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!!



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