Friday, August 31, 2007

feeling the love

Always a thrill to get mentioned at Creating Keepsakes. My plaid bracket got a little recognition over there:

Erin Lincoln's Blog

click the second sentence, where it says "awww sweetie" and you will see my little Shelby! Pin It

Thursday, August 30, 2007

my sickie

This is my poor little girl on Tuesday, gearing up for a full blown fever. She has an odd syndrome called PFAPA, which fortunately she is outgrowing. When she was a baby, she would have 105 temps for about 5 days and we had no idea why. After about 4 months of this, a few near breakdowns on my part, we got a referral to a wonderful rheumatologist who diagnosed it immediately, putting many of my fears to rest, and armed us with the steroid Prendisone. Sure, there are scary side effects but in the way we use it, it is nothing short of a miracle. Once I can get her to take it, which is no easy feat, the fever disappars within the hour. A second dose the next day, and she is all better. But, the time waiting to figure out if it is a fever vs. a virus or something else can be a day or more of a very sick girl, and then it may take another 12 hours to get the steroid in her, and to stay down.
Luckily now, she has a fever episode only about every 3 months or so. Having a sick child is so hard, and even though two days seems tough, I recall her being so sick for days and I am just grateful to be where we are. Certainly, I did learn that I am my child's advocate and there is no stopping a mommy on a mission on behalf of her little one.
Now, about the layout...Cathy at MDM told me about clipping masks in Photo Shop earlier in the week, and my life has changed forever. Look at the plaid { I made!!! Wow. That is from Carrie Bombria's plaid shirt papers at Check it out.
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007



first lost tooth
first day of school
first grade
first bus ride to school
first brutally long and hot bus ride home
first executive decision: I will indefinitely be picking you up from school
first of many nights of homework
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Monday, August 27, 2007


Kacie is 21. And at her big B'day celebration, her Godmother brought her birth announcement. Talk about a fun and good idea. That brought back so many good memories. And for me, what is so cool, is that I can remember vividly the day, night, minute, she was born. And now she is 21. I was 17 when she arrived, so nearly an adult if age qualifies you for that, but mostly just a kid. But it did give me the advantage of knowing and loving her just about like she could be my own, b/c I was enough older than her. And the best part? I remember her whole life. All of it. Right up to this fun and memorable night. I think it went just like she had hoped and I espeically love the photo of her looking out the door of the limo. That is what she wanted, and she got it!!
That top photo is just a hoot. That is my parents, her grandparents, waving goodbye as the big ol' bad limo takes their baby granddaughter into the night...via a gas station for beer and a stop in Northern Kentucky to defray sales tax...or something like that!!
Oh and the third one, that is me and the B'day girl. This blog is ALL about me. Right?!
And last, some p-a-r-t-a-y girls.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

birthday edition

I am not a genius, and if you are an accomplished digital scrapbooker, or a PhotoShop whiz, this is not really all that. But hey, the majority of mankind can probably appreciate my efforts here. See, Miss Kacie turns 21 at midnight tonight. The big bash is tonight, and than at 11p she and 11 friends are heading out to paint the town in a limo so she can celebrate in a BAR at the stroke of midnight. Pretty cool for her. She is the last of the Mohican's to finally be of age. All the little "article" titles relate to her and her B'day, her co-op job etc. I plan to put this in a document frame tonight and set it out at the party. I have also been busy making some of her favorite dishes, at her request.

Number one: Vegetable Pizza. She loves it, and no one else in my family will make it. I love it too! I just add the Salad Dressing mix to sour cream, but otherwise, I make it basically like this vegetable pizza recipe. Her next request was the spinach dip from Tastefully Simple. She wanted hers with cut up bagels. Check. That is good stuff too. And EASY! Moving on, I made something else that I tasted at a Christmas party last year:

Baked Parmesan Dip

2-8oz pkgs of softened cream cheese
1/2 cup of mayo
2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup of chopped onion ( I do a little bit less)
I also add a few dashes of garlic powder

Mix all together; spread into an ungreased baking pan. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

This is tremendous. Take it to your next party and prepared to be asked for this recipe. Now, I may have been a bit selfish in making it for tonight b/c I really doubt Kacie will touch this one. Oh well. More for me.

I tried on my most trendy outfit and I think I look pretty good. I am sure when I get there and see all the 20 somethings, I will be mortified and return to my real persona: mini van driving, potty training, laundry!

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

this could be you:

hilarious ebay listing

As a Mom, I can so relate! And I don't (with good reason, lately I can barely tolerate 2) have 6 children but I have taken the two I have to the grocery and I lived through a very expensive, and strange, Pokemon phase. Pin It

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

the fish

I thought it best to show these guys, and fast, as one of them is now dearly departed. See the little trees, flora if you will, in that last photo? Well, one fish yesterday "was stuck in the trees and looking a little speckled" as Olivia put it. The worst part of that is that we have them in our dining room, where we have dinner. That pretty much killed her appetite (ha ha!) and she had to return to the kitchen. I suffered looking straight ahead at that tank, knowing what it held.
Anyway, you can see the sheer joy these fish have brought my otherwise pet-less children. It is a sad commentary really. Dave took them on Monday for a sucker fish, which he is gingerly dumping in the tank, and some food which amounted to $18. Add that to the long list of reasons we don't have a real pet, like say, a dog.
Dave is the one who outright forbid a furry pet for their Birthdays in July. I think I accused him of having no heart, as he is the more pet friendly of the two of us. His reason? He just did not want another thing to take care of (pool, yard, people etc). I accepted that (sort of) and moved on declaring that owning a pet was going to have to be a family decision. Still, I was holding a small grudge.
And then the fish died and I knew with all my being, I could not collect it's stinky carcass and dispose of it...he would have to. And he did. And now I understand the pet ban.
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Monday, August 20, 2007

time flies

The weekend just whizzed by me! We made two appearances at my daugther's school's church festival and now own 3 fish. I need to take their picture while there are still 3, you know the life span of a fish whose life as our pet began in a plastic bag held in the fist of either a 3 or 6 year old, is quite unpredictable. Although so far, these guys look spunky. Festivals are always fun, but as soon as we arrived on Friday night, I was reminded how vastly different the definition of fun is for our kids vs. us, their parents. We just want to stand around, talk with people, enjoy a beer. The kids...they want to ride rides, spend money, play games, spend money, eat crap, spend money and NOT stand next to us for even 4 quiet seconds to allow us to talk. It's a compromise you know.

Aside from that I have still been giving thought on and off to the Masters contest I entered at Memory Makers magazine. Those people clearly believe in torture as the first date listed to inform winners is 8/15, the last date to announce to the public is 8/22 and I now believe they are going to use every last hour they are entiteled to. Either make my year, or put me out of misery :) Pin It

Thursday, August 16, 2007


So, in the scrapbooking world, women create blogs and challenge people to do all sorts of stuff to stretch their creativity. So this is for something called "one little word". The word for the week was seek. And yes, that is a piece of junkmail, turned inside out, with my picture behind it! I saw that here.

It reads: ...balance. As much as I love being a full time Mom, I do need ME time. Time for errands, phone calls, scrapbooking, uninterrupted showers. ..some time to be myself. {heart} .07

The scroll on the envelope, which I printed on a transparency, and stapled to the layout, is from

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

church bingo

My daughter attends a catholic school and there are 2 basic stipulations for making things run smoothly, and to ensure you pay a lowered tuition rate:
1) You attend church every week and put your envelope in the basket. I have struggled a bit with being so watched over by big brother, but I am coming to terms with it. It really is more about being there, and participating, then the amount you put in the collection each week. And after attending the reception at our priest's home, I realized policing is no fun either.
2) You work at Tuesday Night Bingo once every other month. This is a big moneymaker (although unfortunately, less than in the past b/c it has become non-smoking which has lowered the attendance rate) and goes directly toward defraying active parishioners tuition.

Last nite was my first time working Bingo. I sold instants/rip offs for about 2.5 hours straight. Which means, I walked around with a tote of money and instant cards, calling out the names of the ones I carried, and people bought them from me. A ton from me. A mind boggling amount. And they know which kind they like, and which has a jackpot, and what serial number has already sold out or if they are buying from a new stack.

Without being judgmental, I will say there were all kinds of people there, from all walks of life. Some there with friends for a distraction and camaraderie, and others clearly there spending their last pennies with a hope of hitting it big. And that part was hard. Because in the words of my friend Jenny: "It ain't gonna happen".

I am not sure what percentage of the instants sales is profit, but I'd guess a lot. Good for the church. Good for my daughter who is privileged to attend a private, faith based, school.

Good for everyone ? I am not so sure. Pin It

Monday, August 13, 2007


I am proud of these photos! My nephew was willing to sit for me where I had determined the light to be perfection at the site of the wedding. Aren't these wonderful? He is so handsome and a good kid too.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

wedding photos

Well, I did it. I took my stepsister's wedding photos yesterday. And I have never been SO relieved to see beautiful pics in all my life. I felt good about it yesterday, although hats off to those who do this professionally, it was hot and hard work...but you just never know what they will be like, full size, on a computer screen, not the dinky camera screen. It helped that she is very photogenic and the Honeymoon mansion, Bed and Breakfast, was picturesque as well. I will share more as the days go on. I have edited a bunch today and am trying to make the CD. I particularly love the veil, and those are lace gloves next to it. I am super proud that I got the exposure right. After I took that, I learned her mother had made both which made it that much more special. Congrats to Mary and Dave!!
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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Jimmy Buffett

Two weeks ago, we went to his concert here in town. It is a BIG deal in Cincinnati, and our friend waited in line and got tickets, right before they sold out, which was like 2 minutes after she bought ours, which was like 10:10 am. Anyway, our friends are HUGE fans. I think he said he has like 326 JB songs in his Ipod playlist. Who knew he even had that many songs?!

So, it was fun. I had not been in well over 10 years, and the Parrotheads are out in full force. It's like a see all kinds. You can see a guy behind us, with an actual parrot head on his head. Trust me, these folks are serious!
The guy who parked next to us, Joel, had bought tickets from an online scalper for $300 each, for the Pavillion, where you have an actual assigned seat. We had lawn seats, festival seating. Well, Joel's friend backed out so he had an extra ticket...that he was not trying to sell, which we could not figure out. We finally convinced my friend, the HUGE fan, to just ask him in the beer line if she could sit with him. There was a lot of joking about showing her b**bs, but I suggested saving that as a last resort, and if at all possible, for after it got dark! Not saying anything about her in particular, but those are just a few rules I try to live by! I am smart like that. He said yes, she remained clothed, and enjoyed about 80% of the show from row 3. Happy Day.
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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

beat the heat

It is 99 today. If it breaks 100, that will break the record. In my old age, I totally cannot take it. I have not even taken my kids swimming in 2 days, I wait for my husband to do it after work. Bad mom?!

So, all the hot weather inspired me to scrap some Christmas photos. Not really. I am not good about scrapping things like this, I am too big of a photo critic, and I have a hard time using a bunch when they can be busy and crazy, like the ones of Shelby!! But, I saw this idea in a CK magazine and got 4 of her plopped down on one page so I think that tells the tale of her Christmas well enough at 2.5

I do love the photo of my Mom and Olivia though and saw a few different pages that inspired that one. I also recently read that sometimes the "cutesy" style paper is perfect for holiday layouts, so I bought this paper, and kicked out two layouts. Stay tuned, I got the Halloween paper too! At Hobby Lobby. That was not on sale but stickers were for 50% off, so I got a bunch of new letter stickers. A girl can never have too many. And I also finally replaced my square punch, as you can see from all those perfect squares above :) Hobby Lobby has some great sales. Thank goodness I do not remember to check the ad every week, or I'd be spending even more.
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Monday, August 6, 2007


I am more of a picture taker, which is pretty obvious. I rarely get out the video camera aside from one or two holidays per year. Although, I love when I rewind and catch my kids and see how much they have changed. Still, it does not prompt me to do it. And, my old camera has video capability that I have never even tried. BUT, I have a tech savvy neighbor who recorded this 2 weeks ago. She cannot contain her excitement!!!

A very happy birthday girl. Pin It

Sunday, August 5, 2007

look at this!

A fun photography challenge at and 3 of my photos are on this little advertisement! The top right, which is spaghetti in a glass container, outside on my grass. The next one of mine is the lil, itty bitty, red tomato. And finally, my girls B'day cake made by a friend. Cool, huh?! I hope to take a few more this month. Food is not easy to photograph for me, so this took me outside of my comfort zone...and I like it! I know one you can count cake. My stepsister is getting married this Saturday and although my stomach lurches just saying it, I am chief photgrapher. Please pray that I am disaster free.

Some more recent stuff for

I used the Rianna mini kit to make the big square which consists of the floral paper, very cool shadow frame, label, and small text in the bottom corner. I printed all of that out 7x7, and then added rub ons for the word ANGEL. I attached that to cardstock. I outlined everything w/ a white sharpie, added ribbon and a few buttons. Fun!Small text says: perfect features, big, dark eyes, contagious giggle, my girl

Lots of traditional paper products here! Journaling box (printed on cardstock) from Summer Breeze kit from My Digital Muse, as is, the date stamp/brush from Holly's journal dates.
I have more great stuff to work with this month and no lack of ideas, just a limit on time. I must overcome!!
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Friday, August 3, 2007

back to school spirit

This is what you look like today - when your new school backpack and lunch box arrive from Lands' End, embroidered with both your name and a horse (at $10 per item additional). And if this is you, you also have sidewalk chalk stuck all over you b/c it is so stinking hot that your body is sticky and grimy.
Yesterday, a big box arrives, the 3 of us girls are all giddy to bust into the new school backpacks and an outfit for each, however, only Shelby's backpack was inside. What the h*ll was LE thinking by not sending both kids' stuff?! If you are only sending one person's name, it's no good baby, no good at all. But, we muddled through. Shelby of course had much less to complain about and wore her new shirt to bed, and I must say, the little corduroy skirt is about the cutest thing ever on her little chubby self.
Leading up to today's delivery, Olivia kept calling the UPS truck, the UDF truck which is so darned funny. Those of you not from the Cincinnati area, UDF is United Dairy's a convenient (or is that convenience?) store where you can also get the most delicious malts, ever.
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