Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Latest Works....

Since going back to school this fall, it has been hard to get down into my creative corner to play. Between getting back into the swing of an actual "schedule" with an alarm clock waking me up every morning, going to Shaun's soccer games & being sick with the school crud last week I haven't had much time. But thanks to Dixie Pieces and their monthly challenges, I was able to get these 2 layouts done.
This 1st one we were challenged to use only one piece of paper, 2 rectangular pieces, letters for title and only 3 small embellishments. It was a stretch for me at 1st to not overdo, but once I pulled the pieces out - it went really quick! I made this layout after school yesterday before we left for Shaun's game!!
GO Dutchmen!!! And that they did last night. Their first game in the brand new stadium - which is awesome by the way - they won, 1-0. They are currently undefeated in their conference, putting them in 1st place!
Now this next layout only had one rule - you must use the title "Sweetness".
I couldn't resist - this was the last picture I took of my mom & dad together before she died 3 1/2 years ago. It was the day she came home from the hospital after an 88 day stay.
I haven't been able to look at this for a long time, but when I read this title, I knew this was the perfect picture.
While my mom & dad's relationship was far from perfect, there was a special sweetness to their love & marriage. Like how my mom would try & pretend to be mad & my dad would crack one of his stupid jokes & make her laugh......"OH Bob!" she would say.
Or how my mom loved to get all dressed up when she & dad would go to their yearly bowling banquets. Yes, I said bowling banquets. They loved to bowl together & back in the day it was VERY common for the ladies to get all dolled up & the gents to wear suits & ties to the banquet.
Through all the good & bad.........there was a "sweetness" to who they were together - always!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Proud Mama!!!


Three Athletes Honored by MIAAThree fall sports athletes have been honored as Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Assoc. (MIAA) players of the week. Two of the honorees are football players and the third is a men's soccer player.
Kyle Warren, a sophomore from Grandville (Hudsonville Unity Christian HS), is the football defensive player of the week. Hemade 11 tackles, including eight solo stops, in the Flying Dutchmen’s 32-20 loss to nationally-ranked Wheaton, Ill. Warren, who is being honored as Player of the Week for the first time ever, also broke up two passes.
Josh Echtinaw, a sophomore from Alto (Caledonia HS), is the football special teams player of the week. He returned three kickoffs for 111 yards, including a 62-yard return to set up a touchdown, in Hope’s loss to Wheaton. He is being honored as Player of the Week for the second time in his career.
Shaun Groetsema, a sophomore from Augusta (Galesburg-Augusta HS), is the men's soccer defensive player of the week. He anchored the Hope defense in leading the Flying Dutchmen to a pair of wins to open MIAA play, 1-0 over Kalamazoo and 2-1 over Trine. Groetsema, who is being honored as Player of the Week for the first time in his career, also assisted on the tying goal in the win over Trine.

What more can I say??? He has worked very hard - especially since he's always been an offensive player his entire life & was only moved to defense on his trip to Ireland this past summer.

Way to go Shauny!!!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Top 10 Things

I have been a bad blogger lately - not posting in SO long. I'm having a hard time adjusting to my "school year schedule" for some reason this fall - & then it didn't help that this past week I've been sick with the resperatory crud that our kids' brought INTO school this year. It's been so awful - I don't remember a school year starting with this much sickness! Not only the students, but a LOT of our staff has been suffering from it.
I'm finally on the upside of it & I need to focus on getting motivated in the creative area. I have so many projects I want to accomplish for the upcoming months & I can't believe we are almost into October!!!
Well, first things - first. It is mine & Steve's 29th wedding anniversary today!! Where or where has that time gone? WOW - I'm speechless - almost. Twenty nine years??? Whoa baby.......but you know what, I love him more today than I ever thought possible. God has truly blessed us in so many ways through our years' together!
Next, I've been trying to keep up with the September challenges over at Dixie Pieces and failing miserably....until this one popped up the other day. I think I can handle this one.......thinking of 10 things I love about myself isn't that simple, but it DID give me a reason to post on my blog. goes.....
1. That I am truly happy with who I am at this time of my life.
2. I am a compassionate person.
3. I love to laugh & be silly.
4. Ilove the ability I have to be creative.
5. I AM a child of God!!
6. I love that I am the middle of two wonderful sisters - not the the oldest & not the youngest!
7. I love that I can cook & bake pretty darn good!
8. The work I do with my students at school.
9. I love my love of animals.
10. I love my inner strength.
Phew - that was kind of tough. It's not too easy saying these things "out loud" and feel like you're not being conceited. Hopefully as you read these & if you really know me, you know that this is the truth????
I'm off to celebrate my anniversary - I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend & take some time to think about what you love about YOURSELF!!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Senior Portraits

Do you remember when you were a senior in high school? Well, if you're like me that was just a few years ago.....HA!
I remember that all the girls wore cream or white colored sweaters. They had the big cowel turtleneck and were either a very soft cashmere or soft acrylic look alike! The boys' all wore a very nice shirt, tie and usually a jacket.
We didn't have the choice of going to a photographer & getting cool shots in umpteen outfits if we chose. No, our appointment was made for us and we showed up on the school stage on that "special day" for senior pictures only. Our 8x10's were "oil" paintings, complete with brush strokes and just a little pink to the cheeks & lips.
Not anymore....there are so many choices now! I've had some more fun recently taking shots. We have the coolest downtown area and my last victim...I mean senior and I spent an afternoon searching out some fun spots. It was so fun letting her chose the places SHE wanted to have her shots at.
So, without further are a few of her shots.
Our park in the center of Kalamazoo is surrounded by 7 or 8 churches of all different denominations. They are old, historical buildings, but are very well cared for. Every summer the park is also dressed up with beautiful flower displays and the fountains are dancing.
We actually found the brick wall behind the public library in their parking lot.
I can't wait for the next photo shoot - it's just too much fun!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hello.....again.....I Am Still Here!

It's been a busy week. I went back to school again this past Tuesday, so I've been acclamating myself to going to bed early & rising with an alarm clock. Ugh - NOT my favorite thing to do.

It seems as if every day after school I had an appointment here or there or I had to work at the scrapbook store. Go-go-go.....tis the season!
So to let you all know - they announced the winners on the Dixie Pieces End Of Summer Sense-sational Contest this past week. I am happy to say that I took 3rd place!!!! I was only 3 points out of 1st. I won my choice of a monthly kit. I was SO excited!!!
For all of you who helped to identify the 16 mfgs of the above swatches, here are the answers:
1. Basic Grey 2. My Mind's Eye 3. Pink Paislee 4. Making Memoires 5. GCD 6. Luxe 7. BoBunny 8. Creative Imaginations 9. K & Company 10. October Afternoon 11. Scenic Route 12. Cosmo Cricket 13. Bella Blvd. 14. Reminisce 15. Sassafrass Lass 16. Crate Paper
Now it ended up that a few of us on the forum compared our findings & were able to fill in the holes. I had actually identified 10 of them on my own (or w/ a little help) prior to this. What threw me was that I had identified #11 as GCD. Turns out that it is Scenic Route even though GCD makes an identical paper!!!
Thank you all my friends who searched & squinted to help find a few for me!
Soccer season has again started at Hope College. We are into our 2nd week of games. We've had 4 games so far & our record is 3-1. This is going to be an exciting season as our boys' will soon be playing in a state of the art brand spankin new stadium! It is phenominal! They will have their 1st game there on Sept. 26th and the dedication is on October 17th.
I love this shot (above)! The boys' start their game in a huddle & pray - just too cool!
We were again able to have a team potluck at a team member's house on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Last year the team photo was in front of the Red Lighthouse that Holland is known for. This year the boys' opted for the beachy look. Pretty sharp lookin bunch of boys - don't ya think? My son, Shaun, is the 1st one on the left in the 2nd row.
And here we are - mom & son! Now if I could just get my older son to take these kind of pics!!!
Speaking of Chad, he started his 1st professional job this past Tuesday. He actually had 2 offers on the same day & he chose the one at a local dealership that he'd really been wanting! He has now entered the world of "full" adulthood. He's working 8-5/6ish M-Sat. He's struggling getting used to having a set schedule, but is actually loving the fact that he no longer has to sling chow at the local restaurant every night!!!
Have a wonderful week everyone!!! I plan to - it's my birthday week afterall! :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm Addicted....

Back in July on one of my weekly browsings of my favorite blogs I found out about this website, Dixie Pieces. They were having a contest for the month of August & were offering a great prize package! So I took a gander & headed over there & have become addicted. This is the last week of the challenge & if you've been following my blog you've seen all my entries into this contest. I'm not in the lead, but I'm not far behind. The way the point system works is that it's still anybody's game at winning the whole enchilada!!
Now that the contest is over, they are back to their regularly scheduled program. They give challenges every month & you can participate in whatever you want. The prize pkg. varies every month.
This week they posted the September challenges. The first is a card with a "hidden" message. Well, well - I just happened to be on my cousin's blog, Stamp-Paper-Scissors . If you click on this link you will find Janine's wonderful tutorial video on how to make this marvelous card!!! This is my attempt at the Marvelous Magical Marquee Card & my September entry:
Here's the inside = when you open it the center pulls away like a curtain to reveal your hidden message!!Next is the September Sketch Challenge. I've got a lot of old pictures that I've been trying to scrap, so I chose this picture of my big sister Pam & me at the piano. I took years & years of lessons - had my wrists beaten with a stick when they slouched & I still can barely play chopsticks! Pam, on the other hand, can play beautifully!
I must say that this addiction has caused me to do a lot of scrapping this summer - one of my goals. I've loved it & the girls over there are SO much fun!!! Be sure to check it out!
So, I have just 4 days left of summer before I'm back to school full time. I think I'll head over to the little beach down the road with my book and soak up some of those last summer rays!
Enjoy your day everyone!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to My #1 Son!!!

So my oldest, Chad, is 22 today!! WOWZA! Where in the world has all that time gone? I mean really......there is NO way I am old enough to have a child this age. There is NO way I have 2 sisters that are old enough to have a nephew this age. There is NO way that he is old enough to have just graduated from college.....
I swear I just went to bed & woke up this morning 22 years later......really!

Well it is true, Chad is 22 & I am old enough to be his mom. I'm thankful to be his mom, I love him with all my heart and pray that all his dreams for his life come true! The 1st dream happened when he graduated 2 weeks ago. The 2nd dream will hopefully be fulfilled by the end of this week with a new job he's working on getting!

Chad - you have made me very proud & very honored to be your mom! Love you ~ Happy Birthday buddy!

Here's My Final Entry In The SenseSational ChallengeThis week's challenge was the final "sense" we have - sound. The sound of summer to me is so many things. I love the sound of the waves crashing on shore, I love the sound of my nieces goofing around at the beach - their giggles are so contagious! I love the bands that we hear every Sunday night at the outdoor concerts we attend at the local parks & yes, even the sound of seagulls because they make me think of the beach!
In this challenge we had to include the four techniques we've used on each of the previouse 4 challenges at Dixie Pieces.

We had to include hand cutting, painting, doodling & stitching. I stitched the bars on my music. I doodled the notes, the bees, their flight pattern. I hand cut the treble clef & the bumble bees and I painted the edges of my layout & the treble clef (I used glimmer mist).

This has been a fun challenge for the last month of summer - so hard to believe it's over all ready. Hope I have a good chance at placing in the top 3. The way the scores are running it's still anyone's game!!!!