Thursday, January 31, 2008

Layout a Day. The end.

Page 50 for the month...right here...

OK, I have officially uploaded #31 in the Big Picture Gallery (and here). I did a total of 50 pages this month. I am almost embarrassed to say that the page I uploaded each day was actually done on that day. A few may have been started the day before, but the bulk of the page and the completion of each page was done on the day it was uploaded. I have indeed scrapped every day for 31 days straight.

What did I learn?

I am a little OCD about things like goals. Once I got in my head that I was doing this, I couldn't stop.

"You are Perfect Just the way you Create!" know how I create? Chronologically. Acid-Free. Mostly Non-lumpy. Non-whimsically. And that's the way I am. I don't think that is going to change. And I don't have to be artsy or eccentric or wild to be "perfect". I can be old-fashioned and boring and still be great at scrapbooking!

I use a lot of brown and distressed papers. Brown layouts don't look as nice online as bright ones. 'Tis the truth. And brown layouts got me very, very down. You will notice I ended the month with several bright, non-distressed, real white on them, pages. I needed that. I will go back to brown eventually.

I have a lot of great stuff in my stash. I was guilty about having so much. Well, you know what? I reach into all corners of it. I may never use it all, but I will use all types of it. Nothing is sitting idle, lonely in a corner collecting spiderwebs. If it does, I will get rid of it. If I love it and even might use it? I will keep it. Heck. I already own it and have room for it.

To scrapbook every day you need to ignore your family some. My kids watched too much TV this month. That is why I won't do this again. I am not happy with the amount of time I spent scrapping instead of with my kids. There was some coolness in saying right after dinner, "OK. I have to go make my page now." They expect it now. Even more than ever now, I want to carve out 6:30- 8:00 each evening as family time. No TV. No computer. No scrapping (unless we are all doing it together). Read together, play together.

And one should ever underestimate the power of a community with support, prayers, cyberhugs, ideas to scraplift, and praise. (Oh... and a store) I have really enjoyed being a part of TallyScrapper for the past 7 months and I love it there. Come join us if you haven't already!!!

26 miles in January

I have been tracking my miles walked to help a friend walk to Iraq and back. Her husband is going to be re-deployed to Iraq in July, and wanted to do this to ready herself until then, and occupy herself after.

I have set a goal of 600 miles this year, which is roughly 50 miles/month. However, I know I will walk more in the summer, so I'm not too worried about being a bit behind right now.

So... 26 miles for January. 26 miles for the year.

574 miles to go!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mark the Baptist

That was the subject in Margaret's Sunday School. I hate to correct her when she is so animated and excited about something.

However, her older sister was quick to correct her.

"That's JOHN the Baptist"

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Forty Three pages since January 1

I decided to set a goal around number of scrapbook pages this year, and then keep track. I put a tracker at the bottom of my blog... you would need to scroll down to see it.

My goal is 300. I am so getting pages done quickly right now. Having photos organized is a big help, for sure.

Now the negatives? That's another mess.

Oh... and I wanted to share that I have used the end of my Hermafix Tabs!!! Why did I keep this puppy for so long? The Tombo monoadhesive I am using now is so much better. Really.


Friday, January 25, 2008


The other day the girls were swatting around balls in the kitchen with brooms. I asked if they were playing broomball.

I was informed that they were playing Quidditch.

Charlie just finished book 1 (that would be Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.. I purchased the book in Singapore and it is the British version... crisps, trainers, windscreens, and jumpers!), and the girls have enjoyed it very much.

I think they will be watching that movie today (girls have the day off of school) and we just started book 2. I'm not sure how far we will read, Margaret is in 1st grade and the books get pretty intense in a few books. No nightmares so far, so we'll see how it goes.

Monday, January 21, 2008


Here is Amelia with her violin. She had her first orchestra concert last Thursday. It was great to see her play with the group. Violin is a really tough instrument. You have to coordinate a lot of things to get a decent sound. Amelia is doing fine, but could do with a bit more practice, which I am discovering is as much about the parents as it is about her. Also the fact that homework can take her quite a bit of time also cuts into practice time. But I hope she sticks with it. It is bringing back so many great memories of when I started violin. In 4th grade. Just like Amelia.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I am Mia Hamm...

Today my daughter's class had a "Wax Museum" at school. These are first graders.

Each child chose a person and read an easy biography (or had one read to them). They picked out the born and died years (if dead), and three facts about that person. They had simple costumes and a prop or poster if that made sense. They stood still in a pose until you came up and "pushed their button". Then they recited their list of facts and went back into their still pose at the end.

Margaret picked Mia Hamm. Here she is...

Here she is painting her poster last night...

There were a lot of atheletes. Current (Adrian Peterson, Randy Moss, Kevin Garnett) and retired (Babe Ruth, MaryLou Retton, Mia, Jackie Robinson, Michael Jordan) It really is quite amazing how much impact atheletes have on culture today.

Also artists. (Georgia O'Keefe, Pablo Picasso, Mary Cassat) There was one ballerina (Maria Tallchief). I also saw Houdini, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Martin Luther King, Jr., Albert Einstein, Sheryl Crow, Christopher Columbus, King Tut, Florence Nightingale. It was pretty cool.

Monday, January 14, 2008

An Ordinary Life

I don't think I ever posted this before. This is the text of a speech I delivered at my Toastmaster's club back in July of 2007. I won "best speech of the quarter" for this speech. I have edited it a bit to make sense for this blog.

I am sharing it now because I have been thinking about a word to choose for this year... for an Art Journal and just for meditation in general. I have chosen the word "Today", and the text below explains the reason for this word.


I remember visiting my Grandma once when she was about, oh I would guess, 98 years old. She invited me to join her in Butter Brickle Ice Cream and Dad’s Root Beer. We sat around and watched the MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour, eating our ice cream. I remember her commenting on how she was sad that other people in the apartment gave up on current events, and how they made her “so mad” because she was sure they were “liberals”. And I remember thinking it odd that a 98 year old woman would keep Ice Cream and Root Beer in her kitchen. But looking back, I remember that my Grandma was an extraordinary person.

Sure, living to 103 is pretty extraordinary, as is living in your own place until you’re 99. But what was so extraordinary about my gram was how ordinary she was. She wasn’t the first woman to fly a plane or find a cure for cancer. She didn’t lobby against societal wrongs or volunteer to teach kids to read. What Gram did was teach me (and all her Grandchildren) to knit and fry eggs. She taught me how to do laundry and play Canasta. I remember her telling me that she would not play Canasta with me any longer if I kept getting upset when I lost. Gram was a pretty normal down to earth person, just what you would expect for someone born in 1895. Yet she was extra ordinary.

I have an extraordinary friend struggling with Cancer. Yet she strives to live every day as normally as possible. Her cancer is part of her life right now. Last Hallowe’en when she had no hair, she dressed up like Uncle Fester. Complete with the light bulb. When she was re-diagnosed for the second time recently, she said “Some people say to live every day like it is your last. I say, Live every day like it is the first one in the rest of your life.” I thought many months about what she meant, other than the obvious thought that she didn’t want today to be her last.

I now realize that what she was saying was that it’s not the extraordinary things we do that make our lives what they are, it is the ordinary things.

Some of you may have noticed I have lost some weight over the last year. I get a lot of questions about how I did it. I have trouble answering that question. Yeah, I go to WeightWatchers, but anything extraordinary? Nope. It wasn’t Thanksgiving dinner that did me in; I had put the weight on through ordinary, day to day eating. So the best way to take it off? Day-in day-out eating better and moving more. The actual means to weight loss was nothing extraordinary in itself, but overall I’d say the results are extraordinary.

Dag Hammarskjold wrote the following in his book “Markers”. "The great commitment is so much easier than the ordinary, every day one”. Mr. Hammarskjold was the secretary general of the UN from 1953 to 1961. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961. One could dare say he lead an extraordinary life. Yet he knew the importance of the ordinary.

And I’m glad that ordinary can be extra ordinary. I strive for ordinary experiences for my family. This past week I have been to the wading pool 3 or 4 times. I have played Monopoly with my kids. I had to tell my daughter I wouldn’t play with her anymore if she pouted when she lost. I read them books and told them stories. I have eaten Ice Cream and drank Root Beer. I have charged my girls to clean off the table and make their beds. My charge to you? Infuse your life with a sense of extraordinary in the ordinary.

And maybe even teach your kids to play Canasta tonight.

Wildcats in the House!

Well, I have allowed something I have always been dead set against. I let Amelia buy High School Musical sheets and comforter for her bed. In all the years of requests for Pooh, or Cinderella, or whoever, I was always able to say no. The whole idea of supporting that Disney machine by buying sheets or whatever was just an icky idea to me.

Someone must have pleaded just right, or I could tell it was something she would really appreciate, but I said "yes" this time. (Yep. Supporting that Disney Machine in a new and different way.)

I've been painting the girls bedroom and it took awhile to get them to decide on colors (they were going for gold with black dots for ahile.) As I was finishing up painting dots Amelia asked me, "Mom. How are we going to get the Wildcat Logo painted on the wall?" Um, "I wasn't planning on it, honey". Crying ensued. Mom held firm. I am not going to paint the High School Musical Wildcat logo on the wall. Having Troy and Gabriella peer at me from the comforter and pillow every day is discomforting enough. (Although, maybe a wildcat logo wouldn't be as bad as that)

Yep. Wildcats in the house!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Four Bedrooms needed

Since I've been painting the girls' bedroom, there has been much discussion about bedrooms. And the fact that they have to share.

Well.. Today Amelia came up with this one.

"Mom, I wish we had a house with FOUR bedrooms"

"Why honey?"

"Because then we could each have our own room!"

Friday, January 11, 2008

My dreams are bigger...

Daughter 1: "I had a dream last night where all the flakes came off my head" (she is being treated for seborrheic dermatitis right now)

Daughter 2: "Well, my dreams are bigger than that."

Anyone else have a kid where EVERYTHING is a competition? sigh.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Do you think we should tell him?

Our neighbor of about 7 years had his girlfriend move in about 2 years ago. Last evening as we were sitting at the dinner table, we saw her car pull into the alley. Charlie mused out loud, "I wonder if she and Chris are going to get married?"

Our 7 year old, the outgoing one, decided she needed to ask her. Margaret ran outside with no coat and just crocs on her feet. We could hear some discussion, but not any actual words. Margaret came in and proudly announced, very loudly, "YES!". "What?", I said? "She said she would marry Chris."

About 10 minutes later Chris' car drove into his garage. Margaret said, "Do you think we should tell him?"

Charlie and I had a super big laugh on that one.