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!!


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