Saturday, December 29, 2007

The best of 2007

Well, I was over at SIStv message board and Bernadette shared with us her top ten layouts of the year. So I want to do the same!! Here ya go!!

This first one was something really simple, but I loved it. Here's the journaling: There's a running joke in our family. Everything you do 'cute' your dad did - when he was your age. At least that's what MawMaw says. You are a lot like your daddy but once in a while you do something that is 100%, without a doubt - ME! Something I did when I was a child. I, too, loved chasing raindrops on windows.

And the best thing about this one is that Jody picked this layout for the catwalk over at SIStv!!

This layout was done for a challenge at the Scrap Etc. Message Board posted by Shelley and it was about this quote from a book: "Maybe happiness didn't have to be about the big, sweeping circumstances, about having everything in your life in place.... Maybe it was about stringing together a bunch of small pleasures."

It really hit a note with me about all the small pleasures in our life. The quote is in the top right corner and the bottom is my journaling - it reads: Our small pleasures aren't the usual ones. For us, it's an even smile, pants that are just the right length, a nap with both eyes closed, anytime you jump, hop or run, and especially when you make faces.

This is probably my favorite of the whole year!!! Love it! It's hanging on a clipboard in Cole's room right now!!

This layout was something I really just threw together with not much thought. I had received the lovely tags, ribbon and rubons from a SIS at SIStv - I won Bingo one month :) and loved my goods so played with them the same day they came in the mail. I love this one because it shows Cole doing things that once were a struggle - things he wouldn't do alone. The idea was if I blink, he'll be grown and I feel like I'll miss everything important!! The title was inspired by Kenny Chesney's "Don't Blink" - love it!!

This layout was done for a Challenge Jody posted at SIStv and I believe it was to scrap something the photo doesn't tell you. Here's my journaling (the best part): So here's my journaling: This may look like a typical kid watching TV without a shirt on. It's not. There is nothing typical about my son. He is remarkable, so intelligent, really funny, super sweet and very loving. He is also a survivor. A cancer survivor. These 'love handles' aren't from too many cookies and not enough activity. They're from being growth hormone deficient. He isn't growing taller. His feet have been the same size for over two years. Another side effect of not being typical. Thank Gd (& St. Jude) it's fixable. He begins treatment in about a month. My brave-not-typical son.

This was also for a challenge - it was to scraplift something in the gallery at The Paper Place Scrapbooking Community where I'm on the DT. The layout I lifted was all pink and girly and I loved it - so I think I did a pretty good job boy-ing it up!!

This layout was done when I tried out for the DT at The Paper Place. The journaling reads......"Cole~ It's no secret that I'm a Kenny Chesney fan. When you were really sick, his music was special to me. "Somewhere In The Sun" became my dream. One day I wanted to see you somewhere in the sun, toes in the sand. Those dreams got me through each day. Today here you are.... toes in the sand, having fun....finally!!! "Somewhere In The Sun."I 'heart' U, Mommy"

This was the first layout I did this year!! The picture was just luck and you can't even see how great it is on the scan. Anyway, this was for a challenge at Scrap Etc. We had to use 5 patterned papers, two cardstocks - one with a torn edge, three buttons, one flower, one rhinestone, one tag, staples, some painting, a rubon and a stamp - with a black and white picture. I really loved this layout!!

Okay three more to go......

A terrible scan, but a cool layout - I think. This was my first ever Hambly Rubon! This picture was taken in Disney World and Cole was decked out in his pirate gear. His little snarl was perfect!! I just love the happiness this reminds me of - you know, the Happiest Place on Earth!!

This was just a fun one - loved all the buttons and the monkey card. I think I had only used one or two buttons on a layout before - I really used all the yellow buttons I had on this one, I think!! :)

And lastly - but not least by any means:

I did this one for my SOY entry. I just loved the picture of me and Cole together - it was taken on such a great day!!!

And that's it - it was really hard to pick and looking back, most of the things I like the best are from challenges and honestly, I've been slacking on the challenges lately!! I haven't done any layouts since November and only did a few then. I seem to have lost my MOJO a little with all the Christmas stuff I made I guess. I don't know. There's a weekend crop retreat coming up at the end of January though, and I'm hoping to get some stuff done then!! :)
Thanks for looking!! If you posted your top ten layouts - leave me a link! I'd love to see your picks!!


Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Merry Christmas

Just wanted to wish everyone a fabulous holiday!! The Merriest Christmas of all!!

My brother is in town and my parents are having the whole family over tonight for our traditional Christmas Eve gathering!! I cannot wait! This is the first year we won't be spending the night at their house when it's 'our' turn to be here for the holiday. We get to come home!! That's exciting to me!! I can't wait for Cole to wake up in the morning and see his goodies from Santa!!

I've already received my big goodie, actually OUR goodie. Jason went to Best Buy the other night and checked on the camera I've been drolling over - and there was a great deal - with a bag, extra battery, extra lens - all kinds of goodies and he got it!! So we are the proud owners of a Rebel XTi now!! WOO HOO!!!

And we spent last night at church with my parents and brother. It was fabUlous!!! Loved every single minute - there were carols, ice skaters and snow - AMAZING! And the worst part turned into the best. We thought Cole would just be in childcare like each Sunday but it was only for kids up to 5 years old and he's six, so he had to go in with us. He sat in amazement the whole time, even clapping a bit and oohhhing over the snow and ice skaters! It was a blessing for sure!!

ok - Jason is home from last minute toy shopping - yeah, very last minute - so we're off!!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

My heart is heavy today.......

I have so much to say, and just said it all on Cole's Caringbridge Site - so I'm doing the 'copy and paste' and putting his update here. I just couldn't type it all again and wanted anyone who may read this to know about Maddie as well..............

Hi there. Long time, no post huh? I intended to update today with some photos from Cole's class Holiday Party, but I just haven't gotten them uploaded on the computer yet. We were out of town over the weekend and missed church Sunday. I was watching the service online this morning and suddenly thought of Maddie Beamon and paused Paster Chris to go check on Maddie's website. I don't know what moved me to do this except that the message from Sunday's service was about finding JOY - finding joy during the holiday madness, and everyday life, how it's there somewhere, even if it's tiny - we have to find it. I thought of all the times Cole was sick and felt miserable and we did the silliest things to cheer him up and we'd get a real laugh, a real smile, a real JOY filled moment with him. We've said so many times that the time we spent in Memphis, going through the worst thing in our lives, they were the best times. That quote 'it was the best of time, it was the worst of times' certainly applies there. Why did we have to go through something so bad, to learn to appreciate the small stuff, the best of times, the togetherness we felt? Well, that's how we survived it I guess - finding the JOY. And we did that!!! There were days when it was hard and the bad times weighed more heavily on us, but gosh, there were times when the JOY overflowed, in the craziest ways - things that no one would have laughed at but us!! It's a little strange that there are times when we miss those days - but it's the JOY we miss, not the needle sticks, IV's, and side effects. We can still find so much JOY in each day it's unbelievable. So, back to Maddie. Her 6th birthday was Monday and they also had scans this week. Her mom said she's in the same condition (for lack of better words on my part) that she was when they began treatment in 2004. This sweet girl has been fighting this for four years. They were told they only have weeks left with her. I can't imagine what they are going through. I've said that so many times now about so many families who have faced losing their child. I just cannot imagine and isn't it almost impossible to find any JOY in that? The JOY for me is I met Maddie - I already 'knew' about her long before I was actually introduced to her. I had heard stories about her, read them on other sites and heard her name being called to D Clinic. We heard it the last time we were there and I smiled. Just knowing she was around somewhere made me happy and I usually went off to find them, if I could leave where we were. Last time we were there, I didn't go looking for them, I just kept watching for them to show up in the area since we had an appointment and should have been called any minute. I wish I'd found them though just to hug her mom and see Maddie's sweet happy face. I can't imagine what the weeks will bring to her family but I pray that it's peace and JOY and many many memories to hold onto forever. Please keep them in your prayers - as often as possible. Pray for a miracle - pray for JOY for them. My heart just hurts.As far as Cole goes, he's great, wonderful - the best. He had a great last week of school before Christmas Vacation. He's excited that Santa is coming and just asked me this morning if he came last night and I had to remind him it wasn't time yet. I can't wait to see him this Christmas and how he is filled with JOY at each moment - moments with his family, his cousins, opening gifts. All of it is joyful for me. I can't go through one holiday without thinking of the previous ones. I remember the Christmas before he was diagnosed. I remember my brother being at our house in Mobile and Cole was sick with a terrible headache and had been throwing up terribly. He felt so bad and we had had such a wonderful visit with family. I think of the next Christmas when all the pictures showed Cole's little bald head covered with teeny peach fuzz. Then I think of last Christmas when things seemed normal - no sickness, no bald head - just FUN and JOY. I know every holiday from now on will just top the last. But at the same time, I know families that don't have another holiday to look forward to because their child is gone. It's not fair and it's not right. So those of us still here, still finding the JOY owe it to those who don't have the same things to look forward to, don't we? I know we can't do things to help every family out there, but we can pray for them, we can live our lives to the best of our ability, we can be respectful to others, we can look for the good in every single day, we can be positive and we can love ourselves and others. Those things are what we should do, right? I try to remind myself of that everyday!! It's hard sometimes, but it's a job worth doing!And to take another quote - 'Your life is an occasion - rise to it' - that's what we should all strive to do everyday. Please remember Maddie and her family and all the families who have one less stocking to fill this Christmas.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

WOW oh my goodness!!

OK first, the big news - I have now lost a total of 38.2 pounds. So close to 40 pounds!!! I really wish I could say 40 pounds even!! But, I'll get there. I have 12 more to go to get to my ideal weight, at least what I think my ideal weight is at least. Jeans I've bought recently are now a little big, so that's making me feel great!! The next bit of ego boost happened at the mall today where I went into the same clothing store I've been shopping at (the big girl store Lane Byrant) and got fitted for a new undergarment and they don't have them in my size anymore - that means I'm TOO SMALL TO SHOP THERE!!!! WOO HOO!! So I go to that fancy undergarment store (the one the men drool over when they walk by) and good grief - why are these garments which are so needed for crying out loud, so expensive??? O.M.G. I could purchase a whole outfit for what one stinking bra cost. So I didn't buy one. Oh well.

Now on to some sad news - but it's not about us, someone we know of though. The young girl is a friend of our cousins - her father died over a year ago. He had cancer. Her mom was killed in a car accident on the interstate here yesterday. She has no brothers or sisters - I'm not sure what other family there is. Just keep her in your prayers, her name is Misty. I can't imagine what she could be going through or feeling right now.

I mentioned medicine on my last post and Carol asked who was sick - Cole is sick - always it seems like, this runny nose and slight cough. It's just been hanging on lately and with the weather change I guess that's only making it worse. So he has cough medicine and an antibiotic and he's already better but still coughing a little when he gets hot or worked up (running around the apartment playing tag with his dad). I'm now back on my allergy medicine and it's helping, but again, with the weather getting all wonky on us, I still have some sinus pain - YUCK!

I got called this afternoon to sub tomorrow so now suddenly I'm freaking out. I have to have a class craft project for Cole's class to do on Monday at their holiday party. I'm thinking what I have planned isn't that great, but I don't really have the money to buy more things and don't have the time to come up with anything else really. Racking my brain isn't working at all!! I also have to make some food to take to Mobile with us for the Christmas gathering down there. I have to finish wrapping presents, do some laundry, more and more and more things keep coming to mind and I should be doing them instead of sitting here - but sometimes, I'm just not motivated. I'd rather just chill a bit, especially since my head is hurting a bit and my teeth hurt. Yes, teeth hurting is getting old. I went to the dentist yesterday and they finished cleaning my teeth (they only did one side last time, one this time) and my teeth hurt today and my gums are sore too. I hate the dentist!!!

Ok, I guess I should go do something that needs to be done other than just sitting here playing around on the computer so have a lovely weekend!!!


Monday, December 10, 2007

Charlie Brown is the best!!

I loved watching A Charlie Brown Christmas when I was little and I'm so excited that Cole loves it too. He really does love it. We just finished watching it (credits are still rolling) and before that we watched I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown. Actually Cole watched it while I did other things - like finish watching Pirates 3 with the DH. Cole watched it about ten time this afternoon and evening. I love when old things are still cool to the kids of today. Love it!!

So what is your fav Christmas movie? I really love the Charlie Browns, but I like 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' too - both versions but the original is the best. And I love 'Miracle on 34th Street' - the newer remake is my fav. Love it and haven't watched it yet, hmm, this week it'll happen for sure!!

Hope you are finding ways to enjoy the holidays instead of living in the chaos and stress. Find something you loved as a child and do it with your kids. I so want to make cookies with Cole and go drive around and look at Christmas lights - oh there's so much fun to be had. But the stress of the holiday gets to us and there isn't time. I'm still not done shopping - got to get a few more things for Cole and two more on my list - those will be done tomorrow I hope!!! And the bad news about tomorrow is I've got to go to the dentist again. Yuck! My final cleaning before I start having real work done. YUCK. The ONLY good thing is the dentist is right next door to a scrapbook store. I always got to go to TG&Y after the dentist as a child and I got a Barbie if it was big dental work, or a new outfit for Barbie, so I see no reason why I still can't get a treat! Maybe just a magazine this time though - they have great ones there you can't get anywhere else!!

Ok, it is so past Cole's bedtime and we still have to do the magic marker, flip over a day on our countdown calendar and take cold medicine.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Gift wrap, last minute shopping and more

It's almost that time. The wrapping time. I have started wrapping presents and have made a good dent but skipped the things that weren't too easy - the things I needed a box for and the things that need to go in bags. I bought a few boxes and found my bags that I picked up for 90% off at Hobby Lobby last Christmas and bought tissue paper too, so I'm ready to go - I just seem to keep stalling. I used to work in a department store in the 'gift wrap' department. I absolutely loved wrapping presents - I took real pride in wrapping a gift well - quickly and with no wrinkles or any visible tape!! I got really really good. Then I just quit! Not my job, although I did get promoted, I just quit wrapping my gifts with so much effort. It just ended up in shreds on the floor anyway. I mean I did big bows, things hanging off the bows, perfect tags - all of that stuff. Now my tags are index cards cut in half (no lines of course) written with a red sharpie and gift wrap purchased from Cole's fundraiser and that's it - oh sometimes there's ribbon, but not always. I don't know why I don't fancy them up anymore, but I just don't have it in me.

I have two more presents to buy besides some last minute changes in the Santa department. One I can't buy until Tuesday when it's actually released. I'll be so glad when it's all done. Nothing else to worry about and no more long lines or impatient people in those lines!! I've done retail for so long that I just know what that sales person feels like and I'm pleasant and nice and sweet and I don't gripe about being in line, or in traffic, or in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's just so much easier to be nice - smile to people, let them over in traffic, say Merry Christmas!! In church, we've talked about paying it forward. They've given out cards for us to give out when we do something nice, like pay for someone's coffee in the drive thru behind us. Pastor Chris talked about how this one card made it through 8 cars in the drive thru. Everyone kept paying for the person behind them. Isn't that wonderful?? I wonder who that last person was and why they didn't do the same - I at least hope they kept the card and paid it forward in a bigger way for someone!! I wish I had the money to do that everywhere I went. It's in my heart to do, just not my wallet. One day though - when we hit the lottery - I'll pay for the people behind me at Starbucks - definitely!!

I've been finishing up projects, starting new ones and just making a mess in general. I tore through the guest room closet a few weeks ago looking for gift bags - there's still a mess in there. I have a table in our bedroom covered up in scrap stuff for a journal I'm in the middle of making. The bar area in the kitchen just got cleaned off last night and now I've got a smaller mess on it again. This time of year things are just nuts I guess - too much going on. I do enjoy it though and love doing things for others - making things! I love that!

Well, speaking of doing things for others, Cole is requesting his fourth cup of milk, so I'm off to give the boy some more calcium!! He needs it for those growing bones!!

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Back in the saddle again.....

So today was my first day subbing at Cole's school. YEAH. It was a super easy day actually, almost too easy. The first half of the day I spent in a kindergarten room but there was a student teacher (oh do i remember those days) and she did everything which left me feeling helpless - but that's ok. Then I spent the afternoon with the fourth grade which was like going home. A great class!!! A few things I wasn't used to - but that's ok, I can adapt easily!! I'll be back there next week as well and I'll be in the PTO sponsored Holiday Shoppe for a while on Tuesday as well. So the more I'm seen at the school, the better I guess. I like being involved and so need a job!!!

On to other things - I have so much scrapping I want to do - it's ridiculous!!! SERIOUSLY!! I have pictures waiting, I have projects waiting!!! Oh I just wish I was motivated. I also have tons and tons of wrapping to get done. Geez - December is always crazy isn't it? Wacked out kind of crazy!!

While I was at Cole's school today someone stopped me to ask about donating to St. Jude. I love when I can spread their message and people give because of that!! This was someone wanting to give anyway, not just because of talking to me, and just wanted to know the best way to do it. So, oh course, I pointed her in teh direction of the website and she'll be giving!! YEAH - the cool thing is every other year, she doesn't get to see parts of her family for Christmas and during that time they make a donation to a charity instead of buying a gift and mailing it. What a wonderful idea huh? So maybe this will be something she'll tell others and they will give too! That would be great.

So, while I'm talking about it - you can certainly give too - and I'm making it easy peasy. Just click on that St. Jude logo up there on the screen and donate. I was watching a bit of FoxNews this morning and there was my favorite celebrity - Marlo Thomas, talking about St. Jude. Did you know that most charitable places only have to solicit 9% (I believe) of the money they need to operate from individuals. St. Jude needs to solicit 78% (again, I believe) of the money they need from individuals. So WOW - that's a lot. and 85 cents of each dollar given to them supports a child with cancer - maybe even MY child - so if that isn't a reason to give, I don't know what is. Oh, what - another reason to give - your healthy child :) - give because you've never had to go through countless MRI's, blood and platelet transfusions, needle sticks, oh I could go on forever!! Anyway - just give, if you can. I certainly am not rolling in the dough - so it's hard for us to just give a ton of money, but we do what we can, when we can - another reason why I'm super excited about the small group at church - I found another way to give back or pay it forward, so to speak!!!

Ok, enough already. jason should be home any minute and we officially have nothing in the house to eat or drink except milk and OJ - no Diet Dr Pepper - that's BAD!!!


Thursday, November 29, 2007

The best thing ever....

All I can say is WOW - WOW - WOW. Yep, triple WOW. Jason is in school, going to night classes. I've been going to a church here that came highly recommended by Monique and Jer McLean. I've been several times and Cole is going and loves it. Jason went with me once, but will go more when his crazy school schedule lightens up. He really liked it too. And I don't just mean, we sorta like it and will stick around a few weeks and see what's up. I mean, I absolutely HATE when I can't go. If something comes up - like company's in town, or we're out of town - I just get so disappointed that I have to miss. And good grief - don't date tell Cole we aren't going!!! That's a big mistake!!

The one time Jason went with us he saw someone he's in class with. Well, he was talking to her last night in school and she mentioned the church's small groups. They have small groups that meet in different times, different places, etc - and share a common interest (could be a sport, a hobby, whatever, and God of course). So she tells Jason about the small group she's involved in. They go to the Children's Hospital here and spend the third Friday night each month with the kids. They feed them, play games, visit with the ones that can't get out of their room, they do all kinds of things. They do the same things that other people have done for us when we were in those hospital beds. I just couldn't believe it.

So today I called the contact person for this group. She called me back and we had a wonderful talk. She too got involved because of cancer, but it was her mom where for us, it's Cole. I told her just a little about us - how I've been hoping for so long to find a way to give back. I just can't afford to give back financially - but I can give from my heart - I can be there to lend a shoulder, a hand, a hug - all those things that I really have wanted to do for so darn long!!! I just can't believe it.

So, I'm so very excited about this - and wish it was tomorrow night - not four weeks from now!!

I just had to share - because I'm so happy about this!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Our halls are decked!!

I would love to put up more decorations and lights but I think I'm just done. I've been working on it for about a week - okay maybe two weeks. I really have some other things I want to work on, so I'm leaving the rest of the decor in storage!! The first picture is part of our Christmas village we got for next to nothing a few years ago after Christmas.

This is my favorite thing!! I love my ornaments hanging from the lights.

This is an old desk I inherited from my Nanny. It's perfect in our entry way and I added a few happy Christmas things to the top!

And below are my elves - i LOVE them!!

And the tree.....

I just love Christmas and love having all the decorations around! It just makes everything better in life. Cole seems to be confused this year - we've always put the tree up early, usually even earlier than we did this year - but he seems to think Santa is coming every single day. He woke up yesterday morning at about 5:30 and ran in our room, crying. He said he's had a bad dream. I just patted his back and kissed his face, wiping away his tears and tried to get him back to sleep. I asked him when he woke up for school what he dreamed about and he said he dreamed he didn't get any presents. How sad. Then we go into the living room for some before school cartoons and he says "See, Santa didn't come" so I had to explain to him how many days we have left until Christmas. He keeps saying is it Christmas yet, when's Santa coming? So I'll be so glad when Saturday gets here and we can start our countdown to Christmas calendar! Maybe that'll help!!

Well, got a few things to do before heading out to the scrapbook store. Have a wonderful evening!! ~L

Monday, November 26, 2007

Merry Christmas

It's been awhile since I've blogged - as usual! I'm going to make it a resolution to do better and post at least once a week!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We sure did. It was nice - lots of family, food and football. Although the football part of the holiday weekend wasn't so great. Jason and I started our diet again today. Recovery from the feast we had on Thursday. I really want to lose about 20 more pounds, but would love to lose ten by Christmas but I'm not sure it'll happen. I'm trying!! I will have to make myself get on the treadmill tomorrow. I didn't do it today, but honestly - it was quite a day. I had to go to the dentist today and it was horrible. I hate the dentist. I've always hated the dentist. Thanks to Dr. Duke - and he's an Auburn fan, so that should explain a lot. I just remember a really bad experience as a child and since then I avoid the dentist until it is no longer avoidable and sit there white knuckled the whole time. I mean, couldn't they just hand me a cd player and let me play some Kenny Chesney while I'm laying there trying to remember to breath? Maybe next time I go, I'll try that. I don't have an IPod but my phone plays tunes just as well and I have headphone for it. That's something I'm going to look into. The ONLY good thing about the dentist is it's right next door to a scrapbook store! So BONUS - just like the old days when I didn't cry too badly and got to go to TG&Y and get a Barbie or a new Barbie dress with matching shoes. So after the dentist, I stepped next door and got some goodies. Doodlebug Christmas paper is so cute - better then the stuff last year that looked all the same for every holiday - just different colors. It's really cute this year! And got some other cool things I'm hoping to play with soon. I'm in desperate need of some crop time. Just being away from home and cropping - I want that so badly. Its just different to be away from home, no dishes or laundry calling while you are trying to focus!!

I haven't done too much scrapbooking lately but I have worked on a few things. I copied an idea from someone and used Cole's hand and footprints to make some Christmas canvases.

And I made a cute little Ho Ho Ho for my mom. She saw it in a magazine and wanted something similar and I think I accomplished it. Although, now I want one for myself!!

And I was going to post pictures of my holiday decorating but I think I'll wait until tomorrow - that will make me post again without waiting more than a week!! woo hoo

Happy Holidays and I don't mean that in a politically correct way because I'm scared to saw Merry Christmas - I really mean Happy Holidays - nothing political about it, just what I like to say! Merry Christmas too and HO HO HO!!


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween Our There!!

I hope everyone is having a wonderfully spectacular spooky day!! We've had a great day so far. I don't have any pics of Cole in his costume yet - but we hung out in a cave today with bats and I have a few pics from the field trip we took! We had a great time. We went to Rickwood Caverns and wandered through the caves and saw a few bats then had our picnic outside and played on the rocks. Cole went on a scavenger hunt and I painted faces! A fun time was had by all.

Cole and Lauren

Cole "surfing" on the rocks

Doing his "kooky" face

Rock Surfing again!

So can you tell Cole was enjoying the day? He was. The parents had to drive seperately so I just headed home after the field trip. One set of parents went to the school to empty the cooler and the dad had to go get Cole off the bus because he was snoozing!! Wiped out! So funny!

Well, we're off to Grammy and Granddaddy's tonight to trick or treat. I'll post Halloween pics later!!

Happy Haunting!


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Small Pleasures

My wonderfully sweet little son has a webpage, a caringbridge page, that we update about him and how he's doing. It's like an online journal of his cancer journey - this is what I posted on it recently:

I've mentioned scrapbooking here before I'm sure, or even posted some of my layouts of Cole. Well on one site I'm active on they list challenges for us - something different for us to think about in our scrapbooking really, or a different way to do something on our page. The most recent one really hit me over the head. Shelley challenged us with a quote from a book - this is the quote - "Maybe happiness didn't have to be about the big, sweeping circumstances, about having everything in your life in place.... Maybe it was about stringing together a bunch of small pleasures." So we were challenged to scrap about the small pleasures. Now I've known for well over two years now that the things we take pleasure in some may take for granted. Not on purpose, but just strickly because they haven't been in our shoes. I can remember a friend telling me once that I must be sad about Cole losing a tooth and how he's growing up so fast. I told her I wasn't at all because if he lost a tooth - that's so normal compared to the other things he's been through and if he's growing up that's just a sign that he's a survivor - he's still here with us. So I know that the things I get excited about in Cole's life aren't your typical boyhood things (making the football team, scoring in soccer, whatever other normal boy things there are, I seem to not know many). The things we get excited about are how he stepped off the curb without holding our hand (which he does all the time now), or he smiles at us and it's a perfect smile - not a lopsided smile. I love documenting the special little things that mean so much to us given the child he is!! Once in a while, I still long for the boy he could have been - the boy I still remember and miss. But I'm so thankful for what he will be. I think the journey he has ahead of him will be fantastic. I know he'll do wonderful things - even if all he wants to be when he grows up is a race car driver - that'll change I hope!! I worry enough about him now - in a race car? Forget it!! I'm so thankful for the small pleasures we enjoy every day with him.

Today's small pleasure was not so pleasurable at the moment. Cole tends to pout each morning about school. He always wants it to be a 'no school' day. And he counts how many days he has until 'no school'. Today he said "I have three more days until a no school day - it hasn't been a no school day in forever!" So sweet!! I love when he says things like this. That was my pleasure today - just knowing that he can count how many days until Saturday and he has no clue what's coming Saturday - two of his uncles will be here and I'm sure it'll be a blast - another pleasure!

So - what are you doing about your pleasures? Your small pleasures. Are you enjoying them, savoring them? You should!! I challenge you to - and it would be great if you scrapbooked them, or just wrote them down somewhere, or emailed them to everyone you know (including me)!!! :)

Ok - that was the end of his post and now here's a picture of the layout I created. It's now hanging in Cole's room. I really love it. I loved the paper and thought of Cole when I picked it out so I was just waiting for a reason to use it. This challenge was just the right thing. Sometimes it's hard for me to get the right words when I'm thinking about Cole and cancer. Sometimes I've been moved to document something and then thought 'do I want him to read this one day and see how sad it is?' and I don't do it. Just last weekend I came across a stack of pictures from August of 2004. These pictures were taken one week before Cole started showing symptoms. He was a different kid!! WOW - that big giant smile that lit up his face!!! His eyes were so bright and they were smiling too really. I remember how strong he was - able to leap tall buildings in a single bound - strong! He was so fast - we would always tell him to slow down. He'd run and dodge things so quickly, it's amazing he hadn't fallen and needed stitches already. We joked that he would make a great football player the way he moved so quickly around any obstacle. That little boy didn't get his chance to play football though and that's so so sad. It makes me sad to think of the boy he isn't but could have been without cancer. BUT at some point, I remind myself of what he will be. He will be something wonderful despite cancer and because of it. It's still so sad to me though, when I see those older pictures and how different he was. I remember just watching him play and I would think 'what's he going to look like, what will he be? what will his voice sound like in 5 years?' None of the things I thought, or dreamed or envisioned are what we have now, BUT what we have is wonderful. He's so smart, he's getting stronger each day, he has a great little voice that sometime sounds so grown up and the next minute sounds like my sweet little mommie's baby!!! He doesn't run as quickly or with the accuracy and I still long to follow him everywhere he goes, just in case - but he's standing on his own two feet and walking without a walker so we're all good!!! I want to remember these sad feelings, so I guess this is a good place for them, but I don't necessarily want him to know about them anytime soon, if ever. I know that there will be days when he has his own sad feelings about not being able to do something, or maybe about missing some great school activity or party with his friends because we're heading back to the Jude for a check up! He'll have enough sadness in his normal everyday life that he shouldn't be burdened with mine. So you have to read it here, I guess!! :)

Anyway - sometimes it's magic, sometimes it's tragic but I've had a good life along the way - as Jimmy Buffett would say! And that's so true.

So back to small pleasures - I really want to remember them - mine may not be anything to someone else - but to me, they just might be everything! So I'm going to come up with some way to document my pleasures and I encourage you to do the same.

Yesterday's small pleasure was something I got to see three times!!! I was turning onto the stadium parkway (not sure of the official name of this road) taking Cole to school. There were about 15-20 trees lined up in the median - all blazing in the sunlight - orange, yellow, browns and a little green - just beautiful. My heart actually smiled. It was so pretty! I wanted to just park there and look, under the trees - but the car pool line would have been quite angry with me. Coming back up the road, the view was different and the trees didn't have the same look from the other direction. But, I had to pick Cole up and got to see it again just as lovely. Then we headed back to the school for the Pirate Bash and saw them yet again. Monday will be just as beautiful I suspect and hopefully I can snap a picture at some point just so remember how pretty it was. Maybe I can find a great journal to use as my 'Small Pleasures' book!!

SO a huge giant thanks to Shelley for inspiring me with the quote she provided and challenging me in the great ways she does!!! Thanks!!! My dad even emailed me his 'small pleasure' this week and what a wonderful thing it was - ME!!!! Another heart smiling moment!!

Have a wonderful Saturday and enjoy your small pleasures!!


Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Scrap Space

I've been working on cleaning up my scrap area. Organizing it for the most part. I don't have a dedicated room, but I have a closet and some cabinets and some walls!! I've turned the laundry room into a scrap storage space. On a side note, Jason and I have been doing the Atkins diet (go meat) since mid June and I've lost 30 pounds, but that's not the point. We finally found out we could eat fried chicken from KFC. Their carb count is pretty low - a chicken leg has only 2 carbs. So we started eating KFC fairly often and I just felt like saving the buckets would be a good thing. I ended up with four buckets and evidently they prefer to seperate our chicken into boxes now, so I haven't gotten anymore buckets lately.

Now what in the world can you do with a chicken bucket, you may ask - well I'll tell you - paint it and put stuff in it! So I spray painted four buckets today, doodled a 'title' on the front and put them in my cabinet!! They turned out cute - and my finger and thumb are sore from spray painting. But it was a great day for it. It was beautiful outside - but windy and the plastic I was spray painting ON kept blowing around. I tried several times last week to do this and it was overcast or rainy. I feel like I accomplish a good bit today!! That doesn't happen often.

I hung up some things in my scrappy space, got my buckets, made low carb chili for supper, and downloaded/uploaded/synced/whatever 61 songs to my little cousins new IPOD nano. She won this in a school fundraiser. She sold more Yankee Candles than anyone else and got this cool little IPOD. So she picked some of her fav cd's from her mom's collection and we uploaded them to my laptop, and synced or whatever to her IPOD! Fun Times!

Our week has flown by. We spent Sunday watching cars go in circles - at a NASCAR RACE!! So much fun! I'd never been to a race and watched from the stands. I've been to one race at Talledega before but sat in the infield and couldn't see a thing! So that was really fun. That was Jason's Father's Day gift this year. We stocked up on JJ Yeley merchandise which was super cheap ($3 shirts and hats) even though he won't be number 18 next year. We love him - he's a good guy. He actually went to St. Jude and met one of our little cancer friends (Jake) and spent time in ICU with him and his family. He also promised his first win trophy to Jake. Jake passed away last year on October 5th, so this past Friday was the anniversary of his passing. So it would have been amazing for JJ to win this past weekend and us to see it! But he finished 18th. But I cheered for him the whole time!!

We are getting ready for football this weekend - and hopefully make a trip to a pumpkin patch this weekend. I can't wait to take pictures of Cole with the pumpkins and I would love to paint a really cool pumpkin or two. The library is having a pumpkin contest - so I would love to do something cool for that!

So here's pics of my buckets and scrap area! Thanks for looking - lisa

Monday, October 1, 2007

SIStv Rocks!!

So there's this fabulous site ~ SIStv ~ and I've spent tons and tons of time there. I just uploaded all my altered projects from the weekend and the coolest thing is I can link it from there to here and show you all my fun stuff!! So below - there are some 'widgets' of my portfolio at SIStv. I think you can put your mouse over the photos and get a menu to look at the pictures and my whole portfolio! (if what I do actually works when I post it - wish me luck)

I've been taking a series of classes at my LSS ~ Scrap Etc. ~ with Shelley, called "Get Creative". We've gotten creative with magazines, music and now trash! This has really been fun! I'm one of those girls that can 'see' something out of nothing - but Shelley 'sees' way more than me! Now I've been saving packages and KFC chicken buckets - but really didn't have any idea what I would DO with them. Shelley found fun things for us to do with some of our trash. We made a mini album with packaging from our child's toys, snacks, favorite things. We altered a trash can so that we'd have a pretty place to toss those things we want in our mini book - things that aren't really trash!! We also altered an AOL box - and it was so very cute - I have a few more things I want to do to it, I just didn't finish it yet - so much fun! And we took packaging from a set of stamps and turned it into a memo board - dry erase section and a cork board! So now Shelley has me looking at things in a different way. I've always tried to think of what I can make with something that has no obvious use anymore but rarely come up with anything - I think now I will. We even used bubble wrap to stamp on a layout - which I haven't finished but loved doing what I did get done. So here's some pictures - you can click on the link for the menu and go check it all the fun stuff i did!!

I worked on a few other things this weekend too - a clipboard and composition notebook for Cole's teacher's birthday. I'm also doing an altered canvas today for her - she got married over the summer, so that's helpful when you need gift ideas and you see all the things that could be replaced in her room - with her new name!! And I did a baby gift too - something I didn't know about ahead of time, so this was a last minute attempt but I think it turned out nice.

All those fun things were done Friday and Saturday. Yesterday there was no scrapping - but it was a great day. I went to visit a church with some friends. It was really great. My whole life - well until I was 25, was spent in the catholic church. I did go to other churches with friends through high school and got involved in youth groups and all that. But in the church I grew up in, the youth wasn't that important. There weren't groups for us to join until I was in high school - near the end of high school actually and it wasn't what my friends in other churches were doing. Just wasn't enough for me, I think. I quit going to my church after I got divorced. My ex's family attended there and it was just strange - I didn't want to bump into them, didn't want to answer questions from friends either - so I just avoided it. I never found a church in Mobile either that I felt at home in. So now that we are back in Birmingham, I still have the need to find somewhere I fit and feel comfortable. And I want Cole to have the same thing. I don't want him to feel like he has to go to church and dread it as Jason and I both did growing up. So the search has begun! I really enjoyed going yesterday. It was really different from what I'm used to. The catholic church is very structured and quiet and there's no clapping and electric guitars or drums or any of that. So that takes some getting used to - I almost feel like I'll get in trouble - you aren't supposed to make all that noise! :) I really liked the pastor though and the message was great. Jason and I talked a lot about it yesterday and I think he'll go with me next time. I was excited to go back next Sunday but just realized we'll have to wait a week - we have tickets to the Nascar race on Sunday. I got those for Jason for father's day - so the week after, we will go back! And I hope Jason likes it. It'll take some getting used to for me, just the difference in the way the service goes, but I will definitely go back and try it out for a while. They do great things there with the kids too - I can't wait for Cole to go. I think he'll like it! I hope he does.

Well, lets post this and see what happens with my photos - I'll probably get it wrong four or five times - but we'll see!!


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's been a while

Sorry I've been a slacker again. It's just had to update a blog when nothing is going on very blog worthy! Here's a rundown of the last two weeks....

The Saturday after I updated last we were lucky enough to get to go to an Alabama Football Game!! ROLL TIDE - it was really fun. Jason and I had never been to a game together - or a game in Tuscaloosa - so that was fun. And we won - so what's better than that. OH - better than that is two of our friends from Mobile (Daphne actually) came up for the night and we went to the game with them!

Then we had a baby shower for my cousin in law. They are having a boy in December and we are all so excited - can't wait for a baby to be around the family again. It's been 6 years, almost 7 by the time Corwin makes an appearance!!

My birthday was the 18th - fun stuff - got some money - bought lots of scrapness!! We went out to eat with the family and that's always fun. Straightened my hair too - that was work. At least an hour to get it dry and somewhat straight! But worth it since the humidity was low and it lasted a while! Not a great shot of the hairdo - but a birthday photo none the less!

This week I took a class at Scrap Etc. and made a really cool tray that I'm going to keep for myself but reproduce for a few people as gifts. Really cool!! I'm starting to think about Christmas presents, Santa presents and things I want to make. I would so love to bake a ton of cookies for everyone, but I'm not that good at baking cookies. I want to be though! Practicing would be good - but honestly, cookies aren't on the diet. Speaking on 'the diet' I've lost 28 pounds since mid June. Huge deal for me. I need to lose about 20-25 more. Then I would at least be closer to me ideal weight. I'll keep working at it, but it's no fun!! Smaller clothes are fun though!

Oh, back to Scrap Etc. I went to class and was able to enjoy a nice lunch with Virginia and Carol - and it was great to just be a girl. I really missed that. I had girlfriends that I did lunch with during school, but that last semester, we weren't together and didn't get to do that often. So it's been fun to do it here - go to a class with girls and be girly and eat lunch and talk about girly things!! I'm outnumbered at home - so girl time is GOOD time. I had lunch today with my cousin and two of her close friends. Fun times had by all. I'm going to another class Saturday too so I'll have more fun projects this weekend to work on!

My high school's homecoming is Friday night and we're talking about going with my cousin. Jason has tons of homework, Cole's not going to care about it, but I'd like to go for old times sake I think. We'll see. Jason has to work Saturday morning, so I don't get to do the Scrap Etc lockin, but the class will be good enough. Then Sunday he's got to go to the school library and work on papers. So nothing major planned. I'll probably scrap a little, work on some projects, an altered item or too for Cole's teacher's birthday.

I'll try to update after the weekend with some new photos of things I will finish - I hope!! OH - all the halloween decor is out at our house too - pumpkins galore - i love it! I love this time of year - my favorite!

So happy fall


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Two in a row......

Yep, I'm back again today! Well, I have a cold - and yucky stuffy head cold. I can't breath and just feel run down. I haven't had a bad cold in a while, so I hope this one goes quickly - I hate getting sick. I don't feel like doing much of anything when my heads all in a cloud.

I made a fun little thing last night - for Christmas actually, but then decided I could do other things with it too. Here's a few pics - this was train track pieces in the dollar spot at Target - they were actually 50% off - so only 50 cents for four pieces of track. Then I ran back there today and found them 75% off so I got more!

So today, I've made another set with my soon to be born little cousin's name - Corwin. His baby shower is Sunday, so I made this little train track name thingy for him too. I hope his mom likes it. I think it'll be cute in his room somewhere. I also worked on some painted canvases for our bedroom. Finished those last night and hung them in our room. I'll take pics this afternoon of the canvases and the other little name train! I'm thinking of doing Merry Christmas - if I have enough pieces. We don't have a mantel here over the fireplace, but there's a small ledge that these could sit on - at least I think. Either way - cute stuff and I'll find somewhere to put it!

Well, that's all for now. I'll try to add pics later this afternoon. I have about an hour before leaving to pick Cole up, so off to fold another load of laundry and take some more cold medicine. Later.............................


I forgot I got tagged by Heather - sorry Heather - so here it is:

I must post the rules, then list 7 random things about me and then tag 7 others to do the same by leaving them a here goes...

1. I love to read - must do it every night actually - I can't help it.

2. I really love when Cole calls me MOM instead of Mommy. I know I shouldn't because that means he's growing up - but given our history with cancer - I'm thankful he's growing up!

3. I have started making my Christmas lists already and coming up with ideas for all the little cousins, but haven't bought a single thing!

4. I am hoping to go to the Alabama game this weekend - I've only been to one Alabama game and would love to go again.

5. I always wanted more than one child, but finally after much discussing we decided to only have one - and now I can't imagine it any other way. I love just having one.

6. I love organizing things, like Heather - but rarely actually stick to it. I love storage containers and places for things, but just don't use them all!

7. I could listen to Kenny Chesney 24/7 - and try to most of the time!

Monday, August 20, 2007

This is me...................

I discovered a new challenge blog today called: This is me. They are challenging us to do a journal about us - a creative outlet, a place for our thoughts - nothing too deep they say - just things in our life. So I decided to jump in!! I made my journal. These girls were suggesting a spiral notebook, but I didn't have a blank one to use and wanted to get started right away. I had a full size binder with a wonderful craft cover so I decided to use that. Here's a picture of my book:

Below is my first layout from the challenge. It's about 'IMHO' or 'in my honest opinion'! So it's just a few silly thoughts - things I honestly believe!!

Thanks for looking!!

And on a different note - I have a few prayer requests for those of you who pray. First, my second cousin's daughter has been diagnosed with retinoblastoma. This is cancer of the eyes. She has lost sight in her right eye completely, and has three tumors behind that eye. Her left eye has one much smaller tumor behind it. None of the tumors have penetrated her brain, thank God for that, and the left eye has no sight loss. So with every bit of bad news, there is always something to be greatful for. After having been in their shoes - we really know what it's like to have to go into 'caregiver mode' where you have to forget about all those questions (why us, what's going to happen) and just be strong and brave for your child. So I just ask that you pray for God to give them the strength they need to be strong for Allison, who is only two, and their older daughter Jenna. Also for Allison, that she will be strong through this - physically and mentally - and she'll react the right way to treatment and hopefully will have no problems during treatment. And for big sister Jenna - who I've been told is such a little worrier - that she'll have an understanding about what is happening and know that things will be alright - her baby sister will be a survivor!!!

And - just a selfish prayer request for me and Cole. We leave tomorrow for Memphis. This is our last three month check up - we go to six months after this. Jason isn't able to go with us this time. He just started a new job and starts grad school wednesday night. So, I'm on my own for all the yucky stuff. My cousin is going with me - so at least we'll have some company - that's a HUGE help. But I'm stick with the IV stick and the MRI. If the IV stick goes well (which it never does) then the MRI will be fine. If the IV stick doesn't go well (which is what will probably happen) then the MRI will be bad because they'll have to do the gas mask (which Cole's calls the potty mask - it looks like a potty seat) and Cole hates it hates it hates it. So either way - there's a yucky thing that's going to happen. I haven't been back with Cole for an MRI since Cole's first one at St. Jude. So, I would love some prayers for my patiences and for the nurse that has to do the IV. Also, prayers for clear scans and some growth!!! Growth is expected - but I'm hoping for a good amount! I'll update whenever I know something!

And thanks for the prayers!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Another Challenge!!!

I love a challenge - I love being given an idea of something to scrap about or a sketch to actually scrap! Fun stuff! So over at Scrap Etc. Mary issued a challenge to scrap a body part - like your hands and the jobs they do, or how they are important to you, your child's hands, etc. Well first I thought about my hair - because lets face is it's curly and wild and crazy and probably worth a scrapbook page - BUT I saw another challenge issued about scrapping your ink - your tattoos! So since I have one - I thought I would scrap it! Combine the two challenges!!

So here it is - the first one is a little blurry though!

Thanks for looking - just wanted to share today!!


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