Saturday, November 03, 2007

SALE!! And RAKabration! And Scrap-A-Faire!

Well, today is the first ever Digital Scrapbooking Day! There's been a National Scrapbooking Day in May for quite some time, but now digital also has its own day, so it's been a complete frenzy in digiland today! Co-incidentally, today also happens to be the first day of RAKabration, which is RAKScraps' week-long anniversary celebration. Hard to believe the site is 3 years old already! So what better reasons to have a sale! ;)


Everything except my Dollar Bin stuff is on sale! :) Sale runs through the 12th. :)

And make sure you stop by and check out all the RAKabration fun. We are positively drowning in fantabulous sponsor prizes!!! So many ways to win!!

Also, ScrapDish is an exhibitor at Scrap-A-Faire this year, so if you go, make sure you stop by our booth! We have a terrific thank you gift - a free sampler of mini kits from 13 of our designers!! I don't have an image handy, and I happen to be multi-tasking at the moment, or I'd show you my part, but I think it turned out really cool! :)

Friday, November 02, 2007

Halloween pics! Big News!

Hope everyone had a great Halloween! We had a beautiful night for it here. I took the kids around the block trick-or-treating while Mark stayed home to pass out candy. Matthew was Darth Vader this year, and Kaylee was a blonde version of Princess Jasmine from Aladdin. (We tried to talk her into being Princess Leia, but she didn't go for it.) The kids had a great time other than being frightened of all the friendly dogs at the various houses (Kaylee even screamed at one house when the dog came out on the porch) and complaining that their buckets were too heavy by the time we got halfway around the block. LOL They are not complaining about eating all that candy, of course. ;)

Here are a few pics of them playing in their costumes the day we bought them.







The lamp is actually Mark's. He agreed to let her borrow it to pose for a few pictures. :)

And here they are back home after t-o-t with their haul!


There was another big event on Halloween too! My brother got married!!!! Unfortunately, since the wedding was up in Illinois, and I only found out about it late last week, I was unable to attend, but my dad sent me a few pics. Aren't they a cute couple!

Congrats Todd & Cristina!!!!! :D Hope we'll get to see you guys again soon!

In other happenings, Mark is out in California this weekend for some "once in a lifetime" magic demonstration. (Don't ask me, I just nod and say "yes, dear". LOL) And Kaylee got selected as Student of the Week! She got to bring home the class "mascot" for the weekend, a teddy bear named Buddy Bear. She is very excited about doing things with him and keeping a journal about all the fun they are having together. :)

I guess that's it for now. I've got lots of designer businessy stuff to post too, but I think I'll save that for tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Poppin' New Products, general chitchat :)

Should I do one of those typical "I'm a bad blogger" posts? LOL Once a month is ridiculous. :-b I'll try to keep this short (and really most of the past month is a complete blur, so I'd have to try pretty hard to come up with much to say anyway).

::: New products :::

I've been having lots of fun playing with pop top pull tabs. I've had the idea kind of floating around in my head (bumping into things in there, which leads to extreme disorientation LOL) for quite a while, and then when Matthew's karate school started collecting pop tops for the Ronald McDonald house, it was just the push I needed.

The first set hit the store last month.


And then this one went up last night.

The latest one is on sale 25% off!

I think I might still do one more set, but it would require a different technique, and I haven't played with it yet, so I'll have to see if it turns out. :)

::: A Charity Kit :::

I also did another RAKScraps Mega-Kit Add-On contribution. The proceeds from this month's kit are going to benefit the Susan G. Komen foundation in honor of Robin's aunt and grandmother, who are both breast cancer survivors.
See details here.


::: Home life :::

We're all basically doing fine. We took the kids in for their flu shots on Saturday. They've now reversed rolls. Matthew usually freaks out, while Kaylee doesn't even flinch. Well this time he did fine and she had a complete meltdown before they even got anywhere near her with the needle. Sigh.

Matthew had his karate testing tonight and is now a Camo (camouflage) belt! I haven't downloaded my pictures yet, but you can more or less just take the ones from a couple of posts down, make them darker due to the time of year, replace his orange belt with yellow, and yellow belt with camo. LOL I'm bracing myself waiting to find out how much his sparring gear is going to cost, but he's beyond excited.

Kaylee's doing fine other than being plagued by seasonal allergies, but she handles it pretty well, although she has been especially moody lately. She and I spent about 4-5 hours cleaning her room on Sunday. It was beyond disaster, so I was surprised we got through it all, but it looks great now. Hopefully, she'll keep it that way for quite a while. I really should have taken before and after pictures. I told Matthew we're doing his room next. He doesn't have nearly as much trash everywhere, but I think it's going to be harder to get him to move quickly and agree to get rid of stuff.

The company Mark works for was sold last week, or at least the sale was started. We've known it was coming for quite a while, just not who the buyer would be, which, of course, was a bit unsettling. So far, it seems like it will be ok for him job-wise, at least for the immediate future, so that's good news. Also in company news, Mark was asked to perform a magic show for their company picnic recently. He had a lot of fun doing it, it went well overall, and he's now "famous" at the company. LOL Of course, I got roped into helping him put together a large sign that was a major prop for his act. What would he do without his own private graphic designer? ;)

I'm sure there have been a least a few more things this past month that I should have blogged about, but that's all I can think of right now, and I did say I'd try to keep this short, so I think I'll call it a night before I remember another couple of screens' worth! :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I'm playing with the big girls!

Good Sunday morning everyone! Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

I mentioned last time that I had just finished up my RAKScraps contribution. What I didn't tell you was that as of this month, my contributions will go to the Add-On portion of the kit that is sold at ScrapDish to help cover the costs of running RAKScraps! Traditionally, the 4 admins (Jeanine, Correen, Rachel, and Robin) have created the Add-On, but due to contractual obligations with some great new opportunities that Jeanine has, she is no longer able to contribute. I am so honored that the admins asked me to help out with this! I'm really happy to be able to support the site and the team of fabulous women who help keep it going. :)

So without further ado, here is this month's Add-On. You can get it here. Also available are the Add-On on CD along with the Mega-Kit itself, just the Mega-Kit on CD, and a really wonderful quickpage album that Robin put together using the Add-On! Also check out this month's newsletter and be watching for the free downloads of the Mega-Kit to start hitting RAKScraps very soon! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

World's longest post

Wow, over a month. Poor, sad, neglected blog. I've been putting off blogging because I wanted to write about everything that's been going on and post pictures and such, but it just seemed like such a big task, and, of course, the longer I put it off, the bigger it got. :-b I basically have about seven posts in one now. LOL

So anyway, the highlights…

::::::::::::::::::::: Viva Las Vegas ::::::::::::::::::::

My folks came to stay with the kids so that Mark and I could go to Las Vegas Aug. 15-19. He'd gone to a magic convention out there twice before (2001 & 2004), but I've never been there, so this time we decided I'd go out with him for a few days before the convention. We don't really gamble. We played $1 on the slots just to say we did. :-b We mainly wanted to go to shows, mainly magic shows. LOL Mark has friends who got us in to see most of them, so that saved us a bundle, and we got to chat with most of the performers after the shows too. We saw Penn & Teller (awesome), Lance Burton (fabulous), Mac King (hysterical), and Dirk Arthur (a little cheesy, but decent). We also saw Blue Man Group and sat in the second row, center stage (poncho section - I got hit by flying Twinkie schmutz LOL). It was nothing like what I was expecting, but I think it was my favorite thing that we did out there.

Other than the shows, we spent one afternoon visiting some friends of Mark, did a little bit of random sightseeing, a ton of walking up and down the strip in the heat (there was a TON of construction), took naps after being exhausted from walking up and down the strip in the heat, and ate at a lot of buffets. Miraculously, I only gained half a pound. :P It was really nice to get to spend that time together with just the two of us. It was our first ever vacation alone since the kids came along. Hopefully, it won't be another 8 1/2 years before we get to do it again!

We were really bad about taking pictures, but here are a few we did get. We stayed at Harrah's. This fun statue of Buck & Winnie Greenbacks was in the casino there.

The shops in the Venetian were designed like a Disney World version of Venice, complete with singing gondoliers. The inside of New York New York and Paris were done in a similar theme-parkish style. It seemed to be dusk inside all of them even though it was actually mid-day when we were there.

This is New York New York from the outside. (click to see larger)
A few shots of the view from our room. We could see the "volcano" in front of the Mirage "erupt" at night, but it wasn't as impressive without the sound. LOL

The Paris at night. Mark with the Sigfried & Roy statue outside the Mirage.


Mark and I with Lance Burton after the show.

Mark with one of the Blue Man Group members after the show.

So that was our Vegas trip… well, the parts I can tell you about anyway. You know, that whole "what happens in Vegas…" thing. LOL

::::::::::::::::::: Jaws (not the shark) :::::::::::::::::::::

Back to reality… I've been having problems with my jaw off and on for about the last 17 years. It used to be a rare thing, but now it's all the time. I went and saw a TMJ specialist when I got back from Vegas. The upshot is that the disc on the left side of my jaw has moved completely to the side, apparently quite some time ago, but my jaw has adapted to that. The disc on the right side is slipping in and out of place as I move my jaw, and that's what's giving me all the trouble. I've got exercises to strengthen the relevant muscles in my neck and jaw and behavior modification stuff to retrain myself not to open my mouth so wide. (Who knew I had such a big mouth? :P) I went back to get fitted for a mouthpiece to wear at night, which will hold my jaw in position and allow the disc to return to its proper shape. I go pick it up tomorrow. The initial exam was a mere $447. The mouthpiece is a whopping $1900. Little if any of it will be covered by our insurance. Too bad those slots didn't pay out!! :P

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Karate Kid ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Matthew's still going strong with his taekwondo. He was in a tournament up the road at Southfork on the 25th. He competed in a group with 13 other white and orange belts his age. They had to do their form (memorized routine) and do two one-step sparring sequences paired off against a partner (non-contact). He ended up having to do his form twice, since he tied with someone else the first time, and he actually did much better the second time. He'd rushed due to nerves the first time through. We were just hoping he'd have fun and it would be a positive experience for him, but we really had no idea if he'd place. He took second place for the form and first place for the one-steps!!! :D We got video, but for stills I only took my little compact camera and the pics from it are beyond horrid. I've decided it won't be used for any indoor events anymore unless I can figure out better settings to use. Anyway, here's a shot of him with his medals outside as we were leaving.




:::::::::::::::: Back, Back to School Again :::::::::::::::::

Sorry, just channeling a little Grease 2 with that subtitle. ;) The kids started school on the 27th. Matthew's in 3rd grade now, and Kaylee's in kindergarten (full-day). This pic cracks me up. (It wasn't very light out yet, so I had to use flash.)


Here's a bit more cooperative one. (Like Matthew's haircut? It's new, and is the first time he's ever had any real "style".)


I was a little worried since it was Kaylee's first time riding the bus, and I was just hoping she wouldn't get scared and freak out at the last minute. She ran right up with Matthew though, and they hopped right on.



So far things are going fine. Kaylee was a bit oversensitive the first day about some "mean" kids, but since then she's enjoyed it, as has Matthew. We're still struggling with the whole after school routine, trying to juggle homework and karate and all that, but hopefully we'll get into a rhythm soon – probably just in time for Matthew to move up to the next karate class and for us to have to adjust our schedule all over again. LOL

::::::::::::::::::::: Karate Kid Part 2 :::::::::::::::::::::::

Speaking of Matthew moving up, he had his yellow belt testing on the 28th, and I took the good camera along this time. Next time I also need to take the good lens and the good photographer. LOL Here are a few of the ones that turned out (more or less – the action shots are still kinda blurry :-b).

Some of the white and orange belts, watching the yellow belts and anxiously awaiting their turns.


The test.


Anxiously waiting to be called up to get his yellow belt.


Getting his yellow belt. I have no idea what he and his instructor were discussing so seriously.





He did it! :)

His next testing is scheduled for October 23rd, and then he'll move up to the next class and will get to start sparring (wearing lots of pads and a helmet).


:::::::::::::: The Incredible Shrinking Cyclops :::::::::::::::

Last Tuesday morning one of my monitors was dimming and flickering and then finally conked out. After my initial internal swearing, I did some investigation, and determined that it's not the monitor itself, but actually the power pack that died. So if something had to go, I guess that's the best thing, but it's still a pain. It's not something you can buy off the shelf, and the Planar site says they're out of stock until October 5. I've still got the one good monitor, but after 2½ years or so of using dual monitors it's really hard to get used to only one. I feel like I'm trying to work with one eye closed, and I have this weird sensation that I'm sitting in a very small space. I find myself all hunched over, like I'm trying to squeeze my whole physical person into half the space instead of just my virtual space being reduced. I've adjusted somewhat, but it's still just really weird and uncomfortable!

::::::::::::::::::::::: Time Management :::::::::::::::::::::::::

Design-wise, I just finished up my RAKScraps contribution for this month, and am now starting on my ScrapDish group contribution for next month, so I haven't had a chance to start anything new for my shop. Hopefully I'll get to start on that later this week. I thought I'd have all kinds of time once the kids were in school, but right now the days are still flying by faster than I can get a handle on them. I grab breakfast, take a shower (if I didn't get up early enough to do that before bus), do some laundry, do dishes, have lunch, try to catch up on a few emails, skim some blogs and boards, squeeze in some designing, (spend hours composing a ridiculously long blog post), and before I know it, it's time for the kids to get home. There's a lot of other stuff around the house I want to start getting caught up on too, but at this rate, it's not going to happen nearly as fast as I'd hoped.

If you made it through all that you deserve an award of some sort! LOL I'm going to try to do more frequent shorter posts from now on. (Notice I said "try". LOL) Have a great week! :)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

New product - Date Beads! New mailing list!

What? Another new product from me already?! Less that 3 weeks after the previous release? It's a new speed record! LOL Anyway, here it it - just a cute little (ok, at 853 pieces I don't know if you can call it little) set of beads and such for putting the date and/or occasion on your layouts! The date is one thing I absolutely must have on every one of my layouts, so I always love seeing creative ways to include it. :)



Click on the image to go to the store. On sale 30% off through Monday! :)

I also decided to start up my own little Yahoo group for sending out product announcements, special subscriber only coupons, sale notices, freebies whenever I do happen to get to them, that sort of thing. Right now the member list consists of me and, um, let's see... me. So go run over and join so I won't be so lonely! :)


In non-scrapping news, Mark's friend came over on Sunday and finished rerouting our internet cabling. Of course, nothing can ever be easy. It turned out that the column we were dropping my cable in had another horizontal blockage, so they had to drill another hole in the side of it to get the drill bit up through it. And then it turned out that the area where we had planned to drop the cable at the other end was completely inaccessible in the attic, so we had to go to plan B, which turned out not too bad, but they had already cut out the holes in the drywall for the boxes at the plan A location, so now we have two blank plates on the wall there, as well as one on the column by my desk. None of them are very noticeable, but it's just too funny that what was supposed to be a simple job ended up creating so much havoc. So next time I drive through the wall, we can just add a few little drywall patches to the repair job, and get rid of those blank plates. ;)

Only three more weeks 'til school starts back up, and our calendar has so much stuff scribbled all over it that I have a feeling the rest of this month is going to fly!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Tagged!

I've been tagged by Robin! :)

4 Jobs I've Had:
Stay at home mom
Telecom test engineer
Pizza delivery
Kitchen help in a retirement center

4 Places I have lived:
Dallas, TX area (2 towns)
Champaign-Urbana, IL
Macomb, IL
Beaver Dam, WI

4 Favorite T.V. Shows:
Desperate Housewives
Um, I really don't watch tv much, since I'm completely incapable of doing much of anything else while watching, and I don't have the patience to sit and passively watch, but I usually turn on decorating shows on HGTV while folding laundry. LOL

4 Favorite Foods:
Chocolate chip cookies
Strawberries
Chicken enchiladas
Olive Garden's Ravioli di Portobello

4 Websites I frequent:
RAKScraps
DST
Bloglines
ScrapDish

4 Places I'd Rather be Right Now:
Hanging with my digi friends
Sleeping (well, not really, since sleep seems like such a waste of time, but I am tired LOL)
Relaxing in the shade along a tropical beach
Sightseeing in Italy

4 Movies I LOVE:
I haven't watched many movies lately either (see the tv thing above LOL), but here are a few favorites from the days I actually used to watch movies...
True Lies (1994)
As Good As It Gets (1997)
Conspiracy Theory (1997)
While You Were Sleeping (1995)
(notice that the most recent ones are 10 years old? LOL)


I was pretty sure I'd done this tag before, but I didn't want to check until I'd done it because I didn't want to taint my answers. But I just checked and I did do an almost identical tag about a year and a half ago, and my answers are almost all the same. LOL I know I've seen this tag on most of the blogs I read already, and I'm too lazy to check which ones I haven't seen it on, so if you read this and haven't done it, consider yourself tagged. (I know, I know, that's such a lazy cop out. What can I say - that's me tonight. LOL)

Not too much new going on. Kaylee's last day of karate is tomorrow. She's been looking pretty bored in class lately and is not really improving at all anymore, so I'm not feeling too guilty about stopping her classes. I'm just going to have to figure out something to keep her better occupied during Matthew's classes now, since she's getting bored (ie. wiggly and restless) during his classes now too.

Mark's electrician friend is supposed to be coming Sunday morning to finish up that stuff. Hopefully, he won't have an emergency to delay him this time and the rest will get knocked out with much less trouble!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dont faint -- I scrapped!!!

I had started a "test layout" as I was working on Shameless, to check scale and things like that. The pic is actually where I got the colors. :) I figured since the layout was half done, I might as well finish it. LOL

(Click on the image to see it bigger.)

Journaling: Kaylee, May 24, 2007. The last day of school. Waiting for Matthew's bus. Waiting for the day, all too soon, when you will finally ride the bus with him. Waiting for the day you'll go off to kindergarten, and leave me rattling around this house, enveloped in silence. Waiting... waiting... waiting. Please wait... just a little longer.

Credits: Shameless Collection by Kim Jensen @ ScrapDish
stitching by Shabby Princess
Font: LD Remington Portable

As I was scrapping this, I realized that this was the last time, under regular circumstances, that Kaylee and I would hang out, waiting for her big brother to get home from school. I'm looking forward to having large blocks of uninterrupted time to get stuff done around here, but I have a feeling I'm not going to know what to do with myself, and it's definitely going to seem strange.

In non-scrapping news, an electrician friend of Mark's came over yesterday to help us out with some projects around here. He'd planned to come over first thing in the morning, but got called to work on an emergency job, so it ended up being early afternoon before he made it. He brought a couple of his guys with him. Mark had planned to help with the labor, but I guess he thought qualified help was needed. LOL

Anyway, they adjusted a light fixture over the fireplace that wouldn't angle correctly, installed a ceiling fan in the guest room, a light in our little mini-hallway where our coat closet/hooks are, and a light in Matthew's closet. The lights make such a huge difference! Matthew's closet looks twice the size, and you can actually see in there. Of course, now we have to load everything back in there, since it's all piled on his bottom bunk right now. :-b We did do a little sorting as we were emptying the closet, pulled out some stuff to go in the attic and a little bit to go to charity. There were even still a couple of boxes of old memorabilia and such up on the shelf in there that had been there since about when we moved into the house -- in 1995! LOL They're now sitting in my closet until I have a chance to sort through them.

What we thought should have been the easiest job for the electricians, rerouting our internet cable, turned out to be the most difficult. Plan A was to use the speaker wire we ran in the wall as a guide to drop my LAN connection in that same wall. Well, the speaker wire was hooked on something and wouldn't pull all the way up. So plan B was to drop the cable in the adjacent column. Well, apparently, that spot in the attic is such a tight squeeze that it was darn near impossible to get back there and there was no way to get a drill in there. So they ended up taking down this wall clock we had hanging on the column, making a small hole in the wall that will be covered by the clock, and sticking a really long flexible drill bit up through it. After they did that, they couldn't even find where the bit had come through in the attic. They ended up having to have one person downstairs banging the bit against the roof while the other one followed the noise. Then the electrician had to lay on his belly in the attic with all that nasty insulation and reach out and tie a string through the drill bit (at arms length) to use to pull the cable down! Crazy!

Since they got started late, they ended up not being able to finish due to the heat (that attic is an OVEN in the afternoon) and the fact that the crew had to leave to go pack, since they're moving out of their apartment today. So we have two holes in the wall in Mark's office, waiting for that end of the cables, and I have the end of the cable by my desk hanging out of the wall until they can come back. LOL Hopefully, next time will be much easier! Thank goodness I had my wireless connection to fall back on! The reason we went to a hard-wired connection in the first place (which has just been draped around the room near the ceiling for the last couple of years) is that the wireless connection was so flakey and unreliable. It seems to be cooperating so far this time though. (knock on wood)

Anyway, Mark cooked up a nice steak dinner, and his friend hung around and talked magic for a few hours after that. I still can't believe he's doing all this work for us for just material cost! (And of course, Mark is cutting him whatever deals he can on magic.) What a generous guy!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

New collection!! Sale!! Freebies!!

I'm here! I finally finished that little kit I've been working on for the last 5 or 6 weeks. It's not so little anymore. LOL I was having so much fun with it that it just kinda kept growing. And then one of my awesome CT members, Melinda, whipped up some gorgeous quick pages for me, and before I knew it, I had a burstin' at the seams 11-product collection!! LOL There's a paper pack, a totally huge element pack, a really cool iridescent glass alpha, a fun felt alpha pack (with four full sets), 3 quick page sets, and a tumbler insert!! And then there are 3 combo packs - the papers and elements together, all the quick page sets, and the whole shebang!

No, I'm not going to post all 11 products here! LOL I do want to show off the detail shot from the elements though...



You can scroll down on the individual products in the store to see the rest of the detail images. ;) Here's just the collection preview. You can click on it to see everything in the store. :)



Oh, and it's all on sale 30% off until next Friday, the 27th!!! :)

And did I say something about freebies? Yep! My first time ever doing blog freebies!! I usually don't do them, because, well, I'm slow at designing!!! LOL But I made time to do a couple of small ones this time. Like the new header on this blog? You can have one like it for your very own, or two others!



But wait, there's more! I also put together a few little extras - an embellished glass frame (made using the same technique as the glass alpha), and two lace stars that match one of the lace pieces in the Element Pack. :)


Kaylee does not come with the actual frame. LOL But there is a template in there to help you line up your own photo. :) Oh, and a little tip if you happen to be using a similar blog template to the one I am, where the Blogger bar hides the top of your header -- just edit your header image to add an extra 30 pixels above the top. Voila! No more sliced off header!

What? You want links? Oh, ok. Here they are! --> headers, extras

(For those who are visiting here for the first time, drawn in by the lure of the freebie, yes, when I do blog, it's often late at night, and it is not uncommon for me to exhibit fits of profound sleep-deprived silliness and extreme overuse of "LOL" as I find myself terribly amusing at these times.)

Thanks for looking and have a great weekend!! :)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Keee-Yaaa!

Well, I'm not sure how you spell it, but the title is the approximately the yell the kids do when doing their karate. LOL We've been hearing that a lot around here, since they've been practicing at home in addition to all their classes. And today (Tuesday) Matthew got his orange belt!

They had the official testing a couple of weeks ago, and Matthew had been introduced to the last parts of the white belt material, but hadn't had a chance to practice it. The next formal testing isn't until mid-August, so they had a make-up test today for the kids at Matthew's level who were ready. He and two other students tested. There were about three others I think who could have tested today, but didn't for whatever reason. So here are some pics. My little Canon, at least with what I know of the settings, could not handle the light in there along with the mirrored wall and all the movement, so, quite frankly, the pics were downright awful, and I really had to work with the best shots to get them even this far, but at least you get a taste...

The first 4 shots are them demonstrating their "form", a memorized 18-move sequence.





And below is Matthew with the instructor, demonstrating one of the self-defense moves.


And here he is getting his belt.

They stick the belt inspection stickers on their noses while putting the belts on. Our gullible Matthew believed it when the instructor told him that he had to keep it there until the next class -- which is not until Monday because of the holiday. LOL (Yes, he did tell him he was kidding.)

It would have been nice if Matthew could have gone through the formal testing, which is a lot more ritualized, with everyone in full uniforms, and without the distractions of a full class going on right behind you. LOL But he would have been bored to tears working on the white belt material for another 6 weeks, so we'll just have to get all our pomp and circumstance (and hopefully better pictures) next time around. ;)

Since I had the camera there anyway, I also took a few pics of Kaylee's class.

This is her waiting in line for her turn to practice a block/punch combination. She supposed to be "standing like a black belt", but is instead bouncing up and down. LOL


And then a couple of her working on the first parts of the same form Matthew learned.



And one working on another combination of some sort.


We bit the bullet and signed Matthew up for the full slew of classes. It ended up costing quite a bit more than we originally thought, but I think it will be worth it for him. And he's excited that he gets to start taking an extra weapons class once a week. :-b Kaylee has actually shown a decent amount of improvement recently, and she's still having fun, but we weren't ready to fork over the major bucks to commit for her, so they cut us a deal on another four weeks of classes for her.

So in non-karate news, the kit I've been working on still isn't done, but it's getting closer. I haven't gotten to design at all the past two days, which doesn't help matters. LOL

We were able to order a part directly from Moen for our old faucet, and it's now fixed. It cost a heck of a lot more than a hunk of molded plastic should, but it was still less money and waaay less hassle than replacing the whole faucet.

The dishwasher line knob still has a very slow leak, and I still have not put all the stuff back in the cabinet. I'm getting used to walking around the pile. :-b

We made a couple of interesting discoveries regarding the noise the pipe is making when the dishwasher fills. 1- The noise stops if I turn on the faucet while it's filling, then starts back up when I turn the water off. 2 - The washing machine, which is two rooms away, vibrates while the dishwasher is filling. Totally bizarre. We have no clue what either of those mean. If any plumbing experts have any idea, please speak up. LOL

Changing the subject again... to whoever posted to let me know my designs were being improperly distributed, thanks... I think. LOL It was indeed my stuff, along with a lot of other designers'. It was my first time dealing with anything like that, and it was absolutely awful and infuriating, but I guess it's an unfortunate reality these days. Onward and upward.

Hmmm... it's quite late now. I guess it's officially July 4th! Happy Independence Day!! We're probably not really doing anything special to celebrate. The weather here has been miserable. It's rained something like 7 out of 10 days for the last two months, and I think it's been every single day for the last couple of weeks. The current forecast shows it letting up on Monday, but I'm not holding my breath. There's so much flooding around here. Fortunately, our particular area hasn't had a problem yet.

Anyway, Mark also has a convention to go to, so it'll just be me and the kids hanging out. Mark picked up some new games to help keep us entertained while he's gone. LOL

Ok, I'm starting to get that "way overtired" headache (um, duh, it's almost 2a.m.), so I guess I should go to bed! G'night! :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

How about a bunch of pictures?

Ok, time for a happier post. We've been keeping busy. Not a lot of stuff we "have" to do, but always plenty going on.

Matthew has been interested in karate for just ages, but Mark was resistant to put him in lessons, since although Mark had a black belt (in something I can't pronounce), he's not a big Taekwondo enthusiast, which is pretty much all that's available around here. Finally accepting the fact that teaching Matthew himself just wasn't working out schedule-wise, he caved. The kids have 3 out of their 4 weeks of the trial program finished, and it's going really well. Kaylee has fun, but is mostly more interested in dancing around and posing for the mirror than listening to her instructors. LOL Matthew's doing great, loves it, and has been working very hard. He's just a bit impatient to earn his stripes and his next belt. Mark's been working a bit with him at home on correcting his technique and working on the little things they don't really get to address in class, which is pretty full with all the summer students. We're planning on letting Matthew continue at least through the summer, and then deciding if we want to try to juggle it during the school year. The classes are 5 days a week, so it's a lot to work in. You don't have to go every day, but as far as I know, there's no price break for taking less classes.

Here are a few pics taken here at home before their first day of class:




(Matthew looks thrilled to be getting a hug from his sister. LOL)


And here are some shots from a typical day here where the kids ask me to take their picture. It starts off with Kaylee just being silly...



And then Matthew starts in on what he does best lately -- deliberately torturing Kaylee...

(He obviously enjoys it. :-p )

And then drama queen Kaylee goes into her fake tortured cry/whine (I've been hearing waaaaaaaay too much of that lately)...


And then she loses her game face and starts laughing while still trying to cry...


And then it's back to silliness...




Just a typical morning in the Jensen house. ;)

And just for freaky-ness, here's a pic I got when Kaylee decided to duck as I was taking a picture...

Look at the numbers on, or rather "off" the clock! Very bizarre!

What else is going on?

As for me, I've been designing my little fingers to the bone. The kit I'm working on keeps growing, and I'm trying to decide at what point to cut it off and call it done. LOL

Our kitchen faucet has been acting up for months, so yesterday Mark got a new catridge for it. The old one was definitely broken, but that is apparently only part of the problem. It seems that the handle lever is broken as well. It's an older faucet, and after looking online, we have a feeling we may not be able to get a replacement part and will have to replace the whole faucet. Fun, fun, fun.

And when I went to start the dishwasher right before I went to bed last night (at 2a.m.), it started making this ominous air-in-the-pipes type banging noise. So I thought maybe Mark had turned the dishwasher water valve off while messing with the faucet. So I turned the valve knob the other way. Still the noise. So I put the knob back, noticing that as I turned it, it was spraying a little bit of water out around the knob. I got it to the spot where I thought it wasn't leaking, left a note for Mark to read in the morning (he, very sensibly, had been asleep for hours), and went to bed. Mark got up this morning to find a big puddle all over the kitchen floor.

So now the entire contents of my under-the-sink cabinets are spread out on the kitchen floor while that dries out. Mark put the knob back to the full open position, and there's a small tray under the knob to see if it's still leaking. We were able to run the dishwasher, and it worked fine, but it still made that awful noise every time it filled. Even more fun, fun, fun. :-b

There's more I could ramble on about, but that's probably enough for now. Happy Monday, everyone! :D