Monday, March 30, 2009

Photo Tag

My friend Lisa, from Kalamazoo, tagged me on her blog recently. This is kind of a fun little game to play - much unlike so many others you find.
Here are the rules:
The tag how-to...
Go to the photos folder on your computer.Go to the seventh folder of photos.Go to the seventh photo.Put the seventh photo on your blog along with a description.Invite seven friends to join.
This is the 7th pic in the 7th folder on this computer - my laptop. If I were to go to my desktop computer in my crafting corner it would be something completely different.
My 7th folder is "Aunt Carole". She is my dad's youngest sister & the youngest sibling of 6. There were 3 boys & 3 girls. This picture shows my Aunt Carole sitting next to the lovely floral curtains in her saddle shoes. Every picture I have of her she is wearing these saddle shoes. On the couch from back to front are my dad's only surviving brother, my Uncle Jack. My Aunt Betty (the middle sister) & her husband, my Uncle Stinky....uh, I mean Uncle Tom!
They are sitting around grandma & grandpa's gigantic Christmas bush. :) They always had huge trees!!
So I'm tagging some friends to join me in this little game - it'll be fun to see what comes up in your 7th folder?
It will also be fun to see how long it takes some of these people to play along!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Taking Things For Granted

It's nearing the 1 year anniversary of my dad's passing. It's so hard to believe that a year has come & gone. It was a year this past Monday that I last saw him alive & gave him the last hug I would ever give him at Easter dinner. So I've been reminiscing and when I came across these pictures of our last Christmas with him in 2007, I knew I had to make this layout. I miss him & my mom so much.
But in the time since both of my parents have been gone, I have grown closer to my sisters than I have thought I could. My older sister Pam & I were closer in age & grew up together & fought like cats & dogs. We really did. We didn't seem to have much in common and we fought over clothes all the time. I'm sure as she's reading this she's smiling now. Pam - did you know that I used to wait for you to go to school or work & then I would sneak into your closet & borrow your clothes? I would be sure to put them back before you got home. I especially love that ivory colored 3/4 length sleeved shirt with the large flowers painted across the front...remember that one? So Im just saying thanks now for letting me raid your closet all those years ago!
My little sister Robin is 10 years younger. So I got "stuck" babysitting a lot! No biggie because when I would get grounded I would tell mom that I was taking Robin for a walk in her stroller. While on those walks I would just happen to pass by my friends' house who was always outside waiting for me and we would hang out. Those were the longest walks ever, but my mom never questioned them because I had my sister on a walk & that wasn't going against my grounding rules. :)
We all tend to take things for granted, and I know that I am very guilty of this crime. I just want to tell my sisters how much I love them & appreciate them. My friends are so very important to me too and I thank all of you for your love & support in my life.
Yesterday I went for my 1st shot. It wasn't too bad, just a shot in the bootie was all. Today I get the 2nd one. Man oh man, this morning I realized how much I took the function of my thyroid & now my meds for granted. I am SO tired today. I've told my principal that if he finds me face down on my desk not to call 9-1-1, but to wipe up the drool & wake me up when the bell rings. I was in bed by 9pm last night & slept pretty much the whole night through. It was so hard to get up this morning.
The worst part about yesterday's doctor visit is that I was informed (even though she shouldn't have told me) that my doctor will tell me tomorrow at my radiation that I will need to continue this low-iodine diet for another week! NO!!! She said that he feels that it will help the medication react better in my system. But she also told me that if I cheat & have that cheeseburger I've been dying for....she won't tell. So keep my secret everyone....please? I guess the other doctor in the office doesn't feel it's necessary to continue with the diet, so I'm just gonna pretend I'm his patient for the week following!
So everyone, make sure that you think about those in your life & truly understand who & what they are to you. Tell them what they mean to you!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Then & Now

November 13, 2008 - this is my throat before my 1st thyroid surgery last November. I had a very large cyst that needed to be removed. I had it asperated 3 times & every time it would refill & cause pressure on my trachea, giving me breathing issues. I had surgery on 11/14/08 to remove the left side of my thyroid as this is where the cyst was located. A week after my surgery I was told that I had a tumor inside the lining of the cyst & it was cancerous. I went back a week later & on 11/28/08 I had the rest of my thyroid removed. There was more cancer found. The doctor's feel that they have successfully removed all my cancer, but for reassurance they were going to schedule a one time treatment of a radioactive iodine. This will enter my body & kill off remaining thyroid tissue that may have "floated" off during my surgeries.
This is today, March 24, 2009. After 2 surgeries in the same spot I feel my scar is healing quite well. I am still struggling with my vocal cords & not yet able to sing on the Praise Team at church. That's killing me!
Ten days ago I started a low-iodine diet in preperation for my treatment this week. It has been a challenge, but I've managed to follow it. Only with God's strength am I able to face this. There are so many others with cancer who have to go through so much more, but this is my cancer, my story. It's a big enough challenge for me. But I am very thankful that it isn't more serious.
Today I head to Grand Rapids to my endocrinologist for my 1st of 2 shots of Thyrogen. This is needed to put my body into a "hypothyroid" mode. It is in place of my having to go off my thyroid medicine for 6-8 weeks. I will have my 2nd shot tomorrow & on Thursday morning I will receive my radiation "pill".
After that - I can put this chapter behind me. I am thankful for my family & all the support they have been to me through the last months.....my hubby, sons, sisters, friends & church family. God is so good to me and I am so thankful for all that He has provided.
"Trust in the Lord, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, He'll keep your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Poster For My Classroom

I frequently get emails from PhotoJoJo and they have some of the funniest effects for digital photography on it. They work a lot with Big Huge Labs - part of Flicker.com. So this morning when I received an email from them regarding motivational posters I just had to check it out. Plus they offered me a code for 25% off!
I've been working on filling my classroom with motivational quotes & wall art to help my students succeed. Most of them are working hard to graduate on time & move forward with their lives.
This picture is of Libbi from last Christmas & I just thought it was hilarious - so I made up this poster to be printed & I'm going to hang it in my classroom. It's got to help a little, don't ya think?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 4

***UPDATE*** I am on this lovely diet for prep for my one & only treatment for my thyroid cancer found last November. It is to make sure that I don't have excessive amounts of iodine in my system other than what may still be there from possible thyroid cells/tissue left behind from my surgery.
Welcome to my lunch time! You missed the yummy vegetarian sandwich on homemade whole wheat bread. I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into some bread!!!
I am on day 4 of my 2 week low-iodine diet. Sunday was the 1st day & oh so hard. To give up ALL dairy, seafood & most meats in one day was killer! Harder than I thought. DH & I went on Sunday to a local health food grocery store to buy stuff for me to eat. I bought plenty of unsalted roasted nuts to make my own trail mix. I bought organic frozen veg's for quick fixes and lots & lots of fruit. When I got home, I pulled out the bread maker that I haven't had out for a few years & set it up to make my own whole wheat bread. I waited almost 4 hours for it to process & bake. The kitchen smelled SO good! Well, my 1 lb. loaf came out like a 1 lb. brick. It was stuck to the bread pan and would NOT come out, I had to dig it out. The center of the loaf was pretty tasty, but that was about all you could eat of it. Then I remembered why I didn't use that bread maker much anymore - the bread wasn't rising enough & it was sticking to the pan. So off to the junkyard went the bread maker.
I have spent the last 2 days calling bagel shops & local bakeries & seeing if they make their bread/bagels with non-iodized salt. Nope. The other catch is using only the whites of eggs if they use eggs in their recipes. So I broke down last night & went & bought a new bread maker. They have come down considerably in price since I bought my last one! So I got home last night & made a loaf (stayed up way too late waiting for it to finish). But it was so worth it for my lunch today.
I am enjoying a black bean salad & fresh fruit. One of my favorites so far has been the "fruit cocktail" that I make for breakfast. It includes any and all fresh fruits that you like blended with an equal amount of orange juice. So 1 cup of fruit to 1 cup of orange juice, blend it up & walaa! Yummo!
I haven't eaten any meat except Sunday night I had a boring hamburger patty. So I dressed that up with avacado & unsalted ketchup. DH put my non-iodized salt & fresh ground black pepper on it for seasoning. To be perfectly honest, I haven't really missed the meat.
I have found that I miss my potato chips, so tonite I'm going to experiment with making my own. Heck - we make our own tortilla chips all the time, why not potato chips? I can use my "special salt" to season them.
So at the end of this my body should be flushed good and clean of all iodine & other toxins & I will be very close to being a vegan - ha! ha! AND I had better have lost a few pounds from this whole thing too!

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Remodel Job Has Started....

While downstairs getting my camera to take pictures of our bathroom project I turned to find Libbi "sitting" on the bottom step. This just cracks me up, she will literally turn herself around and sit on the step! But how often do you take a picture of you pet, dogs especially, and catch them blinking???? Too funny!
This is our bathroom minus the wallpaper & carpeting. The further we get into this project, the more we are realizing how much work it actually is going to take to remodel. We only have one bathroom in our house, so timing is of the utmost importance. We will have to make sure that we are not without a shower and/or bathtub for any length of time. We have gone from plan A to plan B to plan C and now we are back to plan A with a variation of plan B & C. We have been exploring many places for ideas, but no one has anything better than what we've been able to come up with on our own.
So, now to figure out our "storage" as we will be ripping out both the top cupboard unit and the vanity. To the left in this picture, you can't see it, is a small drysink in which I store all our bathroom towels & such. Yes, they could be stored in the cupboards you see in this picture, but they are not that large. Plus, I will admit, there is more stuff in these cupboards than we ever actually use. So downsizing is a good thing, it's just doing it the right way!
I will keep you updated with pics & posting as the process moves forward. But don't hold your breath waiting as I'm sure it will take some time.......more than we are willing to admit!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My February Challenge

I decided since I had some time off from school this week to take advantage of it & work on this month's challenge. I've been scheduled for my final treatment for my thyroid cancer at the end of this month & I'll be a little busy the last week of this month when the challenge is actually due.
So I was working this morning putting the final touches on my project. I was down here all day yesterday and Angel NEVER came out to visit with me, but she made up for it this morning. She wouldn't leave me or my stuff alone! Now she has always been a very shy kitty, but the past few weeks she is becoming bolder & bolder. Last week she happened to be upstairs which is very rare for her. She came down the hallway & turned into the kitchen. She stopped abruptly when she saw Libbi under the kitchen table. Then with all her cat finess, she strutted & twitched that tail back & forth & walked right past Libbi to the basement steps. When she started to descend, that is when Libbi (finally) reacted & did her mad dash to put Angel in her place!
Our project this month was to include a favorite verse or quote. I have a book full of both & so I came across this one regarding sisters.
"If you don't understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly & want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child."
I'm sure both my sisters will agree whole heartedly with this quote! I love them both to the end of the world & back & then there are days when........I guess that's better left unsaid. It was worse when we were in high school. We've grown up so much since then!
I used the new line from Basic Grey on this layout - Porcelain. It has some very delicate patterns & some very bold ones. I loved it!

But then Rocio decided to post her challenge for this month & she really made me rethink my page/project. While I love my layout, I LOVE this more! I have always thought this quote to be so true:
"To the world you are one person,
but to one person you are the world."
I've had this oval mirror stashed for quite some time, never knowing exactly what to do with it. I inherited from my sister-in-law I believe in one of her moves. When this quote came to mind last week during a recent shopping trip, this mirror came to mind!
My plans are to take this to school & have the janitor help mount this to my cinder block cement wall. I think it is the perfect quote for so many of my students & when they look into the mirror while reading it, they will know that they are the "YOU" to which the quote refers too!
I used a couple of different paper lines for the signs & paper flowers. The sticker letters are from Basic Grey sticker sheets.....you gotta love those BG sticker sheets. You get SO many letters! The large gerbrara daisies are from Michael's as well as the colored pebbles.
I made from the other flowers from felt & fabric swatches, the centers are from my button stash!
"You" are wooden letters from Michaels painted with Making Memories paints - celery & dusk. I also used a couple of ribbons from my stash too.
I can't wait to get this to school & hang it up. I made the perfect spot for it today in my classroom!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What Will It Be?

This past Friday I didn't have school so I went on a little road trip to Indiana. They have an aweseome scrapbooking store there. Well, I think it threw up on my creative corner! I have to weed through the projects started & left laying on my counter & the new products bought. I came home & my hubby wanted to go to the "Art Hop" downtown that night with me, so everything just kind of got dumped!
We had a blast at the art hop. The weather was absolutely gorgeous here on Friday, hitting 60 degrees! The downtown mall was swamped with people, but it was such a festive atmosphere! Steve bought me a new purse from one of the artisans - it's really cool!

I have spent the last hour sorting & cleaning and these are the supplies I bought for my next CJ challenge. It's a new month, so there is a new challenge. This month's challenge is to use a favorite verse or quote in your project. So can you guess what this may turn out to be? The ideas are running through my head & it will take a little longer to put this one together, but I'm liking the voices in my head right now - so cool!
I'll be sure to post a pic of the final project.
Today was the 1st chance I've had to get to all this stuff because yesterday we spent the day hunting down costs & supplies & ideas for our upcoming bathroom remodel. I've picked out the colors & we've decided on a "plan", now to find a long mission style table to convert into our bathroom vanity. I want a "bowl sink" which will sit on top of this. We went through a few antique shops in the area yesterday with no luck. So my next option is to start hunting the internet.
We were initially going to replace all our fixtures - tub-stool-vanity-sink, but after much deliberation and only having the 1 bathroom in the house, we've decided to refinish our existing tub & leave our stool. We would have to tear out a wall & replumb & the job is too big to finish in a reasonable amount of time so that we don't have to go without a shower or tub.
We are also putting in a new floor, the tile beneath the carpeting - yes there is carpeting in my bathroom - is crumbling & not fixable. We've decided to put a white maple wood floor in.
I will be sure to post pictures as we progress.
Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Any More Questions?

I'm sitting here in my classroom working on student grades & credits. My students today seem to be extra full of questions today, so I decided to start jotting some of them down. Some of them are normal, every day, run of the mill questions....and others are just from out of nowhere! Here is a sampling:

1. Ms. G can you bypass me?
2. Ms. G can I go to the bathroom?
3. Ms. G can I get a drink?
4. Ms. G did you open a new box of candy?
5. Ms. G did you draw this picture?
6. Ms. G can I go get my print out?
7. Ms. G can I go check the printer?
8. Ms. G can I go return this to the office?
9. Ms. G do you have any glue?
10. Ms. G do you believe that cop gave me a ticket for going 5 mph over?
11. Ms. G do we have school on Monday?
12. Ms. G do I have to be here for the testing next week?
13. Ms. G do you still need to see me?
14. Ms. G why won't this calculator work?
15. Ms. G did you get new glasses?
16. Ms. G do I have to work cuz I got my eyes dilated this morning?
17. Ms. G do you want to buy something for my fundraiser?

and they go on and on and on and on..........

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A New Toy & An Old Game

This is Libbi - most of you know her quite well by now. If you're new to my blog, well, Libbi is my absolutely adorable, yet crazy yellow lab. We refer to her as a "white chocolate" lab since her coat is more white than yellow.
Like any lab, she is full of the dickens & would play & romp non stop if our time allowed. She will do anything really just to get your attention. This is one of them - her favorite game which gets very old after a while.
My computer & creative corner are at the bottom of our basement steps......don't you just love the 70's colored stone carpet? Hey - it was brand new when we moved in 17 years ago & it was a great area for our kids' to play. We just haven't taken the time to update, but we are now in the process. So anyways, when I am sitting at my computer & playing in my creative corner, Libbi will sit at the top of the steps with her tennis ball. She will throw it around and catch it herself until she becomes bored. This is where the game begins.........
She will lay at the top of the steps and watch the ball drop one step at a time until it reaches the bottom & rolls to your feet. She will then sit there, with her ears perked up, wrinkle in her forehead, cocking her head ever so slightly & smile - yes I said smile - at you. She will continue to look at you this way until you can't stand her cuteness anymore and you reach down & pick up the ball & throw it back to her. She will then sit up, catch it and start the process all over. This will continue on and on and on until you ignore her. Then she comes barreling down the steps to pick up the tennis ball and drop it in your lap. That begins the game of fetch. This becomes a repetative game much like the other one, until she takes the ball back up the steps and starts all over with the drop & bop game.
But now it's mama's turn to play. I've been eyeing this little gadget for a few weeks now at our store. It looked so lonely sitting there all by itself on the shelf. All it's playmates have been sold & it was just sitting there. So I took the plunge yesterday & bought it. It's the Making Memories Slice. I charged it up today before I left for school & tonite I'm learning how to play with it! So far I'm liking it.... It's very, very easy to use. I've cut a few alpha's & a few flowers and it works like a charm! My boss told me she's heard mixed reviews on it, but I think it's going to work out nicely!
Wa-LAA! I've cut a flower. I can cut items up to 4" and as small as 1". It doesn't have all the capabilities of the Cricut's, but I honestly didn't want the bulk and the expense of that. Besides, my little sister has one & I can always bug her to cut things out if I need them that bad. I just thought this would be great for cutting small items for embellishments & cards.
Well - I'm off to play for a little longer before I hit the hay for the night!
Toodles all!

In Memory of Alan

Just a little over 2 weeks ago we lost a student at our school in a tragic train accident. He had gotten off the bus and was crossing the railroad tracks when he was hit by a train. He had his back to the train & had his ipod in. He never heard it. The train was running almost 2 hours late so he probably wasn't expecting the train at that time. We will never know his last thoughts or why this tragedy truly happened.
During last week I had this "image" popping in my head & finally took a day or two to work it out. Alan played football for our high school & his jersey number is 44. The above image is what finally materialized on paper. I've shown it to a few kids' at school & they love it. It is now hanging on the bulletin board in my room.
Last night a local restaurant in our community held a pancake supper to raise funds for the family to pay for funeral expenses. I took a copy of this with me & gave it to Alan's dad. He cried when he looked at it. Then through his misty eyes he looked at me and smiled. He thanked me & told me that he was going to have a tattoo done exactly like this.
The kids' at school are getting back into their routines, but Alan's absence is still felt & still talked about. Time will heal those wounds, but it will not erase his memory.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Have The Most Creative Friends!

I have the most creative group of friends & I especially love it when they share it with me! My friend Patty in California sent me the cutest card yesterday just because & enclosed in the card was this tag.
I most certainly agree with her sentiment - "An attitude is a terrible thing to waste!"
Thanks Patty......

A few weeks ago I received this adorable hand stamped card in the mail from Toni in Colorado! She does the most amazing cards ~ her coloring techniques make me so jealous, I can never copy her technique when coloring my cards. Thanks Toni
My sisters are both very talented too - it runs in our family! For Valentine's Day my sister Pam sent me this adorable heart chipboard book complete with several pictures of her & I growing up. It was such a fun, fun thing to receive in the mail!

I am one of those people who actually loves homemade gifts. It says to me that the person who gave it to me really took the time to think about the gift they were giving me. That they took some of their precious time to spend on me!

Thank you dear friends! Thank you for thinking enough of me to spend a little time on me and sharing your creative imaginations & mojo with me.