Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mundane days

Storming!!! Ugh. It's been raining off and on, mostly on, for days. Right now a major storm has moved in. The sky got so black, I would have sworn it was 9:30 p.m. instead of a.m.! Right now it's a bit lighter (partly from all the lightning LOL), but the screens are so wet, that I can't see outside. Hopefully, we won't get the hail and high winds they're saying this thing is capable of. Things just finally have gotten mostly cleaned up from the last big storm!

Not too much going around here lately. We're letting the kids have a lazy lounge around week (which has gone well with the weather! LOL). Mark borrowed a carpet cleaner from a guy at work, and our carpets are in seriously bad shape, so we've been giving it quite a workout. We have a ton of stuff everywhere, so it's not easy to clear the space, even just the center traffic areas. We did Mark's office first, and then the family room. That is where about half the kids' toys are stored, so some got shoved into their rooms, and a LOT is stacked in the garage. We moved the couches into the breakfast area, which means we had to move the table into our galley kitchen. Supper that night was a tight squeeze, and we kept having to shove the table from one side of the room to the other to be able to get to the stove, open the drawers or dishwasher, etc. Fun, fun, fun. Fortunately, it was dry enough by morning to move the furniture back.

Mark is loving the less cluttered look so much though, that he wants to get it so that all the kids toys are stored in their rooms, even if they still bring them out here to play. That's going to require some serious purging and reorganizing. Hopefully, it won't be too traumatic for the kids, or for Mark. We did a major sort of the toys about a year and a half ago I think. I was ready to get rid of stuff then, but Mark just wanted to "organize" it. Um, yeah. That didn't really help so much. They've just got waaaaaaaay too much stuff. I think we're a family of packrats. My hoarding these days is mostly just digital files though, so it's harder to see! ;)

Anyway, back to the carpet cleaning. We ran out of the soap stuff over the weekend, so Mark picked up more yesterday, as well as some upholstery cleaner for our embarrassingly dirty 17-year-old "bone" colored couches. I started in on a few of the cushions yesterday and got them from truly awful to just sorta bad, which is probably as good as they're going to get. I only did one side of 3 of the 5 cushions, and it took me about an hour and a half. And my hands still hurt from gripping the thing to scrub. I did the absolute worst ones yesterday, so I figure I've got about another 3 hours or so to finish those up, and then the worst parts on the couches themselves are probably another hour or two. And then we still need to do the section of the carpet we didn't get to because of running out of soap. Mark's going to check with the guy to see if we can keep it through this weekend as well, but we've got a guest magician coming in Sunday, so there's other cleaning to be done as well, and everything needs to be dry by then. Sigh.

Alrighty, we've got a charity pickup tomorrow, and the kids have a mountain of too small clothes I need to sort through, and Matthew just reminded me that the kids haven't had breakfast yet, so I'd better go! :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Catching up!

Too much to do, too little time. Does it ever slow down? LOL

:::::::: Mother's Day:::::::::

I had a wonderful Mother's Day. Mark did all the cooking, and mostly kept the kids entertained so that I could relax. The kids gave me the gifts they made at school. Kaylee made a tissue paper rose. Matthew made a bookmark, a magnet with a photo of him, a "top 10 reasons I love my mom" list , and a flower that had things on each petal that he would help me with. So sweet. :) I especially liked the one where he promised to help me on the computer if I need it. LOL

Mark "surprised" me with a new monitor to replace the really awful old CRT I'd been using as my secondary. I put "surprised" in quotes because, to Mark's disappointment, the package showed up when I was home to receive it, and it was very clearly marked on the outside of the box as to what it was. LOL



So now my monitors almost match. The new one is just a hair bigger, but it sits higher, so it seems smaller. LOL Once I decide what height I want it to sit at, I'll be looking for a base of some sort to set the other one on to make them even. The old one is not height adjustable, and the new one won't go as low as the old one. It didn't bother me when the monitors were two completely different sizes, but now it just looks odd. :-b I am totally spoiled by the huge amount of screen real estate I have now though! I don't have to switch monitors to read my email, and I can have almost every possible palette I would ever use in Photoshop open at the same time! :D I'll have to post photos of my desk, once I get it cleaned off again. I took some "before" pics a couple of months ago when I started organizing, and I haven't, uhm, quite finished yet. :-b

I will say that one thing from Mother's Day didn't go totally smoothly. Matthew had received an activity set for Christmas called "Diggin' Up Dinosaurs". We'd set it aside and forgotten all about it until the kids stumbled across it. So Mark opened it up and they got started. It was a little block of multi-layered "rock" that you chip away to unearth the "dinosaurs".





Simple, right? Uhm, well first off, the "rock" was really HARD. Matthew spent well over an hour pounding away, and only got most of the way through the first layer. Secondly, for such a small thing, it made a HUGE mess. Tons of red powdered rock EVERYWHERE.


Since it was Mother's Day, Mark got to clean up the mess. :-b I cut the kids' hair and gave them baths, and he still wasn't done! He was not happy. There was lots of sweeping and vacuuming and mopping and washing involved, and the upholstery on the chairs still needs to be cleaned. I think other people must have had the same experience, because I couldn't even find it for sale online anywhere to warn you away from it. LOL Matthew and Kaylee did enjoy it. Whenever they get around to doing the rest of it though, it will be done outside, wearing old clothes, on a day when it's hot enough to hose them off when they're done! :)

:::::::: Happy Birthday to me! :) ::::::::

Yes, my birthday and Mother's Day are really close together. LOL I turned the big 3-9 yesterday. Given the very large monetary expenditure on the Mother's Day gift, my birthday was a bit simpler. The kids drew me presents -- Matthew a game and a maze, Kaylee a bunny mask.


Mark got me these totally gorgeous flowers …


Due to the large caloric expenditure recently experienced with Kaylee's birthday cake and the huge amount of leftover candy that the Easter bunny mysteriously left behind, I opted to make a lighter cake, rather than have Mark pick one up. It's a recipe from Light 'n Tasty I'd made once before, and it's so yummy --- orange cake with Cool Whip & orange yogurt filling with strawberries & pineapple. Mmmmm!! Last time I made it, the kids wouldn't eat it, but Matthew loved it this time. Cool Whip Kaylee loved the filling. LOL


Kaylee also had her 5-year checkup yesterday. It went well. She's got 20/40 vision in both eyes, which is great for her age (thank goodness neither of the kids have my eyesight so far!!!). She wasn't really able to follow the instructions for the hearing test, so they're going to try that again next time. I'm pretty sure her hearing is fine though. ;) Kaylee is also officially tall – 97th percentile for height!!! I honestly don't remember what range she was in last year, but she's shot up over 3 inches, and I'd swear most of that is in the last few months. LOL She had to get one shot – a chicken pox booster. She always does great with shots, but Matthew had managed to scare her a bit with his shot phobia, so she was a little more nervous this time. She still did fine though, and she is very proud of her funky pink band-aid. :)

And then I also had my usual shuttling Kaylee to school, TOPS meeting, and grocery shopping to do, so it made for a very busy day. I managed to squeeze in time to watch my TiVo'd season finale of Desperate Housewives, do some laundry, and post a couple of ads for my new products too. Speaking of which…

::::::: New Products! ::::::

I had so much fun putting these together. It was almost like scrapping! LOL I hope people will like them. :)





Click on the images to see them in the store. On sale 30% off through Sunday! :)

::::: 1½ days to go! ::::::::::::

The kids' last day of school is this Thursday. It's a half-day, which means nothing to Kaylee, since she already only goes half days. LOL They would have gotten out tomorrow, but they have an ice day they need to make up. I'm really looking forward to not having to get up at 5:30-5:45 every morning!! Due to changes in state laws, the kids will not be going back to school until August 27!!! That means 13 whole weeks of summer break!!! The normal summer break is more like 10 weeks! Mark doesn't have spare vacation time for us to take any trips, so we're figuring out some activities for them to help pass the time. As of right now, we're thinking karate for Matthew, either karate or dance for Kaylee, and swimming lessons for both. We really haven't done this sort of stuff much with them before, but I'm sure they'll enjoy it. It just means I won't get to be a complete hermit the way I'd like! LOL

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

I think there was something else I wanted to blog about, but I can't remember, and I think this has gone on long enough!!! If you made it through all that, you deserve some sort of award!!!!!!!! :)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

An overdue announcement! (And a sale!)

Things have been just crazy for me the last six weeks with everyday stuff, Kaylee's birthday, designing ridiculously labor intensive element sets, the ScrapDish CT call (the first one I've ever been involved in), the addition of new members to the RAKScraps CT, etc., etc., etc., and somehow during all that, my own personal creative team quietly grew into existence. At the urging of a good friend and amazing scrapper, an idea that had for me just been a "someday way down the road" thing became a reality, and I invited a few more dear friends who also happen to be incredibly talented scrappers to be the charter guinea pigs, er, creative team members. I was thrilled and humbled that they all said yes. They have been very encouraging and a wonderful sounding board for me as I try to get all of this figured out. So now I very belatedly, but very proudly, present the Kim Jensen Designs Creative Team…



Amy Knepper (blog, gallery)
Melinda Staley (blog, gallery)
Robin Cabana (blog, gallery )
Tania Cordova (blog, gallery
Tracy Blankenship (blog, gallery)


And in their honor, I'm having a sale!!! (Ok, ScrapDish is having a sale, which just happens to be going on now, but it sounds good, and they deserve a sale! LOL)

Almost everything in my store* 25-40% off!

~ Sale ends May 15th!!! ~
http://www.scrapdish.net/store/manufacturers.php?manufacturerid=27

*excludes Dollar Bin items.

Now I should get busy and go design something, so that wonderful CT actually has something to work with! :)

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Storm, Kaylee's birthday

Wow, what a storm came through here last night! We had lots of rain and thunder and lightning, and the power sort of dipped off and on several times, and went completely out once for a few minutes, but it didn't seem toooo bad. As I took Matthew out to the bus this morning, I looked at the drainage ditch across the street in the park. There are trees and lots of really tall grasses growing in it. Well, the water must have been running through there with some major force, because the grasses were completely flattened and there was some large debris (we're talking lumber and such) that wasn’t there before.

Then I drove Kaylee to school, and as we got closer it was a mess. There had obviously been a lot of cleanup done already, because there were leaves and piles of branches everywhere, but there were also a lot of large trees that had taken some major damage. One huge tree across the street from the school had split right in half, and the half that fell landed on a parked car, smashing it pretty badly!

Then I heard on the radio that 200,000 people were still without power, and it might take up to a week to restore it because of the extensive damage. Wow.

Anyway, Kaylee had a birthday this weekend! My baby is 5!!! How did that happen? Since her birthday fell on Sunday, I took cookies to the school on Friday. She was so sweet. After they finished singing and opened up the cookies to pass out, Kaylee insisted that she wanted to give the first one to me. Awww. Then I got to hang out while they all played on the playground. It's so cool to get to see her interact with her classmates and be able to better visualize all her stories about what happens at school.

Then, because there was a magic lecture scheduled for Sunday, we went ahead and did Kaylee's little family party at home on Saturday. Saturday morning I went to decorate the cake and the kids were swarming all over and stressing me out. I'm no expert in the kitchen, and I can't stand to have anyone hanging around unless they're at least as competent as I am, let alone having the kids crowding me like that, so I kicked them out of the kitchen. Kaylee came back once I had the basics done and was insistent on helping. So I let her do it with me, but she squeezed before I was ready. Uhm, not quite the look I was going for. So at that point I gave in, and just turned it over to her, and she and Matthew went to town. I should have done that to begin with, because it was way more fun for all of us! LOL The end result was a bit, uhm, abstract. The kids were super proud of it though. Matthew called it their masterpiece of sugar. LOL

So anyway, Mark did a little magic show for the kids, then Kaylee opened her gifts (with lots of help from Matthew LOL), and we had the cake. Nice little celebration. Although Kaylee was a bit confused as to why we didn't do it all over again on her real birthday. LOL

Oh, a little side story… Matthew was so excited about Kaylee's birthday for weeks. In spite of our strong suggestions that she might prefer something more girly, he bought her a Naruto headband/belt to match his own. He paid for it with his own money and was dying to give it to her. Much to our surprise, she loved it and they've had many a battle since then! LOL

Anyway, here are a few pics from Saturday (I need to figure out what setting to change on my camera to better handle the light in here)…


artists at work


the masterpiece


Daddy magician's confused face LOL


the captivated audience


lovely assistant


Matthew's "cool! how did he do that?" face














our traditional "show me how old you are" pic :)

That's it for now! :)