Thursday, December 28, 2006

I designed, I scrapped, I got picked!

Hope you all have had a wonderful holiday. I'm still reeling from trying to get caught up on everything, and in fact still have some loose ends to tie up, but we had a very nice Christmas. Santa was very generous here. I'd asked for a new point-and-shoot camera, since my old Nikon is getting really slow and unreliable. I wanted something compact and inconspicuous, and Mark came through with a Canon PowerShot SD600. The thing is about the size of a deck of cards! So cute! And then "Santa" surprised me with a Nikon D50 dSLR!!! Holy reindeer! I hadn't planned to look at getting a dSLR for another year or two, but now I've got two sweet new cameras to play with! :D

I finished up a new kit this week that I had started at the end of November. We had a series of really gray, dreary days, and I just wanted something to counter that, and so Vivid Intensity was born.

On sale 40% off. ;)

As I was working, I did this really fun, over the top layout with the kit.

And then I found out this evening that Melissa G. chose the kit as her Digi Pick Kit of the Day today!!! I'm so excited!!! :D

In post-Christmas happenings, RAKScraps is giving out the December Mega Kit right now. The whole kit is really cute. I don't think my part has gone out yet. Here it is:

You can pick up the whole kit, as well as the awesome add-on that the Admins designed, on CD (or just the add-on as a download) at ScrapDish here. Oh, and my Rich Christmas stuff is on sale right now, too, so this would be a great time to pick it up if you missed it before. :)

My folks are here visiting for a couple of more weeks yet, so I'm trying (although not totally successfully) to stay away from the computer as much as possible a bit more yet. I've got well over 500 unread entries in my Bloglines! LOL I have a feeling I'm going to just pick and choose and let some things go, since by the time I get back to regular reading, it will probably be double that!

If I don't get back here before then, Happy New Year everyone! :)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Checking in!

Oh, my.  Getting sick during the holiday season just throws everything waaaaaaaaaaaay off.  We are basically all better now.  I went and got some antibiotics a couple of days after that lost post and it helped somewhat, but it's really only been the past few days that I haven't felt "sick".  I still have just a bit of an annoying tickle in my throat, but that's about it.

The guest magicican was very cool.  A guy by the name of Richard Turner, who is one of the top card magicians… and just happens to be almost totally blind.  He was super nice, wonderfully interesting to talk to, and amazing to watch perform.  You can  read a bit more about him here.

Mark's mom was here for a visit the last several days, and just headed out this morning.  My folks will be arriving Thursday  night for an extended visit.  Our guest room is getting a lot of use! LOL

We're plugging away at getting stuff ready for Christmas.  The decorating will be somewhat abbreviated this year, with the tree and mantle being the extent of it.  We've got the shopping roughly half done and nothing at all wrapped yet.  Haven't started our personal cards yet, so they're obviously going to be quite late.  And Mark's birthday is tomorrow, and so far to get ready for that I've done… absolutely nothing.

So anyway, I'm probably still going to be scarce until after the holidays.  My apoligies to my fellow bloggers, since I think it's been weeks since I read anything.  

That's it for now.  Off to do some laundry and figure out something for Kaylee to wear for her Nursery Rhyme party at school tomorrow.  She wants to be Little Miss Muffet.  Not sure exactly what that looks like, but I guess we'll improvise something. :-)

Happy Holidays! :-)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Warning: Pity Party Ahead

<begin whine> If we can't wipe out illness altogether, there should be some sort of natural law that prevents both parents from getting sick at the same time.  Ugh. Fatigue. Aches. Fever. Fatigue. Aches. Fatigue. Sore throat. And did I mention the aches and fatigue?

And of course, other than a slight lingering cough for Kaylee, both kids are perfectly fine.  Which is good, but it means they're all full of energy, and the peace and quiet Mark and I would like is just not happening.  Ugh.

So basically, Mark and I are taking turns doing the bare minimum around here.  He let me sleep for four hours yesterday while he handled the kids, did supper, and put them to bed.  I did breakfast and lunch today.  We both laid in bed and vegged out with an incredibly cheesy movie this morning and let the kids fend for themselves for a while.

We did manage to make a dent in the Christmas decorating yesterday before Mark got to feeling too bad.  (He seems to be running a few days behind me.)  Still have not done any shopping yet though.  And we've got a guest magician coming in next weekend and the house is a complete disaster. It takes all the energy I have just to do a load of dishes.  

I sure hope I'm over this soon and that Mark doesn't get it as bad as I've got it. </end whine>

We now return you to your regularly scheduled web browsing.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Home again, home again...

So, we had a nice holiday weekend. Got home Saturday night. The kids did pretty well with the drive overall, aside from doing the stereotypical "are we there yet?" a bit more often than was funny, especially Kaylee who has no concept of time yet.  Cousin Josh is as cute as can be, and it was great to catch up with his parents too.  His mommy's having a bit of a rough pregnancy, but still managed to do a fabulous job with the Thanksgiving meal, and finally gave in after we all insisted she go lie down afterwards.  It's hard to believe how big my nieces (the other sister's kids) are getting at 10, 12, and 14.  It makes me feel old to remember them running around as toddlers. ;)

Unfortunately, Kaylee has come down with some sort of cold or flu or something and has been running a fever and coughing since Sunday.  She had a really rough night last night, which means Mark and I had a rough night too, and I'm really feeling it.  I've also had a sore throat today.  Ugh.  I so do not want to be sick again after I just got over whatever it was I had before.  I started in on the Zicam this evening and am hoping this doesn't turn into something major, but it's slowing me down big time already.  I had to go take a nap after Matthew's homework today, and I'm going to be heading back to bed again here shortly.  

So if I'm still a bit absent online this week, that's why.  Send me some get well quick vibes.  We've barely even started on the Christmas decorations, which are normally done by now, and have not done one lick of gift shopping yet. I'm trying so hard to fight off my Grinch tendencies, but it's going to be a tough battle if I'm sick. *Sigh.*

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Well, the rest of last Tuesday went ok, except for discovering that I had a leaky tire. So Marked pumped it up, and then Wednesday morning I took it over to be fixed (it had a screw stuck in it). Then around mid-day, I discovered that the bottle of dishwashing liquid that I keep by my sink had sprung a leak. (What was it with the leak theme? LOL) I began cleaning up that mess, completely forgetting that I was in the middle of making Kaylee a grilled cheese sandwich, which I ended up burning way beyond edibleness. :-b Fun, fun, fun.

Fortunately, things have been ok since then though. I'm finally starting to feel more like myself again, with just some annoying throat stuff first thing in the morning. The kids are off school the rest of this week for Thanksgiving break, so were going to visit Mark's sisters and their families. It's been two years since we've been down there, so we've got a nephew/cousin we've never met, and his little sister is due in March. Hopefully, we'll make it back down there again before she's nearly two! LOL

We rearranged Matthew's bedroom yesterday. He's got this funky bunk bed, and we've had it with the bottom bed sticking out into the middle of the room ever since he got the set when he turned two. (He's nearly eight now.) Just recently, he's started sleeping up in the top bunk, so we decided to rotate it 90°, so that his head would be towards the wall and so that he wouldn't be directly under the heat vent. His room looks so much bigger now! Of course, we also pulled this gigantic ride-on horse out of there, so that helps a bit too. LOL He was SO excited when he got home from school and saw what we'd done. He kept proclaiming it the best day of his life and thanking me over and over. It was too cute.

Kaylee's gotten really buddy-buddy with a girl in her class lately. Their teacher says they're always just chit chattering away. The last two days, Kaylee's even taken pictures in that she's drawn as gifts for the girl. Of course, she chooses such light colors and uses such a light touch that you have to have your nose up to the paper to even see that there's anything there, but it's the thought that counts. ;-) Then today when I picked her up, she was lamenting that another girl wants to be her friend too and now she has to choose. I tried to tell her that she could have both of them as friends, but she seemed to think that was a ridiculous idea. LOL

Ok, I think that's it for now. Mark is out tonight, so I get to put both kids to bed, and it's time to get things rolling in that area. Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What a day.

Things were not off to a good start this morning. Somehow I managed to snooze my alarm clock for an entire hour… while having some bizarre dream about how I had submitted something online using random keystrokes as a test and then ended up having that name show up on the actual ticket (airline? not sure), but it was ok, because somehow that name was on a sticker on the inside of my ring, so I was able to use that as identification. So anyway, I didn't wake up until Mark's alarm started going off... 10 minutes after I was supposed to have gotten Matthew up. So I hustled like crazy to get him and me dressed and ready, booting up my pc in the mean time so that I could check the weather. Well, attempting to boot the pc, since it didn't actually want to boot. On about the fifth or sixth try, I had it use the last known good settings and it came up just fine, and I haven't noticed anything different, so I have no idea what the problem was, which is very frustrating.

Anyway, we got Matthew off to school fine, Kaylee off to school fine, I stopped by the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for Mark, and then came home and collapsed on the bed and watched some of my soaps on TiVo until it was time to go pick up Kaylee. I got ¾ of the way to her school (which is about 8 miles from our house) when I realized, that since I hadn't been on my computer to see the glaring Outlook reminder pop up, I'd forgotten the library books, which were due today and could not be renewed again. And the library is only a few blocks from the school. At 25¢ per book per day with 21 books checked out, that adds up to a sizeable fine pretty quickly. So I got Kaylee, we came back home and rounded up the books, ate a quick lunch, then headed back across town to the library. What an inefficient use of time and gas.

I think I used up all my luck on parking spaces last night, easily cruising into spots right up front at both my TOPS meeting (in spite of another huge function at the church which had people parking on the street, in the grass, etc.) and again at Wal-Mart afterwards to do my shopping. I think I would have traded at least the Wal-Mart spot to have had today go more smoothly. I'm still up and down from the allergies/cold/whatever, and right now I'm really, really tired, and really, really hoping the rest of the day goes better.

I did manage to finish another prize yesterday for the next week of Melinda's Favorite Things mini-album project. The Suede Shapes are up for this week's prize, and next week's will be this one:

All the stems, leaves, petals, and buttons are separate pieces, so people can put them together however they want, and I even slightly frayed the ends on the ricrac and ribbon. I thought it turned out cute, and I had fun playing with it to put the different examples together, so hopefully people will like it. :)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Rich Christmas kit, etc.

So Rich Christmas and all the stuff that goes with went live in the store yesterday! Jen did a beautiful job with the announcement for the ScrapDish newsletter subscribers. Hope you got it, 'cause there's a great coupon in there! :D Even if you didn't, they're still on sale for 30% off… and if you read farther down, you might find a way to save more also. ;)

And now for a look…
Here's the kit…

And a closer peek…

And here's the Collection that has all the pieces in it…

With all the various combinations, it came out to eight new products. I like to give people choices, ya know. LOL So, just go to my section at ScrapDish if you want to see what they all are. :) And I'll let you in on a little secret. If you don't want the entire collection or already have part of it, if you pick up any of the Coordinates (tags, quick pages, or cards), there's a little coupon in there for an extra 20% discount on the cards (yes, I know) or the alpha bundle or Rich Autumn or Rich Christmas. And that's on top of the discount with the sale going on right now. Shhhh, don't tell anyone. It's a surprise. ;)

Ok, now that all that blatant advertising is out of the way… on to some random chatter. Turns out that little headache I had on Sunday was just the tip of the iceberg. I've been completely knocked out all week by allergies or a cold or something. I don't even know what it is. The symptoms keep changing every day. You name a cold/allergy symptom and I've had it. Monday I was so tired and achy and just plain miserable that I couldn't do anything – I crawled into bed and napped or watched TV as much as the kiddos would allow, and as soon as Mark got home to take over with them I was done for the day. So the last couple of days it seems to have settled into a runny nose and sneezing my head off, even with the antihistamine I've been taking. I've got three or four days worth of my meds left, then I guess I'll be heading in to the doctor if this isn't over by then.

Somehow I managed to finish up those three little design projects I mentioned (a prize and a Mega Kit contribution for RAKScraps, and my contribution to the next ScrapDish group kit). Here's the only one I can show you. A little set of suede shapes that Melinda will be using as a prize for next week's (I think) favorites album project.

I thought they turned out really cute, and I could see designing a kit that would go with them. :)

I think that's it for today. See today's other post immediately below for kid pics. :)

Just the pics :)

Ok, I have not been scrapping at all lately and I've been really bad about posting pics, and really I haven't even been taking many, but here are a few. These are from the day we shot the pics for my ScrapDish profile. The kids wanted me to take more after we were done, so these are some quick shots of them just running around being silly. My camera couldn't keep up, so I apologize for the blurriness and odd exposure in most of them…

(Kaylee telling me I was holding the camera the wrong way.)

(No, she wasn't actually sad, just a fleeting expression that crossed her face. Reminds me of this one.)

And then a couple from Halloween. It was very chilly, so we layered sweats under their costumes. Kind of spoils the effect for Kaylee's, especially since she was in too much of a hurry to get out and go get candy to bother with letting me put the ribbon in her hair. LOL

For those who have asked to see pics of our new bed, I should clarify. Our old waterbed was a soft-sider, which uses a regular bed frame, so all we actually replaced was the mattress and foundation. We're still using the same bed frame, since our bedroom set it some of the very little nice furniture we actually own. But, it doesn't really warrant a picture being posted, since we've had it for years. lol

So that's all for the pics. Another post to follow shortly. :)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Nose to the design stone

Where oh where have I been? It feels like I've been immersed in PhotoShop forever, but really I had a lot of other odds and ends happening that kept me completely out of there for too long, so then I dived back in to get done once I finally got past all that stuff. I'll spare you the boring details (even if I could remember them at this point). There was stuff in there about running numbers so we could figure out our spending account contribution for next year, a project for Matthew for school that fell through the cracks, sorting through clothes for a charity donation for a very needed tax deduction, dental checkup for Kaylee, etc., etc., etc.

We did manage to sneak in a bit of fun though. The four of us went to the Science Night at Matthew's school this week, which was really cool. Favorites were the UV bead bracelets, screamer balloons, some sort of water bottle game based on the weight of compressed air, smashed frozen roses, and a mini-planetarium movie inside an inflatable dome. Between the latter and looking at the moon through a high-powered telescope, and listening to an explanation of how craters are formed, Matthew was dreamily occupied with thoughts of becoming an astronaut during our story time that night. :)

Mark took the kids out trick-or-treating Tuesday night. Matthew was a Storm Trooper and Kaylee was Snow White. They went out for about an hour while I stayed in and passed out candy. Of course, they had a blast and are enjoying their carefully rationed haul.

I also slipped out to go play Bunco again Friday night, although I didn’t win anything this time. There seems to be a beginners' luck thing that often happens, and it was going full force as a newbie walked away with three out of the five prizes. LOL And nope, no pictures of me in the tiara. Maybe next time. ;)

So what have I been working on so diligently? Remember when I released my Rich Autumn kit, I said that I thought I might do a Christmas kit along those lines? Of course you do, and if you don't, just nod and pretend you do. Well I did a Christmas kit that completely coordinates with Rich Autumn. It all mixes and matches. Now granted, you probably wouldn't want to use Santa with the leaf paper or the silk leaves with the snowflake paper, but a heck of a lot of both kits works together. Very cool. So once the kit itself was done, then I decided to do some fun gift tags… and some cards… and a couple of quick pages… and then I decided to offer just the alphas in case someone wanted to use them with the cards or quick pages. And then, after I did all that, I decided to offer the whole shebang as a collection along with Rich Autumn. I'm just so glad to have it finished. Even after all the designing was done, it still took me two full days to do all the packaging and write descriptions and get it all posted to the store. Granted, that was with a lot of interruptions from the kids and such, and Bunco was in there, but still, it was rather tedious. I'm holding off on putting it in stock because we're going to run a special ScrapDish newsletter promotion, so if you aren't subscribed yet, you might want to run do that. ;) I'd post a sneak peek, but really all you have to do is go look at Rich Autumn and imagine that translated to a Christmas theme. LOL

So now I'd like nothing more than to take a nice break from designing, but I have three small design projects due by Friday, none of which I've even started yet. Yikes. And today I am dealing with the mountain range (not just one mountain, but an entire landscape) of laundry that has accumulated on the master bathroom floor (which is where I sort it), and we need to finish up that project of Matthew's that I mentioned before. And I woke up with a terrible headache from allergies. I took my meds and it's mostly gone now, but it's still not how I'd like to feel with so much on my plate.

Oh, and Mom, I got the email and will take care of it, just don't want to pull it up with the little miss running around to see. :)

Ok, better wrap up and get to work! :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Spinning my wheels. And a kit and a layout.

So it looks like I fell back to that once a week thing. I'm having a hard time finding time to blog… and the mental capacity to form coherent thoughts to put together if I did make time. The last week is mostly a big blur with very little to show for it. I think there was a bit of laundry in there. I did some designing, but ended up shelving most of what I did. I backed up a bunch of files – 5 or 6 DVD's worth and still need to do more. I spent some time making a dent in my font organizing, but I'm not really sure why, since with the very little bit of scrapping I do these days, it's not like I'm likely to be using any of them in the near future. Mark got bitten by the organization bug on Saturday and started hauling some of his stuff out of Kaylee's closet (that's going to be a big project), so I spent some time on Sunday sorting through the heaps of clothes we found in there. Some I knew were in there that were very, very long ago donations from Mark's sister, stuff that her girls had outgrown that is about Kaylee's size now. But we also found two boxes and a large bag of the kids' baby/young toddler clothes that I thought we'd gotten rid of a long time ago.

Anyway, I have a couple of things to show that I actually did more than a week ago. First off, ScrapDish just put out our first ever monthly collaborative kit. It turned out really cool. Here's my part:

And you can see the whole thing, available in a few different configurations (ON SALE!), here.

And the other thing is a new layout I did using my Retro Flavour kit for my new designer profile page at ScrapDish. Wasn't I cute? ;)

Journaling: Me, about 19 months, getting my hair done just like Mommy.

The designer main page is here, click on my pic to see my full page. Jen did a great job on these. So fun! :) The pics of me alone and me with the kids were taken a couple of weekends ago. I have a few more of the kids from that day that I'll try to go ahead and post soon, since I'm not exactly cranking out the layouts these days. :p

Thursday, October 12, 2006

So not even 15 minutes after I posted that last entry...

…the doorbell rang.  It was UPS with the rest of our bed!  A day early… again! LOL  So that all worked out.  We drained the old bed and assembled the new one Tuesday night.  It wasn't too bad.  The assembly part took around two hours, including a couple of breaks that we stretched out longer than necessary while we waited for it to fill.  And the old bed was hauled off this morning, no problem.

It's too soon to really say how much we'll like it overall, but so far, so good.  The hardest thing to get used to is the fact that the mattress is way thicker than our old one, so we're sleeping several inches higher than before.  Kind of makes you feel like the princess and the pea sleeping atop her 20 mattresses. LOL  We bought new sheets on clearance when we bought the bed, so we put those on.  I have a feeling our old ones may not even fit the new mattress.

I spent a good chunk of yesterday and today finishing up mega kit file prep stuff.  Took a bit longer than I was expecting, but it's all sorted out and ready to go now.  :)

Got a call for the first time ever today to go pick up Kaylee from school.  I no more than got home from dropping her off and sat down and checked email when the phone rang.  She'd been rubbing the heck out of her right eye and had the whole area red.  I'd seen her rubbing both eyes off and on over the past couple of days and had just chalked it up to allergies, but the school nurse wasn't sure.  So I went and picked her up and took her over to the doctor's office, and it turns out it's… allergies. LOL  But, the doctor said that if she keeps rubbing like that, it could end up infected, so she gave us some eye drops and we're to keep her on the Claratin she's been taking off and on lately.  

Kaylee's really funny about the drops.  She cooperates with the lying down to get them, but then squirms and cries and protests that it hurts during the actual administration, and then afterwards talks excitedly about how great it is that she gets to take two medicines now.  (Yes, my odd child actually likes and looks forward to medicine.  It's like a treat for her.)  If anyone has any tips for getting eye drops into the eye of squirmy 4-year-old who will only keep her eye very slightly open for a split second, I'd love to hear them.

Tomorrow's going to be a busier morning than usual for me, and not only will I get no kid-free time tomorrow morning, but I won't get my usual one-kid time either.  Matthew only has a half-day of school (I still have no idea why), so that means I have to get my act together and pack him a lunch in the morning. (I also have no idea why they cram in lunch, which must be eaten in their classrooms since they can't get everyone through the cafeteria that fast, when they only have a half-day of school.  Why not just let them eat when they get home?)  And I have the Love & Logic thing again tomorrow while Kaylee's in school, which means I have to get up early enough to shower before I get the kids up.  I never did get my shower today, since I didn't get up early enough and I'd planned to do that while Kaylee was at school.  So, uhm, yeah, definitely need one tomorrow. LOL  :-b  

Well, since I'm still not caught up on sleep and I really have to get up earlier tomorrow, I suppose I should head for bed.  G'night. :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rambling recap

This morning was dark and stormy. Fortunately, it held off until after we put Matthew on the bus, and seems to have stopped for now, so hopefully, it will be dry when he gets home as well. So kind of a low-key day after a blur of a weekend.

Friday I cleaned like a mad woman all day in preparation for the magician who was staying with us this weekend. Then I headed out to Bunco Friday night. It's always a lot of fun. For those who don't know, it's basically a dice game along the lines of Yahtzee, but way easier and faster paced. We have 3 or 4 tables of 4 people each, and you constantly rotate around and change partners. We each kick in $5 to play and have prizes at the end for most wins, most losses, most Buncos and last Bunco. You get to wear a tiara when you get a Bunco. LOL The evening is only partly about the game – it's really more about a chance to hang out, gab, and eat. The group I play with is beyond laid back, and we always laugh a lot. :D Oh, and I won $11 for most wins this time!

So, I got home from Bunco fairly early - 11:30, I think. But I was still wide awake and wired on caffeine, so I just started surfing some forums I hadn't checked in a while and got sucked into reading a bunch of stuff that seemed terribly important and compelling at the time. Well, as I crawled into bed around 3:30a.m., and especially when I had to get up four hours later, I was thinking, no, not so much. LOL It's been a long time since I've completely wasted that much time (I don't even remember 95% of what I read), and I'm still paying for it, since I didn't get a whole lot of extra sleep the last few nights either, and I've been dead tired the past couple of days.

Saturday I spent all day finishing up some stuff for ScrapDish. I'll have a layout to show you later, but I'm too tired to mess with posting it right now.

The magician this time was a younger guy (20-something), and he brought a friend along and they went out partying Saturday night, so they didn't stay here that night, just met Mark at the lecture on Sunday, then came back here afterwards. They napped (did I mention they'd been out partying? LOL), and then went out with Mark for a late dinner and stayed out talking magic until the restaurant closed.

Mark had to go into work for a meeting Monday morning, so we just let the guys sleep while we went about our morning. I got home from picking up Kaylee from school at about 11:00 to see UPS in front of our house unloading several large boxes, so I quickly parked, and we ran around to the front door. I wasn't sure if the guys would have opened up for them, and I didn’t want the UPS guys to run off. Fortunately, after some self-debate, the magician's friend had let them in. Turns out the delivery was our new bed – a day ahead of schedule. And I think the delivery had actually been what woke the guys up. :-b They headed out not long after that. Although I didn't see much of them, they seemed very nice. LOL

Mark's back was bothering him and he'd left his back belt and pain meds at home, so he came back here to work from home that afternoon. We decided to go ahead and start draining the waterbed so that we could get the new bed set up. We got that started and then Mark went and took a closer look at the boxes. There were four boxes. We knew that we still had another one coming and just figured it was my pillow that was missing, since that was coming separately. Nope. The pillow was there. There are actually two more boxes for the bed that haven't arrived yet! Argh. So we stopped the waterbed draining and put it all back together, and now we wait. Bummer. The pieces are supposed to be here tomorrow, which is fine, but… this Thursday is our semi-annual bulk pickup trash day, and we want to be able to dump our old bed out there then. If they try to deliver on Wednesday when I'm not home, that means we won't get the new bed before the old one is gone. Fun, fun, fun.

Anyway, so that's the exciting highlights of my last few days. I'm actually caught up on all my design stuff right now! I mean, I have a couple of things for RAKScraps that I could get started on, but no pressing deadlines for either there or ScrapDish. Ahhh, I'm so relaxed. LOL I do have to continue prepping mega kit files, as those are due in today, but our new team members all got theirs done way early, as did a few other people, and I've got those checked already, so I should be able to manage the rest no problem.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Chat freebie!

My Simply Autumn mini-kit is going to be the freebie at Friday night's Gallery Mixer at RAKScraps!  All you have to do to get it is show up!  Complete a fun trivia hunt by 4pm Eastern tomorrow to be eligible for even more prizes from the awesome monthly sponsors.  See this thread for details!  :)

(By the way, I won't be at the chat.  It falls on my Bunco night and this is the first time I've been able to go in months! LOL)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Vote! And an update on the bed.

Before I get to the bed update, I almost forgot to post this! RAKScraps and ScrapDish both made the Creating Keepsakes Reader's Choice Awards ballot! So exciting! Please vote for us!! You don't have to vote in every category. Since I don’t paper scrap, I think there were only like two other categories that I had any clue about. LOL These are the ones we're in:
  • Section 15. Internet Sites - Vote for (alpha order)
  • Section 35. Scrapbook Kits - Vote for Summer SunsationsZ (2nd one from the bottom of the section)


Ok, now about the bed. Well, it turned out that the leak was patchable, and it wasn't Mark's side that was leaking after all. It was my side, but because of where the hole was, all the water that was coming out went onto his side! LOL So we drained the bed, dried everything off, patched the leak, and refilled it. And we got it all done that same evening. BUT… after seeing what bad shape the inside of the bed was in, with tears in the liner and severely deteriorating chunks of foam everywhere (we actually ended up duct taping the foam to the interior frame on Mark's side of the bed), and discovering that the heater on Mark's side no longer works, after much discussion, focusing mainly on my paranoia about what would happen if the leak were on the bottom next time, we decided to go ahead and replace the bed anyway.

We missed the original deal that was going on, but they had another sale with a slightly smaller discount but much longer free financing. So Mark and I have been back and forth to the bed store, separately and together, five times in the last few days. We debated between beds ranging from the very nice mid-range "regular" sleep number beds to the ones with the way more expensive adjustable foundation, similar to a hospital bed. We would not have even considered the adjustable if it were not for Mark's back. In the end, we went with the least expensive regular flat one that we had been considering, and Mark's going to be on the lookout for a really nice massaging recliner for his back, since he's been wanting a recliner anyway. It's still a lot of money, but only about half of what we could have spent. The bed should be here in about a week.

Oh, and while trying to decide between the bed we got and the next model up, I made an interesting discovery. The next model up felt way better to me, but Mark actually didn't like it quite as well. Well, I hadn't noticed at first that they had different pillows on all the beds, so I grabbed the pillow from the bed I liked and took it over to the cheaper one, and it made a huge difference! Basically, the two beds felt the same to me, and it was the pillow on the cheaper one that I hadn't liked! And the funny thing is that the pillow I liked best was one of the firmest they had. I currently sleep with a big stack of very soft pillows, so it will be interesting to see if I still like it for sleeping once I get one here. The do have a one-time 30-day exchange policy, so if it turns out I don't like it, at least I have one more chance to find one that I will like.

Alrighty, I've rambled on long enough about the bed! LOL

In other news, the kids are on fall break this week. TOTALLY snuck up on us. As in, the kids got sent home free tickets for the state fair last Thursday, and I looked at the dates on the tickets, which are only good during the week, and I knew we'd used them last year but couldn't remember how we were able to go. So I went and looked at the calendar, then pulled out the school calendar and about fell over when I saw that this week was going to be fall break. I told Mark when he got home, and he let out an emphatic "no way – they've only been back in school a month". Actually, it's been nearly two months already. It's amazing how fast it goes! Anyway, we're not doing anything big. Mark doesn't have any vacation time, since his company's calendar for that sort of thing runs from the beginning of October to the end of September. And even with the free tickets for the kids, the fair still adds up to a lot of money between tickets for Mark and I, parking, food, games, etc., especially since we just went last year. So the kids and I are just hanging out and playing games and doing little stuff. Gonna bake some cookies, hit the library, maybe hit McD's play area for lunch one day, etc. Unfortunately, it's a really busy week for me with other stuff I need to do too, so I don’t have as much free time as I'd like. I got a lot done the last two days, but there are several more odds and ends for me to take care of, and we still need to finish getting the house ready for our guest magician this weekend. Maybe I should start planning for winter break right now, so we get to do something more exciting! LOL

Well, even though the kids are off, there's no guarantee that they'll let me sleep in tomorrow, so I guess I should head that way. G'night! :)

Friday, September 29, 2006

The one in which Mark ends up sleeping in the guest room.

We all actually went to bed relatively early last night.  About 1am Kaylee wakes up, so I go grab her and throw her in our bed (this is our norm, and we have other things that are higher priority with her right now than this).  About 15 minutes later I wake up to Mark rummaging in the bathroom for a towel.  The bed is soaked.  The first half-asleep reaction is to figure it's Kaylee's doing (but she's dry).  So Mark spreads out a couple of towels and we go back to sleep.  Fifteen minutes later he's up again – the towel has soaked through again.  We're awake enough now to realize this is obviously a problem with our 15+ year old soft-sider waterbed.  Sigh.  

The bed has dual-bladders, and the problem seemed to be on Mark's side, so he headed for the guest room and slept the rest of the night there.  Kaylee and I slept the rest of the night on my side of the bed and it was fine, so at least the leak is slow enough to not cause a problem if no one is actually lying on that side.  So we opened up the bed this morning and tried to see if we could tell where the leak was, but we couldn't tell more than the general vicinity – somewhere along the side that faces the center of the bed.  Supposedly, if the leak is in a seam it will not be repairable, but if it's elsewhere we can patch it.  

We really don't want to be spending money on a new mattress set right now, so we're hoping it's fixable.  Just in case, Mark is starting to check out these "sleep number" beds that his family really likes.  They're pricey.  But with Mark's back problems, it may be worth it.  And there's a sale and financing deal going on right now – ending today.  Yikes.  We really don't want to make a snap decision on that big of a purchase.  Regardless though, we have a guest coming next weekend, so if we don't have a solution by then, it's going to make for some awkward sleeping arrangements.

So, Mark should be home soon, and we're going to take a closer look at the waterbed and see if we can figure out what's going on.  Send us lots of "patchable leak" vibes. LOL

And that's not what you were expecting from the title, is it? ;-)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Chatter, new kit. :)

Hi again. Going to try to get back in the habit of getting on here more than once a week. Twice a week would be a start, right? LOL

Let's see – Monday I had Matthew's parent-teacher conference. It went well. His regular teacher, Mrs. W, is back from her maternity leave, and is very cool. Seems really nice and relaxed. The sub was also nice, but seemed a bit rigid, and I got the impression from some things she'd said that Mrs. W would be the same way, but that doesn't seem to be the case at all. Anyway, it's pretty much the same story it always is – he's rockin' the math, not so much on the reading, but he's definitely gaining ground in that area. He needs to work on his handwriting, which I mentioned is not helped by the fact that he wraps his thumb around his other fingers instead of using it to help control the tip, so she will be working on that with him at school as well. His main downfall, as always, is not being able to focus, 'cause he's just too much of a chatterbox, but apparently he's got plenty of company in that regard in this class. LOL She told me about some strategies she's trying though, and they seem to have gone over well with Matthew, so hopefully, that won't be too big of a problem this year.

And then Monday night was also my usual TOPS and errand night. Trying to get to my TOPS meeting was interesting. Apparently, Monday night was the high school there's homecoming parade, so they had all the streets blocked off around the church where we meet. I ended up parking about 3 blocks away. Since it was dark by the time the meeting let out, a couple of people who had managed to sneak their cars past the barricades drove all the rest of us to our cars. LOL

Monday I found out that Matthew's picture day was going to be today. (In all fairness, they probably sent something home earlier that I just missed reading – they send so much paper home). Well, when I was out shopping Monday night, I forgot all about it, so Tuesday morning while Kaylee was at school, I ran over to Target and got Matthew a new shirt. Most all of his stuff from last year still fits, so he hasn't gotten anything new lately. I checked the sizes in the shirts he's been wearing and they range from small to large, so I picked him up a medium. Had him try it on when he got home. He was positively drowning in it! So I called Mark and had him pick up a small one on his way home from work. It's still a little big, and I think it will shrink some when I wash it, but Matthew wanted to wear it that way. I think it's only going to be a traditional head and shoulders shot anyway, so it should look fine. And I'm sure it will be accompanied by the very large fake camera smile that Matthew was practicing in the mirror this morning. LOL

I also finished up that autumn kit on Monday, but didn't actually get it into the store until Tuesday. I decided to just not worry about being creative on the name, and just went with one that described the look I was after – Rich Autumn. Here's the preview:

I put an introductory price of 30% off, so if you want it, go grab it now! :)

The original inspiration was this and this (this guy's whole portfolio is amazing), but I decided the greens and reds were too bright and saturated to work for most people, so I just kept going deeper and richer until I came out with the above. :-) I am totally in love with that crimson paper especially, and I came "this close" to pulling it out and using it as the start of a Christmas kit, so don't be surprised if you see something somewhat similar pop up in that direction. LOL

So anyway, after I got that posted and my ad sent out, I spent the rest of the day prize-wrangling for RAKScraps, and have been working on that more today, in between playing rounds of Disney Princess memory card games with Kaylee, in which she makes up the rules as she goes along. LOL

Finally, I was tagged by Tania.

Here are the Tag rules:
List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether or not they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

As I think I've said before, I don't really listen to a whole lot of music. I treasure my quiet time. But I do listen while driving, and once in a while I'll turn on a Yahoo feed late in the evening, so here are some of my current favorites, a couple of which I'm not sure I should be publicly admitting even having listened to, let alone them being faves. LOL

1. KT Tunstall - Black Horse & The Cherry Tree
2. Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten
3. Shakira – Hips Don't Lie
4. The Pussycat Dolls – Buttons
5. Evanescence – Call Me When You're Sober
6. Dirty Vegas – Days Go By
7. And lastly, anything Kaylee sings, which she's been doing a lot lately. Last night after dinner we were treated to a medley of Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, The Wheels on the Bus, and If You're Happy And You Know It. Too cute!

I've always been a good little girl and done all my tags, but I think I'm going to be a rebel today and not tag anyone. I'd love to see anyone's answers though, so if you'd like to do this, considered yourself tagged. ;)

Alrighty, I've been working on this post on and off all day, so I guess I'd better put it up before it gets any longer! LOL

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sunday again.

Another week gone by! I don't even remember half of what I did this week. I know I spent a lot of time designing. Got my RAKScraps October prize done. Here it is:

I worked some more on the kit to sell that I started, oh, about three weeks ago, and I think it's close to being done. I was going to add more to it, but since I kind of lost my momentum, I think I'll probably just fix up a couple of the elements that aren't quite right yet, finish up the previews, and let it go at that. I still need to name it though too. It's another autumn-themed kit and every name I think of that seems oh so totally original to me is already taken! LOL Maybe I ought to have one of those kit-naming contests here and put all three of you who read my blog to the test! ;-)

I've mostly finished up my part of another kit, but I don't think I'm supposed to talk about it yet, so that will just be a super-micro-teaser. LOL

I still need to get going on my RAKScraps October Mega Kit contribution, but that will probably have to wait a couple of days, since the October prizes from the team are due tomorrow, so I have to get all those rounded up and organized.

Speaking of the RAKScraps team, we added new members this week as well! It's so fun to be getting more people in there. I love the fresh excitement all the new people bring, even if it does come mixed with a lot of chaos in the beginning as they learn their way around. :-)

Ok, Outlook is telling me to go to bed again. It cracked me up how many of you found that amusing last time I mentioned it, so I'll just say that I looove my quiet time in the evening after the kids are asleep and often get my second wind and get so wrapped up in what I'm doing that I don't notice the time, and I stay up waaay too late. Then I end up paying for it dearly in the morning when I have to get up to get the kids off to school! That darn bus is here at 7am, and after that I just have time to come back here and eat a bowl of cereal before I have to take Kaylee to school. And try as I might, I just don't function well on less than about 6½ hours of sleep, and really, I should be getting more like 8. So stop laughing at me! LOL Ok, I'm laughing at me, so I guess you can too!

G'night! :-)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Gosh, it gets dusty in here fast.

So busy. Let's see, catch up a bit first. We enjoyed the rest of my folks' visit. They left last Sunday. We took advantage of their last night here to have them watch the kids, while Mark and I went out for a movie and dinner. I can't remember the last time the two of us got out without the kids, so that was nice. We saw "The Illusionist". Really good movie, even if you're not into magic, and all the magic done in it is more or less historically accurate. Very cool.

The RAKScraps Mega Kit started coming out last night. Since Jeanine has been out with her surgery, I did the group preview and took care of the file prep for it this month, which can be hectic with a lot of detail work, communicating with multiple team members at once, etc. Anyway, the kit is so fun and everyone did a great job. Here's the group preview:

Mine is the one with the globe and paper people chains just above the mega kit stamp. Kinda out there on the whimsical scale. LOL Hopefully someone will be able to use it. At least there's some nice plain twill in there if nothing else. ;)

I can't remember if I've mentioned it here before, but I took over coordinating the creative team at ScrapDish a couple of months ago. Robin had been doing it, but has gotten so busy with her designs (she also sells at SBB at DSD now – go, Robin!), that I offered to help out. Well, this week it also happened to be time to revamp the process for the way the CT runs, so there have been endless details with trying to get all that figured out, and I've still got more work to do to get all my systems in place so that hopefully things will run smoothly.

I also started another kit to sell, but I haven't had time to work on it this week. Hopefully, I can get some more done on it this weekend, but I need to get started on my next prize kit for RAKScraps too. Mark has D&D this afternoon, which means I've got the kids. I think tomorrow morning we might go do some shopping for fall clothes for the kids. I think they've probably outgrown most of their stuff from last year, and, yes, I have delusions that it will turn cool here soon. We actually did have a few mornings this week that we had to wear jackets, but it was still plenty hot in the afternoon. Oh, and of course, since it's football season, I'll lose Mark to the TV all day tomorrow, which means I'll mostly have the kids again tomorrow. Sigh. :b

What else have I been up to? I had my teeth cleaned on Monday - woo hoo :b, and I've gone to the first two sessions of Love & Logic parenting classes at Kaylee's school the last two Fridays. This is the method the school uses, so it's good to be on the same page, and some of the stuff has already come in handy with Miss Moody. The classes have actually been kind of fun, but they cut into my very valuable and already very minimal kid-free time! LOL

So, I've still just been mostly skimming blogs and boards, and I owe some people some emails. Sorry about that. Hopefully, I'll find my pace again soon!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Magic report, new kit.

Hi! Just peeking in quickly. The magic convention went really well overall. Mark hardly stopped running all weekend. The shows were wonderful. It's been a long time since I laughed that hard or that much. My dad declared it some of the best live entertainment he'd ever seen in his life. We got to sit right up front for all of them as a perk for all Mark's hard work.

I got pulled up on stage Friday night for a trick involving a selected card and a bow and arrow. I really hate being the center of attention, but I wasn't as nervous as I thought I would be. Good thing I didn't know at the time that there were 1100 people in the room (the stage lights were so bright I couldn't see past the first row), or I probably would have run and hid. It was all a lot of laughs, and, of course, the guy never shot at me. Matthew was very relieved afterwards that I was ok. LOL

Matthew got pulled up Saturday night in a smaller show for an absolutely wild trick which involved a circle of men protecting him while the magician lunged at them crazily, trying to get to the cards Matthew had stuffed in his sock. Too funny. He also was called up very briefly Sunday night to attempt to pet a very wiggly "dog" made from a cloth napkin. It sprang away as soon as Matthew reached for it, and Matthew jumped two feet. :)

And, nope, no pictures of any of it, since flash photography wasn't allowed.

Kaylee and my mom had a great time here at the house, and all the gifts I picked up for her were a big hit.

My folks are visiting through the rest of this week, so I'll still be scarce for a while. I have been quickly skimming blogs, but not taking the time to comment while they're here. Hope to be back to that next week. :)

I did manage to get the finishing touches put on the kit I'd been working on.

in the store here

Wanna see the inspiration? Click here. I just loved the colors and the whole sort of nostalgic retro feel. And I just had to go with the Canadian spelling of "flavour". LOL

Alrighty, time for me to get to bed, since I have to get the kids up early for school tomorrow. G'night! :)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The big event approaches...

So, the magic convention that Mark is talent chairman for is finally almost here. After a year and a half of planning and organizing, several extended "discussions" with the other committee members to get them to see his vision of how things could be, contracts and schedules, advertising and program design, and gazillions of emails and phone calls, it all comes down to this weekend. I did get roped into helping him with a little bit of it, but he's worked so hard on this. I really hope it all goes smoothly.

He'll be down at the hotel all weekend. My folks arrive tomorrow, and my dad and I are going to take Matthew down to the evening shows while Kaylee and my mom stay at the house for some girl time. Kaylee was very upset that she's not old enough to go, but I'm sure she'll have fun with my mom, and I've bought her some special presents for each night to help make up for her not getting to go.

My folks will be staying for about a week and a half, so I may be a bit more MIA than usual while they're here. Right now I'm just trying to get the house ready in among all the usual errands and schoolwork and designing and such. And since I still don't have a maid or magical powers, that means I have to go scrub the guest bath now. :-b

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Little things make me happy. :-)

As Kaylee and I were walking back to the house this morning after putting Matthew on the bus, a semi pulled up on the adjacent street. Very odd, since we're in a very twisty residential neighborhood, and normally the only semis we see are occasional moving vans. Then the semi turned onto our street and parked across from our house. It was at that point that I noticed the top of the semi's trailer was covered by a black tarp instead of the normal solid roof. I had a suspicion but dared not get my hopes up.

When I left to take Kaylee to school, the semi had moved forward and there were orange cones lining the street. I dropped Kaylee off at school, then went to do a bit of grocery shopping. When I got home, where the semi had been was a mountain of bark mulch! Woo hoo!

Why am I so excited about mulch? Across the street from our house is a park with two small playground areas set into pits, which are supposed to be filled with mulch. All summer long, those pits have been pretty well empty, with just barely a layer of dirty mulch, and lots of exposed uneven layers of rubber mats. The few times we got over there, kids were always tripping over the mats and would get just filthy if they got down on the ground. Not to mention that the drop from the bottom of the equipment and sidewalks was a good nine inches more than it should have been. I kept meaning to call the city to see when it was going to be filled in, but somehow always got sidetracked.

Right at this very moment there is a crew of guys working away with bulldozers and bobcats and rakes to move Mulch Mountain into the playgrounds!! We're going to have safe, clean playgrounds again! Now hopefully, the weather will cool off soon so that we can actually use them without melting! :D

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A little Matthew story: The other night when I did Matthew's bedtime stories, he chose "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". We've read this book lots of times, but this time he asked me about why the Grinch took all the Whos' stuff, so I explained that the Grinch had thought he could take away the Whos' happiness by taking all their stuff, but they were still happy because they didn't need things to be happy. His response? Very seriously, "If someone took my X-Box, I would totally get them." ROTFL So much for life lessons from Dr. Seuss. :-b

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Not nearly weird enough. ;-)

I've been tagged by Gina!

List 5 weird things about yourself or your pets. Tag 5 friends and list them. Then, those people need to write on their blogs about 5 weird things, and state the rules, and tag 5 more people. Don't forget to let the people you tag know by posting a comment on their blog!

We don't have any pets, and I'm having a really hard time thinking of weird things about myself.  I mean, I'm completely normal; it's everyone else who's weird. Right? ;)

  1. I enjoy doing math puzzles and find them very relaxing.

  2. I am detail-obsessed and have to have everything "just so" when it comes to things like computer files, yet it doesn't bother nearly as much that my house is often a sea of clutter and chaos.

  3. I hate things that are perfumed and would much prefer to use unscented everything.  It bugs the heck out of me that the store doesn't carry my unscented fabric softener in the economy sizes, so every once in a while, I give in and buy the smelly ones and then go around feeling like I need to sneeze all the time.

  4. I do things that require strength, such as sports (ha!), with my right hand, but things that require precision, such as writing or needlework, with my left hand.  Except for using a mouse.  I do that right-handed, since there were no left-handed mice available where I first learned to use one.

  5. I sleep with enough pillows that I'm more or less sitting up.  If I'm in a situation where I actually have to lie down flat, I feel slightly panicky.

Hmmmm, such a decision to try to decide who to tag.  There are so many people who I'd like to put through this little soul-searching exercise to see what they come up with! LOL  I will tag Jane, Fransie, Nat, Rachel, and Karin.  :-)

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Happy Anniversary! Kit stuff! :-)

Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad!!! (Yep, they read – keeps me in line. ;) ) I am horrible with dates, and am not positive, but I think this makes 40 years! Congrats! I love you!! Can't wait to see you. :)

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They're finished! Yep, those element sets are done and in the store! Just under three weeks, start to finish! It's a new record for me! ROTFL!

So, do you wanna see 'em? Here they are…

I'm really happy with the way they turned out, especially after I came "this close" to ditching the entire thing after I decided I needed to start over on the alpha when I got to about Y on the first go 'round! LOL I think they're tons of fun. So I put 'em up today separately and as a bundle and put them on sale 25% off through Labor Day. Now I just gotta figure out how to run some ads, since I never got around to that when my kit came out! :-b

Here's the link to the bundle, and then there are links within the description for the individual sets if you wanna take a closer look at any of 'em.

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What else is new? Let's see. Had the info meeting thing at Kaylee's school Thursday night. Hung around and talked to her teacher a bit and think I got past that whole stalker thing. ;-) Also had a nice chat with the mom of one of the girls in Kaylee's class. She's new to all this stuff and said I really looked like I knew what I was doing. Wow, guess I'm a professional mom of school-age kids now. LOL

The weekend zipped right by. Mark had his gaming friends over yesterday. We just hung out today, and I did three or four loads of laundry. Woo hoo. :-) I spent pretty much all morning getting the stuff posted to the store, since I'm still learning my way around Zen Cart. One of these days I'll have enough practice that I won't have to keep referring back to my notes for every little step. Of course, I probably have to put something up more often than once every couple of months for that to happen. :-b

My Sarah's Cottage kit is being given out as the prize for this month's Scrapper's Spotlight challenge, so go scraplift one of Lourdes' fabulous layouts and get a fun little kit out of it too. :-)

I also actually did get my prize for next month done too the other day when I needed a break from the cord craziness. It was inspired by my neighbor's mailbox. Well, actually not their mailbox, but what they have planted around it – a ginormous cactus. I think it's a prickly pear. I'm sure the mailman just looooves that. :-b Well, anyway, it's actually kind of an ugly plant most of the time, but a few weeks out of the year it gets these gorgeous waxy yellow and orange flowers on it, so last time it bloomed, I went out and stood in the street and took pictures. And so from that I give you…

Darn Photoshop actually crashed on me while I was creating that bottom paper, so I had to start over on it, and of course, it looks very little like the original version. One of these days I'll learn to save more often! I'd gotten spoiled by how stable PS has been for me.

Alrighty, my Outlook reminder giving me my 15-minute warning to go to bed just popped up, so I guess I'll get this posted and call it a night! :-)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Clearance sale, layouts, and news.

{booming announcer voice} ScrapDish is having their first ever Clearance Sale! 200 items dirt-cheap! Includes Day-Old-Donuts, which help fund RAKScraps, as well as regular designer items! Sale ends Labor Day and then those kits will be gone, gone, GONE! Run over there now while the savings are hot!! {end booming announcer voice}

LOL Seriously, I put all 13 of the Day Old Donut kits below in the sale at 60-65% off, and they'll be gone after September 4th, so if you ever wanted 'em, now is the time! :-)

In other news, the RAKScraps August newsletter, which is totally awesome as always, came out last night, so I can now post my Mega Kit contribution... well as my remaining sponsor layouts:

See my gallery at RAKScraps for journaling and credits. :-)

These will be my last sponsor layouts. I made a very difficult decision and stepped down from the sponsor team. I'd been thinking about it for quite a while. I really loved working with the sponsors. It was so cool to get exposed to so many different designers, and, hey, you can't beat free kits, right? But I have always been, and always will be, an incredibly slow scrapper, so these were taking up a ton of my time, and I decided I wanted to divert that time to designing for a while. Hopefully, I'll still find time to do a layout just for fun now and then, but I imagine my scrapping will be pretty minimal for a while… like maybe 'til Kaylee starts kindergarten next year. LOL

I'm sure there are other things I wanted to blog about, but they escape me at the moment, and it's almost time to go meet Matthew's bus, so I guess that's it for today!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Still hot. School update. Jeanine's birthday sale.

I think I need to just make up a new blog template that starts every post with "It's so stinkin' hot today." :-b

How sad is it that the days that don’t break 100°F look "cool". Too bad they don't feel cool when you're out in it! I think it makes it worse that with the kids being in school, it just seems like we should get to have fall weather, even though fall is still technically a long way off, and usually doesn't really hit here until around Halloween anyway. Let's just hope those thunderstorms actually happen. Everything is soooo dry. And I've heard that the lake where we get our water is incredibly low. We've been on "Stage 3 Drought Restrictions" since early June, with no end in sight.

Anyway, Matthew's "meet the teacher" went fine. His regular teacher just had a baby and still has five weeks of maternity leave left, so he'll have a sub until then, but they were both there for that. The kids have two whole days of school under their belts now and are on their third. Matthew came home yesterday complaining. "We had to do so much more work than the first day!!!!" He went on and on and on about all the stuff they had to do. Oh, the torture of being a second-grader. ;-)

Kaylee had great days at school. She was all smiles and excited when I picked her up. Yesterday we needed to stop for gas on the way home. I stopped at a pump that was in the shade and put down my window so that it wouldn't get too hot in there for her while I was pumping (we have pay at the pump). When I got back in, she asked if she could have her window down, so I put it down for her while I was getting situated. When I got ready to pull out and drive the four blocks back to house, I asked her if she wanted it up. No. Okay, well just let me know if you want it up. We pull out of the shade and she immediately starts panicked screaming for me to put it up because it's too bright (we have tinted windows), so I do. Then five seconds later she changes her mind and wants it back down. I tell her I'm not putting it back down, since she just told me she wanted it up, and this is a precedent I don't want to set. No way am I going to be putting her window up and down every five seconds every time we drive anywhere. She continues yelling/screaming/sobbing to put the window down. We get to the house and she's still freaking out and doesn't want to get out and go in the house. It's 90-something degrees out. No way am I going to stand in the garage and argue with her, so I calmly drag her out of the SUV, and we go in the house, where she continues her fit. I tried to get her to calm down, but when she gets like this anything I say to her just makes her madder, so I finally just had to walk away and go about my business while she followed me around sobbing until she finally calmed herself down. I swear this girl is going to be the end of my sanity. :-b

In other news, yesterday was Jeanine's birthday!! Jeanine is the owner of both RAKScraps and ScrapDish and is just an awesome person and a total sweetheart!! She juggles a load that makes my life look like a day at the beach and constantly amazes me with all that she manages to do. (And she's so incredibly modest that she would hate it that I said that!) Here's the card I made for her to post at RAKScraps.

I found the quote on ThinkExist and just thought it was too perfect, since Jeanine is always such an uplifting friend. :D The kit is Jeanine's awesome "Essence" at And it's on sale! Go grab it right now! In fact, all of her stuff is on sale at SBB and ScrapDish too and there's a coupon for even more savings! Check out the sale info on her blog!

I've been working a lot on the elements sets (yep, decided to go that route with this instead of a kit), and have them partly done. I just need to go back and redo the first part now that I've figured out how I want to do it! It's all taking way longer than I originally anticipated, and I'll probably wind up making about 2¢ per hour on it, but I refuse to give up on it now! LOL

Alrighty. I have a little bit of business to take care of before I run off to pick Miss Thing up from school. Wish us a tantrum-free day! :-)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Meet the teacher

Ugh. So hot out.

We went to Kaylee's school this morning to pick up all the paperwork, see her classroom, and meet her teacher.  The teacher seems nice, as does her aide, although the aide had a pretty thick accent, so I had a little trouble understanding her.  Matthew was very cute, enthusiastically showing Kaylee all around the room.  I was glancing over the names on the info list for Kaylee's class to see how they matched up with the locker arrangement (Kaylee's class is in the morning, and there's another class in that room in the afternoon), and just get a general idea of what the names were, since last year there were a lot of very unusual names in Kaylee's class and with the way she would pronounce them, I would have no idea what she was saying.  So then the teacher casually walks over and picks up the list and carries it around with her.  Uhm, great.  Kaylee's teacher's first impression of me is that I'm either just very nosy or a stalker. :-p

Anyway, when it was time to go, Kaylee did not want to leave, and got very cranky, screeching at Matthew if he tried to talk to her or hold her hand while we were walking in the parking lot or basically even breathe in her direction.  So much fun.  Not.  

Our next stop was the library to turn in the kids' summer reading logs so they could pick out a free paperback book.  Kaylee's crankiness continued.

Next was a quick stop at the store to pick up some prescriptions and hamburger.  Miss cranky part three.  

Such a fun morning.

Did I mention it was hot out?  We've been home for over an hour and I still have a headache from the heat.  Blech.  And we have to go back out in it for the classroom thing at Matthew's school in a couple of hours.  Double-blech.

And tomorrow school starts back up for real.  And we're going to have to be up at 6a.m.  I think it's going to be harder on me than it is on them.  Especially since I've been staying up really late to try to get stuff done after they're in bed.  I've gone to bed a bit earlier the last couple of nights, but it's been taking me forever to fall asleep, so I'm not really getting much more sleep.

Hopefully, Matthew's school thing will go better, and Kaylee will be out of this little mood.  (Note to self: avoid any behavior that could be construed as stalker-ish. :-b)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Good morning. :) Digital decluttering and such.

Stretched out in bed, mentally awake, but still physically asleep.  The bright sunlight streaming in the windows, washing over me.  The sounds of the kids playing quietly together in the next room, punctuated by rolling waves of preschool girl giggles.  Savoring these moments, knowing that the days of getting up before dawn and the hustle and bustle of getting the kids off to school are just around the corner.  The perfect late summer morning.

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I took a break from working on the kit the last day and a half.  I was enjoying it even though tedious, but then the tediousness took over.  Especially since I'm going to redo part of it, since I wasn't happy with the way it came out.  :-b  Anyway, I had an overwhelming attack of needing to tackle some of my digital clutter, specifically the "links" bar in IE and my email inbox.  I have this habit of just tossing things onto my links bar that I want to come back and look at later and then either never coming back, or deciding to keep the link but not organizing it into the proper category in my favorites so that I can find it later.  It had gotten to the point where I was having to scroll down ridiculously far in the links to get to the little widgets that I use all the time that do need to be there.  So I spent Thursday evening going through all those and getting them down to a manageable level.  Still needs a little work, and the favorites categories could use a major sort and purge, but that can wait.

While I was at it, I went through and trimmed down my Yahoo group list a bit and began changing my email address for those.  I'm gradually switching all my emails over to one from my own domain. After being stable for the longest time, our ISP has been bought or merged of something yet again.  I think this is the third time since we had them.  It started out as, then went to something like, and then to, and now is going to be something like roadrunner something or other since it's under Time-Warner now. Of course, they can't leave well enough alone and just let everyone keep their same email addresses.  So, anyway, since I'm planning to keep my kimetc domain for the long haul, I'm switching everything over to that, but yikes there's a lot to switch, so it's going to take some time.  

So then yesterday, I spent practically alllllll day working on getting my inbox sorted out.  There were, of course, breaks for the necessities, like Matthew reading five or six short books to me, or having Kaylee do my "fashions".  I look just stunning in a fluffy sparkly pink scarf and bejeweled gold plastic crown with pretend lipstick and nail polish, by the way. ;-)  Anyway, I started out with around 600 emails in my inbox I think, and finally, by around midnight, I managed to whittle it down a mere 15 messages that were either currently relevant or that I needed to do a bit more investigation on before I decide what to do with them.  This doesn't include some other folders I have that have stuff automatically filtered into them, but the inbox is where I need to hunt for stuff and can never find what I need, so this is going to make that so much easier.

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I'm back.  Did you miss me?  I had to take a break from writing to mend Cinderella's wedding dress, the overskirt of which had torn at the waist across about a third of the width of the gown. Good thing it's just a costume and doesn't need to be perfect and it doesn't matter that that layer of the skirt is an inch or two shorter on that side now. LOL  I'm so proud of myself for just jumping on that and getting it done.  Normally when something of the kids' needs mending, it sits in my closet until they've outgrown it.  But she's been wearing this gown almost every day lately, and when she put it on this morning and I saw that huge gap, I knew I needed to do it before it got worse.  So Kaylee very impatiently waited while I took the 20 or 30 minutes to fix it, then decided she didn't feel like wearing it right now. :-b

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So Bloglines was totally screwy yesterday.  It's been missing some feeds and such anyway, but then yesterday, it was showing new feed indicators, but wasn't displaying the posts, so I'd have to click over to look at them directly.  It said in the Bloglines news that it was messed up because the servers were catching up after a security patch.  I hope it's better now.  So annoying.  I've gotten so totally dependent on it to make sure I don’t miss anything on the 103 (and growing) feeds I subscribe to. :-b

Ok, time to get going with my day!  Happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A whole week?

Bad blogger. Let's see… what have we been doing for the past week?

There were a couple of more mornings at the park. The kids had fun playing with the assorted kids who were there from day to day. Gets a little hot and boring for me, but that's the way it goes I guess. Took the kids on a longer bike ride (with me walking along with Kaylee) to the back of the park. Kaylee did not like the speed she picked up going down the gentle inclines, so I had to hold onto the bike and slow her down when we got to those parts.

There was also a day of running errands, the highlights of which were a visit to the library for another full load of books for the kids, and a stop at Target for new backpacks for the kids. Matthew got a navy blue one with skater-related "graffiti" on it. That one was his first choice, then he tried to change his mind several times, but all of the others had functional problems such as design which made it darn near impossible to open some of the zippers, so he ended up with door number one. Kaylee picked out a Strawberry Shortcake one, which she chose based solely on the sparkly play pom-poms that came with it. She's been using them a lot and is very cute doing her "cheers" which mainly consist of counting loudly and slowly while striking different poses. LOL

While we were out, I also picked up Elsie Flannigan's "52 Scrapbooking Challenges" at our local scrapbook store. I haven't had too much of a chance to look at it yet, but what I did see seemed pretty cool. I also have Cathy Z's first book on its way from Amazon. Should be here on Thursday. My hunt for Ali Edwards' first book turned up empty tough, and the places online that were supposed to get it back in haven't. Marked checked some other local stores, and looked on eBay for me, but then found a good deal at an out-of-print book dealer he's worked with before, so it's ordered and is hopefully on its way! Woo hoo! Major brownie points for Mark. :) Next time a really great book comes out, someone slap me upside the head and tell me to order it right away before it goes out of print! LOL

Over the past few days, I also finished up my August Mega Kit contribution and all my August sponsor layouts and reviews, nearly two weeks ahead of schedule! Go me! Here are the ones I can show you now:

Credits: Kit is "Bloomn' Fun" by Lynnie Smith available at DaisieCompany, partially recolored. Hand Stamped Alpha by Michelle Coleman at Scrap Artist. Inked edge action by Atomic Cupcake. Stitches by me. Font: Angelina.

Journaling: "One day, after their bath, Matthew asked if he and Kaylee could lay on the kitchen table. I jokingly said they could, but only if they would let me take their picture. I was sure Matthew would say no, since he’s usually very conscious of not looking silly when I take his picture these days. To my surprise, they both climbed right up there and demanded that I take picture after picture while they clowned around. They decided it would be especially fun for me to take pictures of them with their eyes closed. 6-2-06"
Credits: Kit is "Soldier Boy Combo Kit" by Elizabeth Lane, available at Scrap Outside The Box, partially recolored. Staple by me. Fonts: Susie's Hand, LD Remington Portable.

Journaling: Here is one who likes to run. She runs for fun in the hot, hot sun. - adapted from Dr. Suess’ “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”
Credits: Kit: "Sweet Summer Cocktail" by Ginger Thibodeau at Scrapbook-Elements. Hand Stamped Alpha by Michelle Coleman at Scrap Artist. Inked edge action by Atomic Cupcake. Stitching by Shabby Princess and Mo Jackson. Fonts: Downcome, Susie's Hand, LD Remington Portable.

The last one is my favorite. I just love how the photo came out when I played with it, and I think the look carried over to the rest of the layout really well. :)

The reason I cranked through and got that stuff done early, was so that I could have time to work on something new to sell, so I got started on that yesterday. I'm having a lot of fun with it, even though what I'm doing is rather tedious. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to turn it into a full kit, or if it's just going to be elements. The inspiration came from something I was wearing that I was very annoyed with. Are you curious yet? :-b

Last night was my TOPS meeting. They were painting the church where we meet and had all the doors and windows closed, so the fumes were horrid! So we just had a weigh-in and cancelled the meeting part, which meant I got an early start on my grocery shopping and was able to get back home early to work more on my designing! I did have an incident at the grocery store. I had picked up a small jar of crushed garlic. It slipped between the bars of the cart and crashed to the floor, breaking off the bottom. There weren't any employees around to help, so I just picked up the jar and pieces of glass (most of the garlic stayed in the jar) and put it in the nearest trash. I didn't think I got too much on my hands, but as I was standing in line to check out, the smell started getting stronger. I reeked! I can only imagine what the checker and the guy in front of me in line must have been thinking. When I got out to the car, I used some wipes to get as much off as I could, then washed my hands about four times when I got home, but the smell just wouldn't go away. So I looked online and found something that said to rub your hands on a stainless steel utensil under cold running water. Mark looked at me like I was insane, but I figured it couldn't hurt, so I grabbed a big serving spoon and gave it a try. It worked! Took all the smell right out! So there's your handy odd tip for the day. :)

Even though I didn't have time to do another layout right now, I decided that I just could not pass up the huge kit Scrap Artist is giving out as a participation prize for their anniversary challenges, so I did this one this morning. It's for the belly-flop challenge – scrapping bad pics. Every single one of the pics I took of the kids riding these go-carts came out blurry, and I was on the fence about whether I was going to scrap them at all, so they seemed like the perfect choice. I realize the layout is tiny here. You can see it slightly bigger at Scrap Artist. Go here, and then click on the image to see it bigger.

Journaling: You kids were so excited to go on your very first go-cart rides at the 4th of July cookout at Daddy’s Aunt Bev’s place. There were tons of kids there, all of whom were experienced daredevils, but they took it easy on you, and you both had a blast - even if it made Mommy very nervous to watch you.
Credits: Kit is Rough N Tumble by Eve Recinella. Tire-track overlays by Kim Jensen (me) from August Mini-Kit in ScrapDish Day Old Donuts. Hand Stamped Alpha by Michelle Coleman at Scrap Artist. Fonts: Downcome, j.d., LD Remington Portable, Hootie!

Ok, I need to get some stuff done around the house and work some more on my "kit" and entertain the kids a bit. Later… :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A break from the heat

It's finally "cool" enough again that I was able to take the kids to the park for a bit yesterday morning and again this morning. We took the bikes over. Kaylee's doing pretty well pedaling and steering, although every once in a while she suddenly decides she's scared. Matthew does ok with his too, but he needs to get out somewhere where he can really take off and just "go" to get more practice, and unfortunately, there's just no way for that to happen when Kaylee's with us.

We only lasted about 40 minutes out yesterday, partly because it was hot, and partly because we were the only ones there, and I think the kids got bored. They did enjoy yelling across the open field and hearing their voices echo back from the houses on the other side. I hope none of the people in those houses were sleeping. :-b

Today we stayed longer (about an hour and a half), mostly because a small playgroup showed up after we'd been there a while. Kaylee didn't really interact much with any of the kids, but there were a couple of boys who were around Matthew's age, and he had a blast running around playing with them. Once Kaylee started asking to go home, I gave Matthew a five-minute warning, which turned into over half an hour when Kaylee changed her mind. So we stayed until I'd had enough of the heat. It's 15 degrees cooler than it had been, but 85°F with only a very occasional breeze is still 85°F. And I'm an air-conditioning-spoiled wimp! LOL

As we came up to the house and were putting the bikes in the garage, I noticed this absolutely gorgeous butterfly in one of our bushes. Kaylee was scared of it (in her defense, it was huge and flying around very erratically and quickly), so I took the kids in and I grabbed my camera and came back out and managed to get a few shots. It wouldn't stay still for more than a couple of seconds, and my camera focuses very slowly, so this is the only one that turned out at all.

Guess that's it for now! Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Freebie Tonight!

My Garden Whimsy kit is the freebie for tonight's Night Owl chat at RAKScraps! :) That's 11:30pm my time (Central), so I don't always make it, but I'm hoping to be there. There's always lots of fun chatter. :)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Doing better

Thanks so much for all the concern re my neck.  It was quite a bit better on Thursday and the pain was completely gone when I woke up on Friday.   I get this sort of thing about once every couple of months it seems, and, well, I'm getting older, and am definitely out of shape, so I just don't recover as quickly as I used to.  I think it comes from sleeping in an odd position, which I definitely did the night this hit this time.  Mark had had his shot that day, and ever since we got back from our vacation, Kaylee's only been sleeping a couple of hours in her own bed before ending up in ours (which could be a whole other post).  So that night, to keep Kaylee from kicking Mark's back, we had put a body pillow between him and her, which meant I had even less room than usual, and I think she slept half the night on top of me.  I think I also need to look at putting more water back in my side of the bed.  We took some out when I was pregnant with Kaylee, because I needed it softer, and just never got around to putting it back.  Or maybe I'm just getting too old for a waterbed. :-b  Anyway, sorry for whining about it so much.  Mark was in his own pain, so I didn't get any slack, and I think I was feeling sorry for myself.

Speaking of Mark, he had his follow up on this last shot yesterday.  He has good days and bad, but he's still pretty achy.  Instead of full-blown therapy, they're going to try this thing where he goes for a couple of sessions, and they teach him exercises to do at home.  Hopefully, it will help, because unlike last time he did therapy and only had to pay a co-pay for the very first session, our insurance now is such that he would have to pay the co-pay every single time.

The last couple of days I did a partial update to my website for all those friends and family types, and then I've mainly been trying to get my creative team stuff done, so that maybe I can squeeze in time to get started on another kit to sell.  I got two layouts done (with one more put into the I-like-the-concept-but-it-just-won't-work-with-this-kit-no-matter-what-I-do-so-I'll-set-it-aside-to-do-on-my-own-later pile).  I have four more layouts and my Mega Kit to do within about the next three weeks, in addition to some loose ends to tie up on that whole TAOM thing for Mark this weekend.  

I decided today to move the scanner out to my computer, since I use it way more than Mark does. These days even if he does need something scanned, he asks me to do it.  I've got it mostly working.  It's a ridiculously old scanner, and it hates Windows XP.  The only thing I don't have working yet is the old version of the software, which I wouldn't need except that the new "improved" version doesn't have descreening, which I need to get a decent scan of any of my color Dover stuff.  I think there's supposed to be a way to correct that just in Photoshop if I can't get the scanner to cooperate, but I'm not sure.

But, tonight while Mark's D&D-ing and actually not watching TV, I think I'm going to go watch some of my gazillion episodes of "All My Children" before the TiVo eats a bunch more of them like it somehow did while we were on vacation…

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bad to the Bone...

<more whining> S o . m u c h . p a i n . I woke up yesterday achy, and was about the same when I woke up today, but as the day has gone on today, it's gotten worse and worse. It's mainly centered in my neck and right shoulder, and it hurts to turn my head, especially to the right. Driving today was not fun. My Advil isn't touching it. My heat pack takes the edge off, but doesn't completely take it away, and it's hard to do very much with a 2-pound hot rice bag balanced across the back of my neck/shoulders. </end more whining>

Matthew had his dental checkup today. He had his 6-year molars sealed, and had a cleaning and x-rays. No cavities. :) He did really well with most of it. He had a hard time not gagging for the x-rays, but he finally managed. And he got anxious when, out of the corner of his eye, he spotted the syringe that they use to apply the stuff during one of the steps of the sealing procedure. He was fine though once they explained that it was not a shot and there were no needles.

We got new cell phones today. Mark switched us to GSM and got a more extensive plan a bit cheaper. They had a rough time getting the phones activated today and he ended up having to take mine into a store to get a different SIM card for it. But they're both working now. So now I get to figure out how to use a new phone. At least we got to keep the same numbers, so I don't have to memorize new ones. I still haven't memorized the new license plate number on the truck. I don't know why Texas makes you get new plates after so many years. What is the logic behind that? Do other states do that too?

Jeanine posted a little contest on her blog to scrap something from/about the 80's, so I decided to do a quick layout using some of the most non-me pics of me I have. I'd started this last week, but just got to finishing it and posting it late last night.

The 80's were my decade for high school and college. I don't have many pics from high school, and most of the ones I have from college seem to involve costume parties at the fraternity where I was a little sister. This is one of those. No, I did not dress this way on a regular basis. The shirt was hand-painted with my brother's high school garage band logo, and the collar was borrowed from him as well. That's pink theatrical spray in my hair, and the mascara in the bangs was a last-minute improvisation. I think I might have used eyeliner as lipstick, since I don't think I had that particular shade in my arsenal. :-p

The guy in the lower left pic was my pledge son that semester. The guy with the mustache was my date, also a pledge, although I think possibly the oldest pledge they ever had. LOL He was a little too enthusiastic that night and drank entirely too much and ended up quite sick, so I spent most of the evening dancing and hanging out with other friends, and had a great time anyway.

Credits: Kit: Jeanine Baechtold's "Grungy Leather Coat Collection" (partially recolored) at ScrapDish. Frame and photo corners by me. Torn edge on photo: Steph Krush at Digital Paper Tearing. Notebook paper: Kristy Nerness' "Noteworthy Accent Pack" at Plain Digital Wrapper. Font: Dream Scar.

I remembered after I posted this last night that I also have some pics of me with my face painted bright blue for a Smurf costume at another one of these pledge dances. Maybe I should combine the two costumes next Halloween and be Smurfette gone bad! LOL

You know, ever since I pulled this up to work on last night, I haven't been able to get this song out of my head, so you might as well have it in yours too…

On the day i was born
The nurses all gathered round
And they gazed in wild wonder
At the joy they had found
The head nurse spoke up
Said "leave this one alone."
She could tell right away
I was bad to the bone

Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
Ba ba ba bad
Bad to the bone

I broke a thousand hearts
Before i met you
I'll break a thousand more, baby
Before i am through
I wanna be yours, pretty baby
Yours and yours alone
I'm here to tell ya, woman
That i'm bad to the bone

Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
Ba ba ba bad
Bad to the bone…