Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hate When That Happens.....

I've been pretty busy this week between school & a project I've been working on in my creative space!
I did have a little time this past week to kinda search through some blogs - something I like to do from time to time. I came across this blog that so intrigued me - very creative! I was looking @ the picture of the project she had posted & I maximized it to get a closer view. It was done with "inches" - a collection of 1" squares and/or circles that she had traded & swapped at some point. It almost looked like a tile mosaic that was grouted & all. While looking at the close up pic I hit the button to go back and somehow I lost the blog!!! Argghhh!!! Hate when that happens. I was so inspired & intrigued & sucked into her artistic abilities that I failed to look at the addres & now I have NO clue where to find it!
I have one more week of school and then I'm out for a month. I go back the first week in July & start summer school. It's not too bad because it's half days & only Monday - Thursday. It also generates some income for me through the summer as I don't continue to get paid. I love my summers off, but I don't like not having a regular paycheck!
Graduation is tomorrow & I'm looking forward to it. I've had the opportunity to work even closer this year with several seniors to help them accomplish it! I've got a couple of them that I'm very proud of - they have worked SO hard to get to receive their diplomas tomorrow.
Well - I'm off to enjoy shrimp, asparagus & fresh mushrooms off the grill. Have a wonderful weekend everyone.
I hope to post early this next week the project I've been working on!
Toodles!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Phew - what a weekend!!! I was busy, yet able to relax and finish a book too! I really had a lot of fun. Some of you may know & some of you don't, but I am one of a few at our church who is a wedding coordinator. That means that when a wedding is held at our church I am there to be the "to go to" person. I help the wedding party work through their ideas at the rehearsal....who will stand where...will the attendants come in individually or as couples....who comes into which song? I work with the sound techs & projectionists in getting the timing right. I help the photographer chase down & get people where they need to be for photos & I help the wedding start on time.....keeping the bride hid from her groom is one of my favorite parts!!! My most favorite is when dad sees his daughter for the 1st time - it's always such a tender moment.
In all the weddings I've done I've never had one with the pictures before hand until this last Saturday. It was a long day as I was getting people in places when they needed to be there for this or that. There were 22 (yes - TWENTY TWO) attendants, not counting the flower girl or the ring bearer. The bride comes from a family of 8 and everyone of them were in it! The picture above is one that the photographer set up - she used the pink high heels that the bride wore, but after they left to take pics at a barn down the road I pulled the bride's pink sandals out & took this shot! It was a crazy, crazy day - but the wedding started only 10 minutes late and all went well!
On Sunday I pretty much crashed & burned & lounged outside on my chair & read. It was a gorgeous weekend here!

Monday morning Steve & I went to the cemetary to my parents' grave. I put red & white roses & added some blue irises to it for a red-white & blue bouquet. My dad wasn't a veteran, but he was so proud to be an American. My sister knows the story of why he never served, but I can't remember offhand what it entailed?
After we left the cemetary we drove up the street aways and found these sheep grazing. Actually they are just down the road from the LSS that I work at & not to far from the cemetary. Every spring they have tons of baby sheep romping the pasture, so I remembered to bring my camera with me. Do you see the black sheep? In the whole field - he was the only one out there. There were a couple of mama's with black faces, but none with black wool.

Here you can see twins trying to catch up with mom! They are so cute to watch. They run across the field kicking up their back legs and bleeting to their mom to wait up!Last night my hubby & I went for nightly 5 mile bike ride. I started riding 5 nights a week last week because my doctor told me that I either need to lose weight or start wearing compression socks to help the swelling in my legs. Well, it's a no brainer - I started riding my bike & watching my eating habits more closely & I've lost 5 pounds to date!
Anyways, we rode out to the local National Cemetary - Ft. Custer. The cemetary is on one side of the road & directly across the street is a State Park. Along the way we noticed this beaver dam - it's HUGE! We weren't able to see their actual hut out in the lake because of all the trees- but it would be fun to ride into the park one day around this lake & find it!Fort Custer National Cemetary is a beautiful place. It has such a "feeling" to it. Steve & I love to ride through here as it reminds us continually of the sacrifices made by SO many Americans to give us the freedoms that we take for granted every day. This is a shot from one of the front burial sections looking back up to the main entrance. The main entrance is a winding road back into the burial grounds that is about 1/2 mile long. What a sight to behold when all the flags are flying and each grave is marked with an individual flag. The cemetary was full of people paying their respects to loved ones & even to those who they don't know. I am so proud of my heritage & so thankful for all those who have served our country & sacrificed their lives to give me freedom to ride my bike wherever I want & not fear what may be ahead.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Memories....

My mom is on my mind a lot this week. It was 3 years ago yesterday that she was called home to heaven. It's really hard to grasp that 3 years have passed....the memories are still so clear to me.
This picture has got to be one of my absolute favorites with my sisters & our mom. It was at a Christmas event at my church. It truly shows the goofiness of all of us when we would cut loose.
I think if we're all honest with ourselves we'll admit that there are/were times when they could drive us crazy - insanely crazy. My mom could make me so mad at times and then turn around and make me laugh or love her to pieces. She always loved me, I have no doubt of that now (I think I did when I was a teeneager)....and what I wouldn't give to hug her & tell her I love her one more time.
In the past 3 years I have grown closer to my sisters who are now the closest thing I have to my parents. They are both different in their own ways, yet so much alike in others. We all have a creative gene in us. We all have a warped sense of humor and a deep love & devotion for our families. We will protect our children to the end. We have a fierce love for our Savior & King. We love sunny days at the beach and flip flops. We all love to sing. We love family dinners.
We can piss each other off too - but all of the above brings us right back to ground level & we realize that we are all we have left our family. We come right back to loving each other.
So as the days and weeks pass by, I will continue to hold onto these cherished memories & continue to create more with my sisters & my hubby & sons. I will live my life to its fullest every moment that I can. I will hold onto my memories & make new ones of my own. I will rest at the end of each day knowing that I have accomplished all that I could for that day.
Life is good and so is God.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May CJ Challenge


Our challenge for this month was to use 10 items from your stash......well, here are the ingredients I used:

1. Bazzill Cardstock

2. Luxe Papers

-Lovey Hot Lips & Snookums

3. Heidi Swapp Date Stamp

4. Ribbon

5, White Flowers

6. Making Memories Clear Glitters Flowers - bright

7. Glitter brads

8. 7 Gypsies Oval Stamp

9. Provo Craft Alphaletterz

10. Maya Road Arrow painted with Chalk Ink & Stickles

It took a few days to come up with the right combination, but it was fun doing it. I dug through areas in my craft area that I haven't been in for awhile. I couldn't believe all the fun stuff I had that I'd forgotten about!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother's Day.....I Know, It's A Little Late.....

......but oh well. I've had another busy week & it's only Wednesday!
Hopefully the seniors will be done this Friday.....all this last minute rush, rush to check grades & credits & blah, blah, blah....
Yesterday I spent half the day at the hospital for more tests.......just some "routine" things to follow up on some things that have come up during my recent physical. Just "stuff" to go along with my age.......fun! NOT!
So, here's a little more on my Mother's Day. I had a wonderful day. I spent the morning in church with Steve & my boys'. Steve received a very early phone call that he had a service call so he left my card & gift on the counter. I know - I thought the tree cutting ceremony the week before was it! But, he bought me a book & DVD to help me learn more about my camera. Cool!
After church the 4 of us met my mother & father-in-law & brother-in-law for our yearly Mother's Day Brunch. We had a very nice time & the food was excellent.
After brunch the boys' went off to watch Volkswagon races and Steve & I went home. When I walked in I found a dozen red roses in a vase on the counter. I turned & thanked Steve & he told me they weren't from him. My boys' went out on their own & bought them for me. It was so sweet! They've never done that, they usually just let dad take care of it! Next to the PayDay candy bar Chad bought me for Mother's Day when he was 10 with his own money, this was the best gift!

On Saturday I got home from work & went downstairs to start a load of laundry. Our machine has been acting up recently, but it's still working. After loading it up I went into the next room to glue daisies & smiley faces. I hear the washer finish filling up & shifting gears to start the wash cycle when it starts making this noise that it shouldn't be making! I didn't have the heart to go up & tell Steve since he was elbow deep into the engine of our van that broke down a few weeks back & the diagnosis wasn't good as he got further into it. So I went & shut off the washer full of water, soap & clothes & decided to tell him later. He came down stairs about an hour later & walked into the laundry room. That's when I dropped the bomb. He checked it out & said that this time there was no fixing it. The transmission was going out - just like the van! Whoopee! With both boys' back home we can NOT be without a washing machine, so it was off to Lowe's to find a new washer. We were hoping to find a scratch & dent model, but no luck. So we had to invest in a brand new machine.
Wa-laa.........

My first ever brand new washing machine. In 29 years of marriage I've never owned a brand new washing machine. We've always bought used or rebuilts. I've had a brand new dryer, but not a washer! As we were leaving the parking lot Steve says, "happy Mother's Day.....and happy Father's Day to me." I agreed - it was more than enough & something we both definitely use as we split the laundry chores. Whoever gets to it 1st, gets to it 1st!
So Sunday was an extra special treat for me! It was a wonderful way to start my week.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day Everyone!

Happy Mother's Day everyone. Aren't these frames adorable? I finally finished them yesterday & they were handed out to every mom in church this morning. They brought so many smiles to so many mom's! I loved the looks on their faces.
This is the stage presentation of all the photo's I took over the last few month's. I loved listening to everyone this morning as they saw it & took it all in. So many didn't know who had taken them so I secretly smiled inside & listened as they talked about what a neat idea and then they would get even more excited when they realized these were mom's from our church! It was so much fun! At the end of the service , the pictures were run on our large screen which is just above these photos. A solo of "He Knows My Name" was sung by one of my favorite singers at church. She is only 21 years old and she lost her mom to a brain tumor the summer before her senior year in high school. Her mom also had a voice that everyone loved to hear. What an awesome tribute to mom's everywhere!
As I think of my mom today celebrating with her own mom I miss her, but the hurt isn't as bad. My last Mother's Day with her was 3 years' ago. It was just 4 days before she died. I miss her still so much and I know I always will, but I reflect over all the years we did have and the lessons she taught me and the silly things she did and the love she always showed me & my family. She loved us to her very core and I am proud to say that I'm Jean's daughter. I know my sister's are reflecting today also on our mom. Happy Mother's Day to you Pam & Robin. I love you both deeply and am thankful that we share the same mom!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mother's Day Mosaic

Here are 20 of the 27 shots I took for my Mother's Day Photo Expose for church this Sunday! I went to my brother-in-law's work last night & watched him print out 27 18 x 24 posters. WOW! It gave me goosebumps to see them printed out in such a "professional" way.
I will be heading to church with these tonite, along with my canvas (yes Debbie - I added a navy blue ring around the white center). I'm not sure how much time it's gonna take to get them all arranged & mounted, but I am so happy with how they turned out!
I will be sure to take pictures of the display & share them sometime this weekend on my blog.
As for the daisy frames......150 down.....100 to go!!!!
Piece of cake!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

He Loves Me...He Loves Me Not...Please Don't Eat The Daisies

Here they are.....all 250 frames that I need to put together before church on Mother's Day. Yes, I said I would do this & I will......but that's a lot of daisies & smiley faces to assemble! They are so stinking cute when they are done though!
So I took advantage of the beautiful spring day after school today & started my assembly line. I got about 20 frames done in a little over an hour, but that was because I kept running back into the house to get this or that to help the process move along faster.
Now it's later & I'm in my creative space downstairs setting up the assembly line where it will stay until they are all done.......all 250 frames.......all 2500 daisies.........all 2500 smiley faces.
So please, until I figure out if "he loves me or he loves me not"........please don't eat the daisies!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy Mother's Day Early....

The boys' are both back home - Shaun from college up north & well, Chad has lived here all along but we hardly ever see him. The weather here has been absolutely beautiful in Michigan this weekend so we took advantage of it! I got my house cleaning done yesterday - looonnggg over due & Steve has been working in the yard. As I was sitting on the porch today reading he called both the boys' out & told me I was getting my mother's day gift a week early.
Next thing I hear is a chain saw.....so I go outside to see Steve working on this redbud tree at the side of our driveway. Now if you look through the tree and down further you will see many more baby redbuds, but this one is long past it's maturity. It has been getting uglier & deader as each year passes. I've been after Steve to cut it down for a number of years. Well, today was the day! It was a little tricky because it had grown around the wiring to the house & the power lines along the road.
Here are my handsome sons working hard at critiquing there dad's work. They were analizing this & then telling him that. As I was looking at them through the lens of my camera I was taken back many years to when they were little & had a "mom moment" just then.....where has all the time gone? If you look on the side of the driveway just under the tree you will see our signatures in the cement from 1997 when they poured a new bottom half to our driveway.

Now when Steve started cutting into this part of the tree you could see, literally see all the carpenter ants start to pour out of the trunk. He was really making them mad! I knew this tree was in bad shape ~ if you look at the picture below you can see how they've actually made the inside of the trunk turn into a spongy, soggy mess! Well, the work took about an hour & the tree was down & thankfully no power lines were! I thanked my hubby for this gift. There was a little joke in our family about a tree. My grandpa planted a Mountain Ash in the side yard next to the driveway for my mom when I was little. As the years went by & the tree got older, it too started to get rotten & just plain ugly. My mom was always after my dad to cut it down. This tree also had grown around the power lines to the house, so my dad insisted that if he called the power company, they would take the tree down for free. Well, he called them, they came, but they only trimmed the tree around the lines. So the tree continued to stand, rotting & ugly. The tree stood through time, even after both of my parents' were gone. But last fall I received a call from their neighbor across the street. We had a terrible storm the night before & low & behold, the winds had blown this tree over & it was resting on the power lines! So I made a call to Consumers Energy & they came right out & cut that whole tree down! My dad was right after all, the power company WOULD take that tree down for free....we just had to wait 20ish years for it to happen!
I again thanked Steve & the boys' for cutting down this tree.......at least doing it while I was still alive to see it!