thus freeing up space in the bottom of our coat closet for the tray tables which needed a new home that was not Ryan's new closet:

Ah! That feels good!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year's Advice

As I sit around contemplating my goals for the New Year, I thought I'd share with you something my aunt sent me. Wise words, I think.

Blessings in the New Year

Every January 1, I ask myself the same thing: How am I going to be better this year? I suppose it’s a fair question. We all have room for improvement. But I seem to come back to the same shortcomings time and time again. “This year I will be kinder," I tell myself. “This year I will be thinner. This year I will be more patient.”

I am always trying to create a new and improved version of myself – and not just on New Year’s Day. In spite of all my resolutions, through, I seem to be basically the same person I was a year ago….and ten years ago.

Maybe this year I won’t try to reinvent myself. It was God who created me, after all. Maybe instead of trying to fix everything that’s wrong with me, I will ask for God’s blessings, place myself in God’s hands, and trust that God will continue to create me.

Loving God, bless me and keep me in the coming year, however you see fit.

Happy New Year!