Monday, December 31, 2012

Its 3 hours before midnight and I couldn't let the day pass without any comments now could I?
This past year has been hard for me but I truly feel it will be worth it this coming year.
I will be making some resolutions tomorrow and just trying to get the new year off to a great start.
Off to watch some movies to ring in the new year
Happy New Year!!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I couldn't let this day past without acknowledging that it will be the last time the date can be matching numerals.
The date is suppose to be a lucky and I must say it turned out exhausting but really good.
To the picture...
I decided to try out a pose I've seen running around pinterest. The kids sure did get a kick out of it. I wrapped 3 separate strands of lights in red, green and white around the kids and Rob had the joy of covering their mouths with the duct tape. I'm not completely sure its Christmas card worthy but my friends have gotten a kick out it.
This month is just flying by I'm cruising right along with it. This Friday is the church Christmas party and on Saturday, Kelly will be walking in the Tucson parade of lights downtown.
December is pure craziness.
I'm gonna stop there. I just re read my post and its a mumble jumble of an update. I'm so tired I can't function right. Here is to a silent night.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

I'm blown away that December is here. I was looking at my blog list and I never finished my thankful #28. Sigh. Such is life. I'm coming to realize that I could never make a living out of writing on my blog.
I'm too flaky.
So now its December. I had contemplated joining the bandwagon and doing December Daily with some of the other scrapbookers and I also thought about doing a December daily photo challenge.
I haven't done either.
This photo was taken a year or two ago.
I will make no promises for this coming month. I want to enjoy December, not drive myself and family insane over commitments or added pressure.
Some people thrive on a busy social schedule and we know I am not one of them.
I think I will look at the photo challenge as a list of photos that I want to take this month not as a stressful, have to get this done, I have to post today, kind of thing.
That is not the reason for the season. Its a beautiful, magical time of year and I want to enjoy and preserve it.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

thankful #22

I've missed a few days but to make it up, I'll say that I'm thankful that I'm feeling better. I've had the flu and lost my voice this week. Rob has been very supportive when I've hurled but he loves to tease me when I squeak.
Today I'm feeling 90% normal and I'm glad so that I can gorge myself on turkey and sides.
Last night we watched both of the Peanuts thanksgiving specials. I love this little tradition. It brings back childhood memories of laying on my stomach in front of the TV watching snoopy and charlie brown. It wasn't until I was older that I realized that all the characters voices kept changing. Boooo
Anyway, today we are celebrating with my sister in laws family, its looking to be a huge group of us. Sadly my mom won't be there because now she is sick. I hope it's not because of Chelsea and myself.
Tomorrow we will be joining with my mother in law for a more intimate thanksgiving dinner. No black Friday shopping for this girl, I think I'll be shopping online mostly this year.
The rest of this week will be filled with good food, great company and amazing smells with a very thankful heart.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

thankful #19

Since I started my thankful month so many things have been made very obvious to me, once I actually stopped to look.
Today I'm thankful for the Internet and google.
It sounds cheesy I know, but instead of stressing over finding information, driving direction, music videos, other friends, I just do a search. How often do we just turn to the net for that info nowadays?
I have learned so many good things from the Internet. I sometimes forget that I can google a question instead of trying to hunt down someone who can answer me.
When I have forgotten how to do a math problem, no worries, I just go to google and type in my problem and next thing I know I'm watching a video on how to multiply decimal points. So much less stress.
When I need a little inspiration, no problem, type and search.
The other day I was on the search for a couple of my favorite holiday recipes that I have misplaced in my cleaning. After digging through other cookbooks, I remembered that I had shared both recipes to different women. One was on a message board, so I just looked up a several year old message and there was the recipe. The other recipe was given to a friend on Facebook so I had an idea of the month that I had given it out so I searched her timeline and found the recipe. Easy peasy, took me 10 minutes max.
When it comes to scrapbook or card making inspiration I not only check my favorite magazines but I search galleries or just do a specific search. Same thing goes for photography, my cricut carts or recipes.
I remember in middle school there was talk of the Internet and how it would close down malls because people could shop online and we would never need to go to stores to shop. How the Internet was going to destroy our world as we know it. How funny and a little bit true.
The Internet is like a crazy journey through Oz, you never know what's around the corner but you'll have learned something along the way.


thankful #18

image found on google

Yesterday I was thankful to be able to attend the memorial of a life well lived.
Our church, friends and family said goodbye to our friend Ron Lamb, our Scottish son.
Rob and I were a part of Ron's home church for a little while. I loved it when Ron began to speak, his voice just drew you in and boy could he weave a tale, you were enraptured.
It was a lovely service complete with a bagpiper playing several Scottish songs and ending with Amazing Grace.
So hauntingly beautiful.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

thankful #17

This morning I'm thankful that our family is able to help out at the Cub Scout aid station #4 for the 30th El Tour de Tucson bike race.
It is such a thrill to watch these guys go flying by and I can't wait to take pictures.
Last night we went to the TCC to pick up the volunteer shirts and while walking around the booths
Rob started jonesen to ride the route again and has made his intentions known that he would like to ride in next years race.


Friday, November 16, 2012

thankful #16

Today I'm thankful for my friends.
Those friends who end up being more like family. Those friends that are there for you at your lowest low, that will sit and listen to you as you cry and whine until your spent and then give you a hug, look you in the eye and speak straight to your heart.
I'm thankful for those friends who are also there for your highs. They cheer you on and strengthen your dreams, your accomplishments. They push you to go one step further.
For so long I wanted to be a recluse, seriously, I was completely misguided, lol. What I realized was that it was me that was pushing people away or not even giving them a chance to get to know me. I didn't want to hurt or feel because, well duh, it hurts. Then I went through a time where I wanted friends, people I could call, text and hang out with. I would sit here and cry from loneliness and not knowing what steps to take to make friends. In my heart I heard the answer and then my awesome husband echoed the words. When in others company I started to ask questions and truly listened to their answers. I wanted to get to know them. I cherished their wisdom and insight. I became their cheerleader.
I know I have so much more to grow on when it comes to being a true friend. I admit to getting scared when things get heavy. I let my supposed inadequacies, my inner critic, rear up instead of letting my heart lead. I'm forgiven when I've asked for forgiveness and its not held against me later on.
I love how I can pour my heart out and know that they too have once been in the same boat and offer guidance and prayers. I squirm when they tell me I'm too hard on myself or that I need to work on a specific areas of my heart.
At times I feel like I don't have much to offer to people, but if you ask, and I'm able, I will give you the shirt off my back, my car to drive, or my cricut carts to use.
I'm so fortunate, lucky, blessed, humbled and so very thankful to be surrounded by so many amazing people. From the bottom of my heart, I can't thank you enough, for not only loving on me but my whole family.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

thankful #15

This may sound cheesy but I'm thankful for the people who say thank you.
These are two words that I feel are not used enough in our society today.
I'm not going to rant and rave about the people who think the world revolves around them and we owe them or they deserve it. Please.
I enjoy holding the door open for people whether they are coming in or out. When the door is opened for me, I say thank you with a smile. To the harried server in a restaurant, I say thank you when you take my order, refill my glass or take away my plate. Any courtesy should receive a thank you.
They are not hard words to say yet, the hardest thing for me to learn was to say, thank you when I was paid a compliment. It doesn't matter if I believed the person or not, they are being sincere, at least I hope so.
A little bit of courtesy goes so far and doesn't cost you anything. By saying thank you, you can change a persons whole day. How many times have we heard that each person is fighting their own battle? What does Ellen say at the end of every show, be kind to each other?
Actually as I'm sitting here I realize how ironic it is that we spend a whole month writing about being thankful, but we really don't spend any time be consciously being polite or kind to each other. I know we all fall short, myself included.
I guess I'm ranting and raving, just on the flip side of saying thank you. To those of you who read my blog, Thank you. To my friends and family who put up with me, Thank you.
A challenge I have given myself is to write at least two thank you cards to either people I know or strangers. When was the last time you received a thank you or thank you card?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

thankful #14

I just took a stroll down memory lane. Wow.
Today I'm thankful for all the furry friends that have blessed my life.
I'm not sure how I'm gonna get through this post before tears start streaming down my face.
Each dog deserves his or her own tribute but I truly don't have it in me right now.
I've been very blessed with my animals, with the exception of one crazy dog (not pictured) these guys have brought so much joy and companionship to our lives.
My man Chester. I miss that fur ball, he has such a face. This was the first dog that Rob and I got just before we were married.
Next came Brewtus, our first boxer. I can't find a picture of him, though I searched. We bought him from the pet store at Tucson Mall, I would visit him daily until I wore Rob down enough to get him.
Next came Bubba, our Boston terrier. Kelly loved Bubba, he was quite the character.
We lost Brewtus to cancer and then we were given Braxton by some good friends. Braxton fit in real well with everybody.
This is Gertie, she's moms English bulldog but such a large part of our furry buddies. Gertie is still kicking around even though there are days where we have to check to see if she's still breathing. Gertie has been with mom for through it all.
 We lost Bubba due to cancer and a year later in 2008 we lost Chester. Braxton was lonely and we had friends ask us to take their psycho dog.
After a couple of weeks she was re homed to a great guy and doing good.
To ease Kelly and Braxtons sadness we rescued Bella. While being on the verge of psycho Bella has been a pretty good dog.
This year she blessed us with our newest members who are helping me cope with the loss of Braxton.
 Ana, who is on Rob's head and Bailey who is in his lap are our new crazy girls. Bailey is a cuddly lap dog but Ana is spaz happy.
It really can be nuts around here when you get home and all 4 greet you.
The last picture is of Bacon, the most laid back dog, well until one of the girl dogs tries to take away his bone. Then he means business.
These guys rough house and wrestle like wild animals but if you show them a treat, those butts hit the floor and wiggle till they get their treats, even trying to take them out of each others mouths.

Experts say that owning a dog or cat makes you live longer. They do so much more than that.


thankful #13

Look down this hallway. What do you see? Doorways, a bench, multiple arches, pots. As I was looking for a picture to go with today's post this one came to mind.
Today I'm thankful, even though at times it feels overwhelming, for where I'm at today. I'm thankful for all the prayers answered and unanswered. The grace God has shown me when I've raged, struggled and refused to listen to that inner voice that guides me well.
I'm strong, my momma raised me to be strong ☺
I'm becoming stronger in my faith because one, I want to be but two, my soul screams for it.
Yes, there is a difference, at least to me. I have a need to learn and understand and a desire to communicate better with those around me. Two, for other people that believe different things, its that Zen or enlightenment so many try to find. In order to learn I must stumble, fall, pick myself back up and keep going.
Its the trials, prayers and grace that help me to grow. Even when I fight, I know its all for my own good. Like going to the gym; getting there takes willpower, then the killing work out where you cry out, "is it over yet" to the high you feel from the endorphins and the enlightenment when you see the changes in the mirror. I like that analogy.
To me this picture is our walk to God, see that light at the end, yeah that's Him. Along the way we have door ways to detours and benches to rest. At times we have a light to help us see and times we stumble in the darkness. The arches are more detours we can take and the pots are those moments we realize how beautiful the world can be, the beauty that surrounds us when we stop and look for it.
10 years from now I'm going to look back and read these words. I'm probably going to do one of two things, one is smile, because of how much I have grown since I typed this or two laugh at myself because I had so much to learn and had no idea what was in store for me. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

thankful #11 and #12

Today I am extremely thankful for our military.
Like the millions today whom are thanking our men and women in service I'm adding my thanks to the list.
Writing this post today was harder than I thought it would be and I kept putting it off because of it.
I'm not even sure where to start so you might need a map to follow my train of thought.
My grandfather was born Dec 7, 1921, I don't know what year he joined the navy but on the morning of Dec 7 1941 he was making plans with his friends to go out that night to celebrate his birthday.
If you recognize the date you will know that he didn't get out to celebrate that day, he barely survived the day.
My grandfather was on the USS Nevada that morning. The Nevada was battleship and one of a couple of ships that made it out of the harbor after the attack that morning. The picture above was taken in Feb. 1942. I wonder if grandpa is standing on the deck. I've just learned that his rank was BM1 and from what I can decipher he was working with the boatswain or bosun. I will have to talk to other members and see if they know anything else. I really wish I could get ahold of his military records.
Anyway, when I was a teen, my grandpa told me a little bit about his service at Pearl Harbor. I remember the 50th anniversary and meeting at our local airport for a ceremony. Grandpa was pretty hard of hearing at that point so the reporter had a hard time getting his interview and at the time I felt sorry for his hearing loss. Knowing what little I know now, I'm more proud that he made it through and could share his story than a little problem with his hearing. I remember seeing his medals and I would ask questions about the different places he had been. Because of my love of history grandpa said I would receive his medals after he passes. When my dad found out he argued that he would get them first. I have never seen the medals again. Back to the story, at this time in my life I had no conceivable idea what war was like, I hadn't paid any attention when my dad would watch WWII movies. Now as an adult to see pictures and watch movies depicting what war could be like or was like, just humbles me. Thank you grandpa.
Fast forward to the 70's and my dad did a short stint in the navy. We were in a peace time and dad was stationed in Pensacola FL. He originally signed up for four years but because of whatever was not going on they offered him an early discharge and he took it after 2 years, and yes I wish I had his military records too because dad doesn't talk about it much.
I don't consider us a military family but I am honored for the time my family has served. I appreciate it more now than I did as a teen.

When I began dating Rob I learned that his dad served in Vietnam. Chuck was a U2 spy plane mechanic in the Air Force where he served 20+ years before passing away from cancer when Rob was 9 yrs old. Chuck was stationed all around the world. I hear often about the one deployment that the family did to Iceland. Rob was about 2 yrs old at the time. I want to take my kids to Iceland, it looks beautiful.
As I'm typing this out I keep asking Rob questions and he doesn't know the answers and keeps saying I need to ask his mom. Looks like I need to do my own interview.
I'm surrounded by so many amazing people who have served or are serving our country, from the family historian who is failing miserably tracking these stories, please write down your story. It matters just as much as you matter. Thank you for your service, your sacrifices.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thankful #10

Today I'm thankful for those quiet evenings curled up on the couch with my honey after the kids have gone to bed.
I really don't think I need to elaborate. ☺

Friday, November 09, 2012

thankful #9

Today I was going to write about something else I am thankful for but as I sat here trying to muster the enthusiasm to write this post I realized that I can change things up whenever I want.
So here I go.
Today I'm thankful for fresh starts. Everyday is a chance to begin again, to try and correct wrongs or to just learn a lesson from mistakes and move on.
Today, with a friend, I'm beginning a bible study called Breaking Free by Beth Moore. The ladies in our church did it awhile ago but I wasn't able to attend and I wasn't in the right place. When I mentioned that I was interested in doing the study, I received many reviews from the ladies on how much it helped them so I was even more excited to go ahead.
Today we started session one. I have so much hope and expectation in this study, especially when Beth Moore is making some big promises. I will do the work because I want the results. I want to be free. I have a mission that God has put upon my heart to do and since I laid down the ground work for my retreat course I have been emotionally attacked, financially smacked around and physically drained. The bright light that I had for so long was dimmed, not out but dimmed. I have struggled to figure out what is happening, I have cried out to God as to why, what am I to learn from this, get me through this so that I can move on.
A couple of points have been made known to me. One is my demands of God. Show me, give me, deliver me. Two, is not talking to God and telling him how disappointed, sad and hurt I feel and have felt. This is hard for me, its easier for me to be angry then to say to the One who gives me everything that I am disappointed and broken. Broken, I feel that I am and I have taken that to God and I have cried out in grief, anger, desperation and in a tantrum, that feeling like you can't take anymore. But for me to lash out at Him because nothing has changed in my day to day life, and even though I have been taken care of with a roof over my head and food on the table, its not enough in my eyes and so I cry out with the whys. Why does it have to be like this or why can't we have or do that. The negativity that comes over me is crushing sometimes, and I stress sometimes because I trust it won't always be the case. I want to wake up feeling free and instead of feeling oppressed of what I cannot do. I so struggle to get out of that mind set.
Every day I begin again, I try not to worry about tomorrow and the financial worries that always seem to brew in the back of my mind, I try not to judge my life against what others have or what they can do, I try, I try, I try. When I fail, I ask for forgiveness, I ask God to change my heart, to help me to move forward, to show me the way. I ask a lot. I want to be the person that God created me to be, I'm striving to be the person God created me to be.
Lately I have been told to be still and not to be some impatient, it's all on God's time. If you only knew how hard that is on me, but I try. I try. I try to force me will on God. I have seen myself use scripture like a life line and as a weapon in my prayers. I feel like I'm trying to figure everything out or just trying to keep up with what's going on around me. To be open to what others are saying, to listen for God's voice. I listen to music and the lyrics speak to me. I cry out, yes God, that is what I want for me.
I want, did you catch that one? I wonder how often I use I want when its not in relation to what He wants for me? Sigh
I love that I can try again. That by His grace I can try again. I'm so grateful for that.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

thankful #8

Today I'm thankful for color.
The wondrous colors that God has given us and continues to show us how they can be used.
The colors that that inspire us to paint, to garden, to write and photograph.
I love how certain colors can calm us down or fire us up.
Growing up my room was yellow, I remember that room as always being sunny and happy even though it faced north and only at sunset did it get direct light from one small window.
When we moved out of our townhouse into a house my room was surfers blue with green indoor/outdoor carpeting and beige Americana centennial curtains. Yeah, didn't match at all. Down came the curtains and I pulled up the carpet myself. I couldn't talk my dad into buying paint to change the color which got me teased just a little bit for having a boys room from a friend.
I remember when I learned we were moving to AZ, I went around and photographed all the green I could. I photographed our yard and the park that was a street away. I was sure that Tucson was nothing but cactus and dirt, I was partially right :)
When I started scrapbooking one of the ladies that I admired her work, Stacy Julian, had a wonderful magazine called Simple Scrapbooks. I learned so much from all those fantastic ladies whom were a part of that magazine. One of the things Stacy talked about was finding our what your happy colors were and using your happy colors.
I set out to truly find out what my happy colors were. My first choice would have been red because I'm told it looks good on me, but I asked myself was this a happy color for me? If you looked into my closet you would see several shirts in a variety of blue hues, but was blue my happy color? The more I thought about it I realized that picking a couple of colors was extremely hard for me to do. That is when I decided to embrace them all, give them their due. My scrap room dream room is to be painted yellow, with white shelves and bookcases and my organization colors are from the bright tumbler cups from Ikea kids tableware. I have been spray painting picture frames in all my favorite colors to add to my living room walls. I was originally making a quilt in black, white and red but decided to add more colors and patterns to the mix, make it eclectic. I don't have just one happy color, I really love the bright colors, some would say the colors of summer, those vibrant colors but it can't be just one or two it has to be 4 or 6.
I think about when we are out buying plants, what colors don't I have and what contrasting pot can I put it in?
I see those pictures of tables where every chair is painted a different color and that makes me happy.
We are blessed to be able to see the colors that God chose for our world, why pick just one? Find your happy colors and brighten up your life.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

thankful #7

This morning I'm thankful for the generosity of friends who rejuvenated our love of flowers and inspired us to restart building our garden.
Back in May I wrote this quick post Before the age of children . Since then we now have 1 rose bush, 3 different vines, 3 types of jasmine, 12 hibiscus bushes, annuals, day lilies etc. At the moment all our plants are out front so pulling into the driveway always makes me smile.
In the mornings we are like kids in a candy store scouring to see which plant is going to flower and now with the cooler weather the blooms are lasting longer.
Why am I so thankful for flowers?
Until we received those first plants I think we, meaning Rob and myself, didn't realize how much we missed having the color, the beauty, the serenity that flowers bring. It was something we were both craving. Now months later that effect still hasn't worn off. I love being able to keep my front door open, to see the hummingbirds and butterflies drink from all the buds and dream of being able to have these plants surround me, like my own secret garden.
Seeing my own flowers makes me even more aware of what others have in their yards and just the natural beauty of where we live.
Reality intrudes and our plans to re build our backyard garden are on hold until we have the dogs trained to not dig them up or eat them. It has Rob and I wondering if we should move the kids' play set and put the dogs back into the side yard where they used to be. We have finished the irrigation and Rob started laying back down the castle block but the dogs seem to have taken over and have dug deeper under the block. It will get sorted out just not as quickly as we had dreamed.
This weekend we plan on cleaning out our carport so that when the time comes, we can move all the plants under the carport for protection.
I know next spring we'll be adding to our collection, plus I hope to gift others with some beautiful blooms of their own. I'll be excited to see what crazy, colorful, riot of plants and pots we are going to have by June of next year.
Bring some color into your life, go visit your local nursery and bring home a plant that inspires you.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

thankful day #6

Today's being thankful post is sponsored by our national election and the freedom we have as Americans.
Today Facebook, TV, radio, all the media outlets are going to talk about our right to vote and the privileges we have.
So here is my story on it.
I remember back in the *cough* 80's when Regan was running. I remember sitting on the front step of our town house holding a sign that I had made that said to vote for Regan/Bush. I had no understanding what a  Democrat or Republican was, I'm sure my perception was based solely on my parents and campaigning commercials.
Flash forward to the 90's and here comes Bill Clinton. He was young, charismatic, could play the saxophone, lol. He was on MTV telling us kids to rock the vote, he hit all the late night circuits. He was just cool and as a senior in high school he was appealing to the younger voting generation. If I could have voted back then it would have been Clinton. In 1996 I did. When Clinton's term was over I was ready to vote in Al Gore. Sadly back then we didn't have early voting and I was away on a business trip and unable to vote. I watched as we struggled to get the votes counted in and that's when I really understood what the electoral college meant. I was under the impression that winning meant that the person with the most votes wins. That isn't true and that is my biggest problem with elections. I won't go into how the electoral college works, I suggest you google it but if there was anything I could change about elections is that the parties would be done away with and you vote for the person. What they stand for, their plans for growth and change, etc. That the people's votes decide, majority rules and then they get the electoral votes. Don't even get me started on lobbyists.
I'm honored, thankful and proud of my country. I'm honored that I can voice my thoughts without the fear of being thrown into jail or worse, killed. I'm thankful to have the choice to vote or not, the ability to vote and I'm proud of all the people, military or not who fight everyday for us to have this opportunity.
Did I exercise my right to vote, heck yeah. Will I tell you who I voted for? No. I will not debate with anyone over politics. Whether you are red or blue there are positives and negatives with both candidates. Do I feel that I made the right choice. I honestly don't know. This was one of the toughest elections for me to decide. My voter registration card reads Democrat, but that doesn't mean I voted that way. I don't believe in voting all or nothing party lines, I vote for each person regardless of their party line.
One thing that I really enjoy and am thankful about in AZ is the new mail in early ballots. I voted more than a week ago and it was nice to not have to wait in any lines, to be able sit in the comfort of my home and research what way I wanted to vote. It was also nice to look a local politician in the face and say I have already voted.
Tonight after scouts, Rob and I will watch some of the election coverage,  we will see what changes are in store for the propositions and leaders around Arizona and we may go to bed not knowing whom they will be inaugurating in January, but our voices have been heard.
I'm really excited for tomorrow when the airwaves won't be filled with all the negative ads, we'll be back with ads for erectile dysfunction, menopause, arthritis and depression pills. ;0.
No matter who wins, come January I will support whomever is elected President. I will pray that they make the right decisions for our country and lead with dignity and honor.

Monday, November 05, 2012

thankful day #5

Today I'm thankful for the people who began Pinterest
I'm sure by now most people know what Pinterest is, for those few who don't, Pinterest is an online bulletin board.
I discovered Pinterest through a few of the blogs that I read and I really didn't fully get it. I asked for a invite to join and then waited for my email confirmation. Once I was in I just wandered around. I started by looking up things like "crafts" and "photography" and liking items that struck my eye or looked easy to do. I liked a lot of things, lol. Now when you click on a photo, it will show you a website or link and that link will lead you to directions on how to make it or where to buy, commentary, blogs,etc. Now not everything has a link it could just be a picture that someone posted but by that picture alone it can spark some creativity.
I learned to create boards to help keep all my inspiration in the right categories so that I wasn't searching forever for one thing.
People are amazing and having all that eye candy in one place just makes it like one stop shopping.
For a few weeks I was completely addicted and I spent hours a day looking around, now I give myself maybe an hour a day or if I'm waiting for the kids or waiting at the doctors office I will scroll around and like things, and then once I get home, I will repin them to a board. I have discovered so much out there in the mega huge world wide web that I never would have found before. Artists of all genre's that inspire me to try new things or give me an appreciation for what they do.
I also love the fact that my hubby is now in on it. If I leave Pinterest open on the computer he will start scrolling and liking things. I love that some evenings if I'm on the site he will stand beside me asking me if I have pinned this or that. We laugh, we dream and we plan.
We have tried new recipes, made plans for future vacations, looked at art we would like for our home, found countless ideas for our garden and so many crafty ideas that we or I want to make.
Pinterest has broadened my horizons, fueled my creative fire and made me so thankful for the people who are willing to share their talents. If you haven't tried Pinterest yet, give it a go and feel free to ask me any questions.You can find me and all my boards at .

Saturday, November 03, 2012

thankful weekends

On the weekends I'll be taking a short break from my grateful list so that I can update on any goings on with the family.
Today we will be spending the morning at the Cops and Rodders car show over at High Corbett Field. This is also the citywide pine wood derby for the cub scouts. We had a great time last year and I'm excited for the day.
We spent last evening getting the cars ready to go. Each kid gets to pick shape and color and any decals they want to put on their car. I'll have to get pictures of this years derby cars before the kids trash them.
This afternoon we will be joining mom's friend Marie in celebrating her 60th birthday. Mom has planned the surprise party over at Brushfire BBQ with some of Marie's friends. I made a 60th centerpiece like I did for my dad to go onto her table and we will have balloons everywhere.
Of course there will be pictures to come...
PS, if I want to stick to my grateful theme, I will say that I grateful for people who cherish vintage cars and are displaying them for our enjoyment and I'm grateful for friends and celebrating their lives.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Thankful day #2

Today I'm thankful for the "Crafting Explosion", it's a statement I read in an old issue of Country Living magazine.
Back in 2004- 2005, I was working at JoAnn's, surrounded by fabric, crafts, jewelry, art supplies, well, you all know JoAnns.
Around this time my hubby and I took a church course called Potters Wheel. I don't remember everything but I remember talking about being in a church surround by all these crafty women and how I wanted to be like them. Looking back it was almost heart wrenching how much I wanted to pursue and learn the crafty world. I was asked by the facilitator, a wonderful women, what was I so afraid of and it literally burst out that I was afraid of my passion. We all have seen that stereotype of the starving artist, the recluse artist, the emotionally traumatized artist, or the women who bankrupts her family for her crafting addiction. The last part actually did happen to one lady in the scrapbooking world.
After the class Rob and I talked about scrapbooking and what I was looking to learn. He was somewhat supportive but didn't want me to go overboard, ha ha. On my breaks at work I would grab magazines and thumb through them. One of the first ones that I grabbed was Creating Keepsakes Magazine it was there October issue and it was everything in 10's. This was really the start of the scrapbooking boom, but that's besides the point. I thumbed through that issue and was inspired and we all know how much I like to be inspired, lol. I found easy to do projects, and blogs of the interesting women who created these cool crafts. I found online communities like Two Peas and Cricut. I started collecting a roster of blogs like they were magazine subscriptions. I spent hours pouring over galleries, reading about techniques and where to buy products. For a few years it was an addiction. As I learned, I purchased new tools and supplies. At one point while I worked for Joann's, I was the scrapbooking teacher and then when the Cricut machine came out I had to learn how to use and demonstrate that.
Oh, the cricut machine, she has taken me far and opened up a whole new world. A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Cricut Army and go to Michael's and Joann's demonstrating the Cricut, Gypsy and the Cricut cake machine, miss doing that.
It was some time in 2010 (holy cow, I went back and checked and it was Sep.2008!) that I began my journey with the The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron. It was so eye opening and I know that I have blogged about it a few times so I won't continue to rehash. I will say if you think your not a creative person, you are wrong. We are all creative people.
So I could really go on when it comes to my creative journey and I know there are way more points to cover. But truly I have found a freedom in the beauty of things that are created by my own hands. I can still be my worst critic, I can make plenty of mistakes, but it really is OK. I was looking back on my blog and saw some of the things that I have made over the years and I'm proud. I've grown and will continue to grow in the diverse world of arts and crafts. I'm thankful that I took steps and continue to take steps to being crafty and creative.
One last point of being crafty. In this day and age there are groups of people who say, I'm not gonna buy that, I'm gonna make it". We have this urge to make, build, design, in all of us. Some shut it down but others run with it. I'm am or I'm becoming one of those people. You need a blanket, you make one, birthday party decor, you can make that too. The imagination is boundless but sadly our time isn't and that's the biggest threat to being creative.
I would have taken a picture of my scrap room but it is in a state of clean up and reorganizing. At least that's what I tell myself, it actually looks like a bomb went off.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Halloween Recap and being thankful

Last night my family headed out to my moms neighborhood to do some trick or treating.
Mom loves to go all out for Halloween and this year her house looked awesome.
Makes me want to step it up a notch, considering I really don't have much of anything for decorations. hmmm....
The kids all had a great time, we have a system where the kids take their buckets and we carry along a reuse able grocery bag for each kid to dump as we go. This helps eliminate the kids not wanting to carry their stuff because it gets heavy.
Thankfully my brother brought along a wagon in case their youngest Savannah got tired, which she did for a short time but was such a trooper. The wagon ended up carrying all the water bottles and bags. When we got back to mom's I lifted the kids bags and gosh were they heavy. This morning I was still wondering so I weighed them. Combined 19lbs of candy! and we only walked 3 streets! I was astonished by how many people were handing out full size candy bars. Insanity, but in a good way. We will be doing major portion control and like last year some will be used for other projects with scouts and such.
So welcome to November!
Today starts my list of daily gratitude's!
Photo source: Where women create facebook page.

Today, I am grateful for Where Women Create  magazine.
This may sound funny, to start a month of gratitude off with a magazine but it's true. I picked up my first copy last year when I found out, through some of the blogs I follow, that a few of my favorite inspiring people were going to be in it.
I'm nosy by nature and at the time I was just curious about this new to me magazine.
Oh the colors, the inspiration, the artistic freedom. It was so cool to see each artist in their own space but to hear how some of them got started, the sacrifices and leaps of faith that some had to take. It hit me. I read through the magazine several times until the next issue came out, and I still have that first issue and thumb through it when I need a creative pick me up.
Where Women Create magazine has introduced me to new people, blogs, stores, decorating ideas and the need to be around creative people. This past year has been an awesome adventure and struggle to find myself as a creative soul, for some reason this was a catalyst. It showed me freedom and that there is room for every artist, to do what I love without being apologetic or trying to conform to my warp sense of what art was/is. I'm slowly reaching out to try new things and to grow myself. Before I read my first issue, my living room was going to be black, white, with a splash of red. Now..ha ha, I have colorful frames mixed in with the black and white, I'm slowly working on a new quilt that is a riot of colors. I'm making new pillow covers for our couch pillows. Slowly but surely I'm making our home into who we truly are.
Today I am super excited because the newest issue is out! This new issue has only one name on the cover that I recognize so I'm extra excited about what I'm about to discover. I know I won't be disappointed. I'm off to go get me issue!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Here' to all having a safe and Happy Halloween!
This year we are doing the, " use what you got" Halloween costumes, the kids aren't thrilled because Wyatt wanted to be Boba Fett, Chelsea and Kelly Monster High. The girls we can easily make do, but finding something for Wyatt is a challenge, its like we have helmets but no costumes. We'll see how creative we can be.
Starting tomorrow I'm going to begin a month long blogging series on gratitude and what it means to me.
I haven't been blogging as much as I would like and I would like to change that, so I planned out a months worth of blogging for November, minus the weekends, and next month I will either plan a week at a time of just plan out the month.
As usual, I'm just trying to keep up. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Some long overdue introductions.
Back last December when we got Bella we told the lady we had no intentions on breeding her, and we didn't. We figured we had a couple of months to get her fixed so we waited. I went back to work for the tax season and Bella went into heat. Braxton our un neutered male had been put out to stud once before and the owners never saw him "hook up" with their female, and except for sniffing he didn't show any interest. I just figured he didn't know what to do.
So Bella is in heat and Brax seems to care less. I came home one night after the family had gone to bed
and I found those two hooked up in the living room. It seems Brax was a little shy and only accomplished his deed when know one was around.
Fast forward to May 30th and we are blessed or cursed ;) with 6 beautiful puppies, 3 males 3 females.
Because we never intended for this to happen we were just going to try and sell them for $150. They are pure bred Boxer. Rob stopped by the vet 7-8 days after they were born to see about getting their tails docked. It seems we missed the cutoff date, tails must be docked 3-5 days after birth. We could still get them done but it would require anesthesia and double the amount.
So this is why we have boxers with tails. Come to find out, most countries have outlawed docking tails, except the US and UK.
When it came time to find them families we found it hard to find good homes. One male now called Buddy went to an acquaintance of Robs. My brother Mike and his family took two a male they named Gambino and a female they named Sasha.
The whole family talked my mom into taking the last two girls. So that left us with our one male.
 Bella is now fixed, so we can guarantee to not have a repeat performance. Fast forward to now.

For a short while we had 5 dogs running around our house, 3 in potty training. Then we lose Braxton and from talking to my mom she really doesn't want the girls. I go into grief mode and all of a sudden I have two families wanting the girls, but they are not families that would take good care of them, if you know what I mean. I refuse to let them go and now with moms help the dogs are one big happy family.
The puppies are now 4 1/2 months old and tomorrow our male is getting fixed.
So let me introduce everyone.
From the top you have Bailey, originally named Spazzy, who is now an absolute love but don't get her riled up she looks like she can take a hand off when wrestling with her brother and sister, heck even Bella. Next up we have Ana, short for Anasana. This is the pup that Chelsea has proclaimed as hers and she named her. We shortened it to Ana because it can be a tongue twister. Ana can be the spaz but overall pretty mellow. For a while Ana didn't have a collar and the dogs were tearing up her neck when they played. Now that she has a collar on all her wounds have healed and they just drag each other around by their collars. Also Ana breaks our  B names for our Boxers, we tried to get Chelsea to pick a B name but she loved Ana.
Last up is our boy Bacon. Yep, Rob named him Bacon.
Do you remember the Chevy Chase movie Funny Farm and yellow dog. Bacon is similar to yellow dog. It can be mass dog wrestling chaos and he is lying in bed asleep. Out of all our dogs he seems to be the most introverted and mellow.
It has been so cool to watch them grow and change but right now we are in the process of training them to not jump, dig, to sit (which they do only for treats). We are having to revamp our garden plans because they are all diggers. If you know a way to stop them please pass it on.
Anyway, one day last week I told Rob I needed to get current photos of the "kids" and Ana decided that she couldn't let Bailey have all the fun being on the couch with dad.They are hysterical when they are all excited and jumping on each other to get attention or a treat, but right now I really wish I had a doggie door, see I'm their doggie door opener right now and its getting tiresome, the constant in and out.
Soo this is our clan, one we hope to raise up to be good, obedient dogs that are a pleasure to be around. It sure is interesting to say the least.


Friday, October 12, 2012

 This is going to be the short, short version of what we have been up to the last couple of weeks.
Wyatt's had a school assembly where he received his award for academic excellence. This is for Reading and Math he scored 71% in reading and 62% (I think) in his class. I just know is numbers were more than double the rest of his classmates.
Spent the weekend with my juniors up at Whispering Pines Girl Scout camp. The girls had a great time. This is Kelly and her bff Madison. These two have been together since Kindy.
 Took a family day trip up to Marshall Gulch on Mt Lemmon. My favorite place to go and one that the kids can roam around for hours. We did this on fall break because...
Uncle Chuck was visiting from Maryland. My absolute favorite brother in law.
We took another day trip down through Sonoita and Patagonia, beautiful views, where we stopped and went through some of the cutest shops.
 These absolutely amazing tree outside a gallery that was closed. A dream tree, just gorgeous.
Uncle Chuck the night before he had to head back home. Bummed us all out, wish he would visit more often or that we could go see him.
And last night we joined the girl scouts and saw Disney on Ice- Princesses Tiana, Cinderella and Rapunzel. I took 343 photos! When I told my mom she asked if I saw the show, of course, each photo is a memory of a beautiful show.

So that is what we've been up to the last couple of weeks as I've tried to get out of my funk, which I think I have.

Now we are geared up for the coming holiday season.
Lord, have mercy on me, lol

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

 Its been over two weeks, but with great sadness our boxer Braxton has passed away.
On Sep. 20th we left to go to karate practice and home church not realizing that the back gate hadn't been closed properly. All the dogs got out but thankfully our neighbor on the corner was able to get Bella and the 3 puppies back in the yard. Braxton ran across the street and wouldn't come to the neighbor. That night we didn't get home from home church until after 11pm, we found a note on our door and went out searching. We called for him, drove around the neighborhood, waited at the end of alleys calling for him.
We stopped at midnight but we were right back outside calling at 5:30am. We walked up and down the street, calling him, carrying his lease for when we found him. He was wearing his harness with his name tag on it.
 By mid morning I had called animal control and humane society, posted a picture ad on craigslist.
No one had seen him.
I had driven down every alley in our neighborhood and asked almost every person I saw in their yard.
By Friday night, I was stressed and worried, really worried.
Saturday morning we posted flyers with his picture around our area and then we had to finish getting ready for Kelly's birthday party.
It was during the party, when a friends son walked over that he spotted Braxton.
His body was still across the street where he was last
seen. It looked like he had just laid down and went to sleep, he wasn't hit by a car. We didn't see him because he was between a tree and a rock and with his coloring he blended right into the environment.
I tore myself up over this, thinking that he was within hearing distance of our house that whole time. He was about 4-5 houses away. That he was so close this whole time and how many times had we drove past. When we had done our morning walk on Friday we walked up one side and down the other but just as we reached our street we cut back across the street toward our house, it we had kept going straight we might have seen him.
All we can figure and hope was that he passed before we even got home. It has broken my heart and I have been so angry. I could understand an accept it better if Brax had died in the yard or on his dog bed but not being with us and yet so close just tears me up. As Rob said to me Sunday morning, he lives on in his puppies and I'm not about to let any of them go. They have been around long enough that I'm attached. Its kinda crazy with 4 dogs and our yard will never win any awards but I don't care. I see a little bit of Brax in all of them and they are family. He was a great dog and like most boxers noisey but thankfully not a big licker, just a big lover. He was 7 years old and his age was becoming a factor, his coat had gone from fawn and white to lots of white, he preferred to sleep on his bed or on the floor on my side of the bed. I loved that I could leave him in the house for a few hours without having to worry about anything being eaten or destroyed.
As I've written this, Bella has tried to crawl into my lap a few times, she has been great to hug on when I start to feel really sad. This time has also reminded me to take more pictures with our pets and of our pets. Because they are such a part of our lives they deserve some photo love.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Yesterday my baby girl turned 10!
On Saturday we had her party and as you can see it was Monster High themed.
I painted the girls' faces as their favorite character and Rob sprayed their hair.
I must say Kelly's friends are so sweet and thoughtful.

The house was jammed with family and friends and it was comical watching everyone trying to get around each other to get food or drinks. Thankfully I had a few things planned that included being outside.

Here is most of the gang minus Chelsea, Wyatt and the cousins.
We have a Ghoulia,  Draculaura, Frankie, Clawdeen and Laguna. One young lady didn't want to be painted and another was a make your own ghoul. Crack me up.

I misspoke when I told Rob and Mikey to spray Kelly with the silly string. I meant after we sang Happy Birthday, but I guess I said when we sing Happy Birthday. That was hilarious and I almost missed it because I didn't really have the camera ready.
 After the cake and ice cream we gave each kid a can of silly string to take out front. Then the girls dived into opening up the presents to play with until their parents arrived.
I'm pretty sure they all had a great time, I know I did.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Taken from Pinterest but cannot find the source.

What an amazing week and each day something new or renewed sparks more thankfulness for who I am and for who/what is around me.
Thank God I'm not perfect and that I don't have to try to be.
Certain truths are sinking in and in it there is freedom and acceptance, not only for myself but for others.
I love the line that says, I make mistakes, but I own them. There is power in owning up to the words and actions that you use. I've been trying so hard to make my words count. To lift up anyone around me.
I found this pin and when I went to like and re post, I somehow lost it and no amount of searching on Pinterest could find it, until a friend put it on Facebook. I copied it to my clip art and would love to print it out where I can look at it and remind myself daily just how awesome(in humbling terms) each one of us are.
I'm working on getting the words out of my head and onto the page, words to inspire, think, and praise. Words that have been used time and time again but the message gets pushed to the wayside by a society that screams at us with print and social media.
What would our world look like if we accepted each other as we are?
 I know from my experience that when I have gotten to sit down and get to truly know someone all the superficial crap doesn't matter. On the inside we all have similar struggles some just hide it better, some seek to understand, others just stuff it down, whatever the case may be.
Each one of us has choices to make and some of us need to be loved on and shown that there are better choices.
This past weekend I worked on the question of how much faith do I have? The bible says if you have faith the size of a mustard seed and you ask the mountain to jump it will. Me being a visual person expects to see air under the mountain when it jumps. Our world moves and shifts everyday and after much thought I have to trust that just because I didn't see Oro Valley when the mountain lifted into the air doesn't mean it didn't move.
Do I have enough faith?
After this weekend I can say for sure that I have faith bigger than a mustard seed. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Just like this bloom that was opening for the day, so
I am too blossoming in the love and knowledge of who God has created me to be.
Pretty heavy words to start a post but they ring so true.
I'll start with yesterday, I was doing some research for my retreat course and I was looking up ideas and scripture for my course notes.
I found so many people online who are doing what
I want to do, or they have something to say on the subjects that I feel that they are doing it better than I could.
I continued on, trying to ignore my lack of confidence, but it all came to a head last night. I had found a verse for something special planned and as I read through my LLM (Learning to Love the Master) manual, I broke down into tears as I struggled through why God has put me on this journey. I took my concerns to my journal and asked God for his answer.
And he gave me one.
You are a spark, to give hope and rest to those you will serve.
I cried.
It was during my tears that my friend LaDonna texted, Hey chickadee. We ended up having a conversation that I'm still sitting in.
We truly don't realize how we inspire or whose life we have touched by just being ourselves, that even when told this, it is hard for us to accept.
This morning as I continue to reflect, I saw today's daily truth from the Brave Girls club. Brave Girls daily truths
I just love how God works in our lives, especially when we open our eyes to see the beauty that is around us and inside each of us.
Last Wednesday I was shown quite blatantly that I'm on the right course.
Rob and I were sitting at dinner and out of nowhere it felt as if someone and just rushed up into my face and started yelling at me. I almost had to gasp for breath it was that profound. I have never had anything like that happen before. The words I heard were that; I wasn't going to do this retreat, to stop now before it was too late and that I wasn't good enough to do it and that the retreat wasn't good enough.
Once everything was spewed out I just sat there for a second, really that's about how long it took before the calm set in and I just knew that I was on the right track. I didn't really give the words a second thought because it was such a blatant attack that I knew it for the lies they were. I just kept thinking, Wow, I must be doing something right.
I have been shown over and over again that I am on the path set before me by my Creator. I'm willing to walk into whatever He needs me to because I know on the other side I will be better for it. It doesn't mean that the walk is easy or not without setbacks, but as long as I cast my eyes upon my Father each time I start to stumble, then I will walk into the person and life he wants for me. Its far better than I can dream for myself.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Forgive me because I don't remember what site I got this photo from.
On Friday night the whole family watched Empire Strikes back and I must say it's such a hoot to hear my kids say, "I know that guy". "I'm trying to defeat Darth Vader now!"
You see for Wyatt's birthday he got the Ds game of the complete Star Wars Lego whatever. Now we are completing his training by introducing to him the story lines.
Saturday night we watched Return of the Jedi.
As I sat there and watched it brought back so many cool memories of have light saber fights in the front yard, me and a friend arguing over who got to play Leia and all sorts of adventures using the playground equipment from the elementary school next door.
I think as a young girl, Leia was someone to look up to, she was strong, smart and could kick some major butt.
I recently saw a picture on pinterest showing 6 women in today's culture that some girls idolized Kim K., Gaga, K. Stewart, Snooki and Kat VonD, below them are 6 women from various sci fi shows that they all kick major butt. I want my girls to learn that those 6 women that most girls idolize aren't worth idolizing. I want my girls to grow their strength in what God wants for them, to act with dignity, grace, service to others. I want them to use their minds and to love themselves as God loves them, with respect.
This was so not how I planned this post to go.
On Saturday morning I stole away for a couple of hours to just sit and work on my retreat. I have felt a desire to get away from all the noise so that I may hear where God is taking me. I'm hoping to have more time like this in the coming weeks until I have all the major kinks worked out.
I have finished my Walking in this World and my 5 Conversations to have with your daughter course. I'm now reading How to have a new kid by Friday, love Dr. Leman and 5 love languages of children. I hope to have both finished by this Friday. Already I'm looking into more studies just so that I can grow and understand more of how people operate. I must say it is opening my eyes and softening my heart to other peoples hurts. I don't want to try and fix them in so much as I want to understand where they are coming from.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Big announcement this morning
I finished my Artists Way, Walking in this World, 12 week study!!!
So far I have never had a study meet me where I was at almost all the time. I learned so much not only about myself but how I process and sometimes avoid my one true passion. I'm so glad I did this. I kinda feel like this flower, starting to open up and bloom.
I'm making myself take a least a week off break before I jump in and begin the next book Finding Water. I would like to process and relax before diving right back in.

Another announcement this morning,
I had the craziest dream about cuttlebug folders and My little Pony.
Long story kinda short. Cuttlebug folders are embossing folders used in scrapbooking and card making and I received some for my birthday last week and have picked up a couple the other day. The My little Pony reference is because almost every morning after walking Kelly and Wyatt to school we watch a couple of episodes together on Netflix. Let's just say it was a crazily hilarious dream and I wish I could have finished it and remember more of it.

Let's see, Kelly is off her grounding and I'm beginning to read two books, Five love languages of children and Have a new kid by Friday . This momma is gonna be armed with love and discipline. New strategies to keep my heathens from becoming menaces to society. Nah, they're not that bad.
Last Friday Rob and Kelly had their first Daddy/Daughter Date. The two went bowling, enjoyed some
In-N-Out burger before going to see Madagascar 3. When Rob walked into the house that night he said that the movie is better than the first one and he wants to see it again. Awesome! They both had a great time and I hope this leads to more dates. I was home with Wyatt and Chelsea, we had pizza and watched the original Star Wars. He got the game for his DS and really had no clue about the story or who the cast of characters were, so we watched the movie. Very enlightening for him. Hopefully this weekend we can watch Empire Strikes Back.
I'm sure I could ramble on forever but I'm gonna get busy and enjoy my day.