Friday, June 30, 2006

Something I haven't done in a while

So I did something today I haven't done in awhile. I shopped in the clearance section of my fav ss store and bought stuff. I have really have been more selective in what I am buying lately. I have eschewed clearance sections because, well, there just wasn't good stuff there.

This stuff was good. All the stuff here was 65% off the original price. Was 50% off, I got an additional 30% off by contributing to the food shelf. And I got good stuff. Cool stuff I'll use. (eventually?) And I got all this for only... $30. I went for the cloth alphabets and embellishments I loved, but couldn't justify at their previous prices.

Oh...and the BasicGrey shrine? It has lots of other stuff on it. Including my picture from Donna Downy telling me that I ROCK!!! Here's what I looks like now...changes to come as I am home over the next 4 days and will surely do some scrapping!

World Cup Fever

I don't have it. No one in the US really does, eh? At work there are quite a few fanatics around. None are from the US. Folks from Germany, Egypt, Vietnam, and even China are more excited about this than the US folk. Even though most of them don't have a team in the tourney, either. (well...except for the guy from Germany)

This kid? He has it.If I had a son, I would encourage this hair do. It's cool.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cedar Campus, Michigan

I never did finish the story of where we went on our vacation.

We went to a camp owned by Intervarsity Christian Fellowship (my husband's employer). The camp is called Cedar Campus, and is just outside of Cedarville, Michigan, on the far eastern end of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The camp is located right on Lake Huron, and so there was plenty of sand, water, rocks, and wildflowers for a whole week. We stayed in a lodge. The girls each had a bunk bed set to themselves. They played on the top bunk, and slept in the bottom. Fun for them. There was not really any trouble for the girls to get into, so they really just kept themselves amused with the other kids their ages.
This was their best friend. Her name is Zea (Romanian name) and she lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her father is a student at Calvin Seminary there. It was fun to watch the girls make friends and play independently and just sit on the deck chairs and watch them.

Here's a view of the veranda on the lodge where we stayed. We spent a lot of time in these chairs!

Better..but still overwhelmed

Gosh, you guys are great. Thanks for the support about my overwhelmed feeling.

Amazing that Ali Edwards blog says exactly what I was trying to say yesterday...she says it better. The overwhelmed feeling is not so much from the precise to do list, but from all the things I want to do. All the changes I want to better, exercise more, help my older daugther in her struggles with school and learning, the day to day things...scrap more, have a scrap party, keep the house clean and running, etc.

Thank goodness for the flylady. That keeps the day to day things under control. I would be truly under without her methods and encouragement. I think my major overwhelm-ment was more from the larger things.

We did have a major breakthrough in one area, however. We finally got a great reference for the right kind of doctor I think my daughter needs to see. Would my praying frieds please hold up this situation? We are struggling with some ADHD tied up with some other issues that are making the entire situation difficult to diagnose. We finally got a reference to developmental pediatrician that sounds like he has done work in the areas we are concerned about. And he is new in town, so we may actually get to see him this summer! (One issue with these docs is that they are way overbooked and you can wait six months for an initial appointment!)

Here's today's picture. Enjoy! Look for the secret in it...a toad!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed this morning.

My scraproom is torn apart because I brought in that new piece of furniture. Charlie did remove the decorative top piece, but it is not back on yet (needs some thought), so I won't have a place to add my quote. I'm having an in-home stamping party on Thursday night and have promised a scraproom tour. Getting my room back into showroom shape will take all of my free time the next two evenings!

We made plans for the rest of the summer. Four nights in hotels during a jaunt to my mom's and the family reunion. Then later on the four of us will fly to Albuquerque, be in a hotel 5 more nights, and spend some good time with Charlie's parenets. Yikes! Spendy.

So now my entire summer is booked...not much free time left. And feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. I see many, many pictures and experiences to scrap and very little time to scrap them. My one weekend at Raspberry Ridge at the end of all that madness will do little to make a dent in formally documenting that pile of memories!

And now for our picture for of my favorites from the trip. Did I mention the wildflowers were beautiful?

These lillies were everywhere! So beautiful. I even found some that were red!

Monday, June 26, 2006

BasicGrey Shrine

I scored an awesome piece of scraproom furniture at lunch today at the local scrapbook store. It was an Anna Griffin product display. Forty plastic racks for 12x12 paper in the lower section, a piece of pegboard about 3x4 on top. All housed in a nice white laminated structure.

And a place to put a title at the top. Hmmm. Perhaps a name for my room? Or a quote? Hmmmm. The color scheme for my room is SEI Serendipity. Perhaps I should write "Serendipity to all who enter here" at the top. I kind of wanted to put that on my scraproom wall, but was a bit daunted by the scale. This might be an easier thing to do.

When I get it home tonight, I will be turning it into my BasicGrey shrine. Unfortunately, I will need my hubby's help to get it downstairs. Then he will know.

Here is the bottom half of the display, in its home.

However, we have a problem here...
See the height of the top piece my husband is working on? See the distance from the top of the bottom piece with all the shelves to the bottom of the underhang (painted green)? See the problem?

Dear hubby (best husband in the world...I don't care what Minda says!) is working to get the top off, and hopefully reattach the crown molding at a lower level so it can still have the beautiful top and fit under the ductwork.

Keep your fingers crossed....

Malapropisms from kids

Flamingos? Nope, Minda. It actually says Cedar Campus.

This is where we were. See where it says "Mariner's Cove"? That's where we stayed, right by that sandy beach.

If you don't want to go to the link at Cedar Campus above (if you want to keep guessing), to help in your quest to find out "Where's Waldo", I have to share with you a bit of our journey, using the words our kids were always using to refer to the items referred to:

"We drove between the Upper and Downer Peninsulas, over the Conneticut bridge. When you go over the Connecticut bridge, Lake Michigan is one one side, and Lake Calhoun on the other."

Unfortunatley, there was no Lake Calhoun and the bridge in the picture is not called the Connecticut bridge. And while Up-ers may be amused by the other part of the state being called the "downer" peninsula, it is actually called the "lower" peninsula. And this little trip across the bridge to the downer peninsula was just a side trip along our path, our actual path to Cedar Campus would not require us to cross this bridge.

Confused? I will let this sit one more day before I clarify.

Meanwhile...a picture from our journey.

I saw so many beautiful wildflowers. That will be the topic of a post later this week.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Yesterday we drove across northern Wisconsin, from Marinette to Hudson. Charlie noted that the scenery along the road could put you almost anywhere in the US. (Except maybe in the dry western states like New Mexico or Utah) I thought about that and previous discussions we had had about rural america being pretty similar, no matter the state. (Charlie and I have lived in Georgia, California, Colorado and Minnesota. I also have lived in Wisconsin).
But what makes rural Wisconsin more "comfortable" to me than rural Georgia? I have a theory.

Road signs. Yep. Road signs.

Here's what I am used to road signs looking like in Wisconsin:

The county roads are named letters of the alphabet. We even saw a highway MMM yesterday. The county roads are labelled with a plain white rectangular sign, with rounded corners. Not every state has county roads labelled like this. Minnesota? Blue shields. With numbers.
The state highways in Wisconsin are labelled with numbers. With a white sign. With a shield type shape. I didn't get a good picture of one of these, but on this overhead sign with the ubiquitous Interstate Shield (I-94) and US Highway Shield (US-12), is a sign for a Wisconsin state highway (Wisconsin- 29). Michigan state highways were M-35 (or whatever the number) on a diamond. Minnesota state highways? Rectangles, I think. With a gold bar at the top that says Minnesota on it. And a blue field below with the number.

I know that smell is a strong sense, and can really make us feel at home, or like fish out of water. But for me, I think roadsigns and highway signs are also significant. I grew up in Beloit, Wisconsin, and my mom's family was 3-1/2 to 4 hours away in West Salem (near LaCrosse). We would make that trip at least once a month when I was young. We would take US Highway 14 from Madison to LaCrosse (I think). We would go by A&W rootbeer stands (another strong memory for me), farm implement and machinery dealerships, country churches surrounded by old cemeteries. The road was mostly 2 lane, so another strong memory invoked this weekend was the sound of the car kicking into overdrive when you passed a slow moving vehicle (often a farm truck). Sometimes passing was kind of scary (at least to a young kid sitting in the back seat). Other memories are wide open windows (no AC in cars, and who even KNEW about gas mileage?) and the lap belts like on airplanes. (Of course, we didn't wear them. And there certainly were no car seats for kids).

Minnesota road signs also evoke memories. We used to drive highway 14 from West Salem to Winona to Rochester 5-6 times a year (my father's parents lived in Pine Island, near Rochester). Signs changing from white to blue meant we were closer to Grandmas. (The big corn in Rochester meant you were really almost there!)The ride from West Salem to Pine Island was 3-1/2 hours back then.

Now you can zoom from Beloit to West Salem in just under 3 hours on I-90. And in another 2+ hours, you are in Pine Island. No A&W rootbeer stands on the roads. No need to kick it into overdrive to pass a slow moving vehicle. No drive along the river from LaCrosse to Winona. No big corn water tower. No open windows.

I enjoyed my time this past week on rural roads. We even had windows open for awhile. It just seemed right. I do like the fact that it is Interstate all the way from our house here to my Mom's house in Beloit. Only the first three blocks and the last 3 miles are off the interstate. Much safer. Much quicker. But I enjoyed my nostalgic drive this past week.

Here's some farm sights that remind me of my childhood.

Your challenge for the week? (should you need a challenge?) Recall the roadsigns of your youth. Scrap them. Or write about them. Or use them as an inspiration for a page layout or poem. I had a great time remembering mine...the memories were as near as a drive across the open roads of Wisconsin.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Where's Waldo?

This photo contains one LARGE hint as to the general location of our vacation, one hidden hint (under Amelia's hair, printed on her sweatshirt) as to the exact location.

Any guesses?

There's no place like home...

Just back from a yummy week of vacation. I missed blogging. I have a week of observations to blog. The title may say "There's no place like home...", but the only thing about home I missed was my own bed. Oh...and blogging.

One day for cleaning and re-entry. Back to work on Monday. For one week. Then I get another week off. I'm not sure it will be a very productive week at work, but I'll worry about that Monday morning when the alarm goes off.

Now to figure out how to get all the vacation photos from my "work" laptop that went on vacation, to my "home" laptop from which all the blogging occurs. And which ones to print. And which ones to upload to flickr or wherever for friends from the vacation to see.

and laundry to do.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bring on Summer!!!!

Here's a picture from the official first night of summer vacation. Amelia finished school on Tuesday the 12th. These were taken that night at the local wading pool. The girls' friend Skylar is in the picture with them. Unbelieveably, school will start again 12 weeks from the day this picture was taken. It will be a fun and busy summer!

Amelia does her best Wallace imitation: "Cheeese, Gromit!"

Here's Margaret, playing in the late sunlight hours. We were at the pool until about 8:45 pm..and could have stayed longer!

Enjoy your summer! I know I will.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Seagate Dudes

I want to preface this with the fact that I do love the company I work for. We make exciting products, the technology is fun to work with, it is well managed fiscally and ethically. It is a great place to work and I love my benefits.

Having said all that....get a look at this picture. This was taken at the New York Stock Exchange. Looks pretty white and male, eh? *sigh* some things take longer to change, don't they.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Virtual Crop

I participated in my first "Virtual Crop" this weekend.

The site that hosted the crop is called Scrap Village. They issues challenges (like...make a layout with circles on it) and you create a layout and post it on their website.

Here's a link to the layouts I made this weekend. There also are some pictures I posted.

I wanted to post my favorite for those of you who may not go to the link.

Here was the challenge:
Create a LO inspired by this ribbon:

I was inspired by the logo on the box and created this layout.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

What? A scrapbook page?

My regular readers will recognize these pictures from a blog post about last weekend.
My fellow bookclub members should recognize these materials from the bookclub kit.

I added UTEE to the letters after painting and decorating. I included wrapping some thin metal strips around the letters, to use yet another technique from the book!
I also added a Heidi Swapp flower and some beads to it. I especially love the red beads in the "veins" of the flower. With the button center. It looks kind of sloppy in this close up, but I think it looks great on the page from a bit of a distance.

Back to your regularly scheduled work week.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Minnehaha Falls

We went to Minnehaha park today! We drive by the park every day on our way to church, we thought it would be fun to actually stop in and play and see the falls.

First, we went to Dairy Queen...
Amelia being cool in front of the Dairy Queen. Margaret loving the camera.
Then, we went to the base of the falls.
Here are the girls in front of the falls. The standard tourist shot.

Then, we walked along the creek towards the Mississippi River. We didn't go all the way, as we weren't prepared, (ie. the correct shoes), but we had fun hiking through the forest. Here's some shots taken along the walk.

Margaret in the swimming hole.

Pretty little flowers.

And here is Charlie taking a picture. That means you can see me :-)

A beautiful week

I don't know if I have any out-of-state readers. I have alerted a few family members to my blog, but they haven't piped in, yet.

This week has been BEAUTIFUL for weather. After a hot, hot, hot Sunday and a hot, hot Monday, we have settled into low 80s. Still a bit hot to be outside in the sun without a lake, or in business clothes. But nice.

No other pictures or comments from the work/school week. We did, however, go to the Children's Museum on Monday. There was hardly anyone there. The girls enjoyed the new exhibit, where you get to be "inside" 4 or 5 different pieces of artwork. Nicely done exhibit.

Here's a few shots of the girls at the museum:
"Amelia" Lisa

Girls on chicken.

Margaret with her daddy.