Be Happy Anyway

Be Happy Anyway
From Brave Girls Club

Friday, July 31, 2009

If a Picture Says a 1000 Words...

...What does a mosaic of pictures say?

My friends and I continue to reflect on our words, and we have decided to submit mosaics for our joint post. I love seeing how my friends think so this should be fun.

Octamom has just returned from a VERY long road trip. (You gotta love her fortitude and perseverance.)


Completed Road Trips

Blue Skies


Extended Family

Coming Home

Nothing makes a teacher happier than summer vacation (okay and seeing our children succeed is up at the top, too.) Roban seems to have had a very nice summer break as seen below.

What brings me JOY? my daughter Hannah, good movies, great books, knowing that Craig is a caring father, Scout, twinkling Christmas lights, summer days before it gets too hot, blogging, taking pictures of Hannah, Akiane’s amazing art, Maggie, when a student ‘gets it’ and becomes a writer, morning light as it dances through the door, the smell of Biolage shampoo, doing things with Hannah, finding a hand-crafted necklace that has a meaning that resonates with you, being able to walk and run through the neighborhood, making new friends, eating good food, reading magazines (or looking at the pictures!), unexpected snow days, blue skies with windswept clouds, Autumn, scrapblogging, colorful flowers, driving my car, pampering ourselves, pedicures and summer sandals, my family, Starbucks frappucinos…. and so many other things I don’t have pictures of, like warm baths and cozy beds, a roaring fire on cold days, night sounds and falling stars…. The more I think about it, the more things I find that bring me joy!

AVTCoach...still practicing Abundance Mentality!!!

As I move toward a more disciplined way of life, these are some of the things I have been trying to incorporate more of. It is not an issue of right or wrong, but of more or less. I want to get more organized, do more cooking, cleaning and exercise and get a decent amount of sleep. I think it is a never ending journey, but one that is worth the trip.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Through the Years

Today while I was on Facebook, I saw some of my friends playing with a website called Yearbook Yourself. I decided to go over to the website and have a little fun. The hardest part was finding a photo where I didn't have my hair in front of my forehead so it would fit in the website's different hairstyles. I think the only two styles that might have really been me are 1996 and 2000. Of course I wasn't alive in 1952 or 1966, but it still was fun to try those out too.

It's funny how styles change over time. Sometimes certain styles come back with a twist, but there are a couple of them that I would rather not see again.

Go over there, have a little fun. I think they had music playing from each era, too, but I usually have my speakers off, so I couldn't tell.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Dreaded Topic

Today, I was driving my son around town, and he asked if he could go see my mother. I told him that Gramma was at a doctor's appointment. He then replied, "Because she is having a baby."

After I finished restraining my laughter, I told him that his gramma was not having a baby. He continued to insist that she was since Gramma was a girl, and she was at the doctor.

He said, "Girls have babies because..."

I didn't want to hear how he was going to finish that sentence, but was relieved when he did.

"....because they are good."

Well, that is good enough for me right now.

I shall share this with his daddy when he gets home. I am sure he will get a kick out of it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

This Is Just What I Needed

Look what I found today on the internet. It would have been the perfect stamp for my Time After Time cards. I wasn't even looking and BAM there it was!

Stamp by Lynne Perrella
Isn't this usually the case?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Let's Play a Game of I Spy

To you this may look like just a messy little scrap area. To me it says much more.

Let's take a look and see what we see.

  1. I have purposely not cropped this out, so you could see what I should be doing instead of blogging or scrapping. These are my clean clothes that need to be folded and put away.
  2. My beloved first piece of Tupperware ever that I didn't inherit from Renee or my mother. It holds some sequins that my daughter likes to dig through for school projects. I don't use them anymore, thus the dust on the lid that wouldn't be noticeable if a certain 4 year old boy didn't feel the need to touch EVERYTHING.
  3. The infamous glitter spray paint. Notice there are two. Both have paint, but neither worked after the first time I used them. I have decided I am not going to buy anymore even though I love the way it looks on my projects.
  4. The clock stamp that I searched for to the ends of the Earth. I think I will find a safe just for that stamp, so I never have to make the quest again.
  5. The obligatory Bush's Iced Tea straw. You will never find me far away from one. The only reason there isn't a glass of Bush's tea on my table is I drank the rest of the gallon that was in my fridge yesterday and it is 10:50 in the morning and they don't open for another 10 minutes.
  6. Well, it goes without saying that with a boy living in the house he must make his presence known even in my area.
  7. The area of my house that I have conveniently cropped out so you don't see the ball caps that get dropped in the front door, shoes, toys, the more than occasional sock, dust, etc., that makes my house what it is...MINE.
The last thing this picture shows is that this scrap area is also the table where the kids have most of their snacks which means I am usually disassembling it and reassembling it regularly. Probably the main reason I use to complete my projects instead of paper and scissors.

I challenge you to take a picture of the area in your house where you spend the most time and tell me what it says about you. Is it your kitchen, your office, the backyard? Where ever it is, I would love to see it and learn a little more about you.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Getting Ready for Camp

One of my fondest memories of growing up a Baptist kid is of going to summer camp at the lake. We would learn new things, make new friends and have new experiences. There were always missionaries there from other countries who came to show us what they had been doing. The one problem about camp was I can't remember anything specific. I wasn't much of a diary/journal keeper. I was an awful writer for sure. I did like taking pictures, but I don't think I ever took a camera to camp. So all of my camp experiences are faint memories that float through my brain like dust in a sunbeam. I can see them, but can never capture them.

For this reason, I have created a memory book for Caitlin to take to her first year of church camp. I don't want her to walk away from her time at camp and say, "Yeah, it was fun." Only to have me ask, "So what did you do? What did you learn?" and receive the response..."I don't remember."

Below I have documented the process I went through to make this book, so in the future when my darling daughter says to me, "You never did anything for me," I will open my saved blogs and photos and say, "Oh really?" Just kidding - no teenager would EVER say a thing like that. Would they?

It started with an autograph book I found at the grocery store in the clearance bin for 75 cents. I couldn't help myself. I bought it thinking there was something I could do with it. I did figure out that I could remove the cover by rolling the spiral through the holes . I made sure to put the spiral back so the rest of the pages wouldn't get misplaced. (That would happen in my house.)

After I did my ATCs in tissue paper, I realized I could just as easily cover this in tissue paper, but there was one step necessary before I did. I would have to gesso or "white out" the words so that they wouldn't show through the tissue. This is one of my least favorite things to do only because I have to wait for it dry before I can move on.

After hiding the writing, I began layering the different colors of tissue paper, tearing each piece to give it a more irregular look. I especially liked how the blue and pink would come together to form purple just as if it was paint. I continued layering the paper until I reached the bottom. At which point, (after it dried - remember my least favorite part) I trimmed the excess paper off, glued some patterned paper to the back and repunched the holes I had covered.

Then the fun part came, choosing the stickers and such to go into the book. (I have boxes and envelopes of doodads and whatchamacallits that scrapbookers from SIStv have kindly sent to me as prizes and sometimes for no reason other than I asked.) I knew it would need a name tag in case she misplaced it at camp - expect the best, but plan for the worst. :-) And being the absentminded girl she is, I also included a place for a schedule of her daily activities.

I put tabs for the different sections and even gave her a pocket with notebook paper to hide her secret thoughts. (I had to punch holes in that too to get the spiral to run through it.)

There are other sections for other thoughts, her top 10 favorite things about camp and a place for her to get addresses of any friends she makes.

When I finished all the elements, I pulled the spiral back out of the book and stacked the cover and the pages they way I wanted them and wound the spiral back into the holes. I even attached some yarn and ribbon for bookmarks.

I hope that she uses the book. I hope it makes her experience at camp worthwhile and memorable. I have put off sending her to camp for many reasons that many of you already know. It is my prayer that these things have resolved themselves, and she can handle being away from home for an entire week without incident.

Note: You can click on any image for a larger/clearer view.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mommy I Dressed Myself

I love when I hear that in the morning. I never know what I am going to see.

Today was no different. First thing James did was come out in one of his favorite t-shirts, but this time it was inside out. I promptly helped him realize the error of his ways.

The next time I saw my darling son, this is what he looked like.

Please note the lovely tube socks...where did those come from? He was also sporting his father's footwear.

I guess you could say he has some pretty big shoes to fill.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Never Quite Like I Planned

I think I have said this before, but I'll say it again anyway.

Sometimes I get a picture in my head how I want a project to turn out. I am certain it will work perfectly. Then come the roadblocks. The little annoying hindrances that come along and make you change your plans.

Last time I was here, I wrote about altering cardstock paper with tissue paper. The samples looked really pretty, so I decided to go on with my ATCs.

That is what happened with these ATCs.

Do you see how big the clock is? Well, I looked high and low for a clock stamp and even went as far as to borrow one from a complete stranger through a friend. That conversation went a little something like this:

Me: Hey, Renee! Do you have clock stamp?

Renee: No, but I have a friend who is a scrapbooking guru. I bet she would.

Me: (*Ring-Ring* Do phones ring anymore?) Hello?

Friend's Answering Machine: Hi! You've reached us. Leave a message.

Me: Hi! You don't know me. I am friends with Renee and I asked her for a clock stamp and she said you were the scrapbooking guru and I should ask you...a complete stranger. If you don't think I am crazy, give me a call.

Cell phone one hour later: Hi, Annemarie?

Me: Uh yes? (having completely forgotten I had called anyone and was waiting for a call.)

Cell phone: This is Renee's friend. The Scrapbooking guru.

Well after that awkward phone call, I drove up to said stranger's house to borrow a stamp that had a tiny clock on it, but it still wasn't what I was looking for. But I took it anyway in case I didn't find anything better

Time passes, and Caitlin and I are out and about and see a teacher store. It suddenly hit me that teacher stores have stamps and teachers teach time, so I stopped in, and this gigantic clock stamp is what I walked away with. (I did actually remember to pay for it first.)

More time passes and I finally start making the real cards for the background. I take the papered cards outside to spray them with glitter spray only to find that the nozzle was clogged and it started spitting blobs of glitter all over my wonderfully tissue papered cards. I kept hoping it would be a happy accident, but it wasn't and I had to go back to the store to buy a new glitter spray.

They never did come out the way I had pictured them in mind, but they are done.
Time After Time by Cindy Lauper ATCs

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Love Tissue Paper

If you saw my Discipline collage, you can tell I have a thing for tissue paper. I have used it make inchies and to paint mountain/sunset scenes.

Now I am working on some ATCs. I have done some before using the same cardstock I am using this time. However, I am tired of this background and want to alter it some how, so here's where the process went.

(Note: I did try it on some sample-sized pieces of cardstock first so you might see those pop in from shot to shot.)

I began with a plain piece of cardstock (it is supposed to be green/yellow.)

I lightly drew a line on the card.

I then squeezed some glue onto the card (don't ask why it's blue...that's another story.)
I used scrap piece of stock to spread the glue to get a perfectly straight edge.
I laid the tissue paper onto the wet glue and pressed out the bubbles. (You could use a brayer, it gets messy.)

I trimmed the excess tissue. (I have torn it before, too, for a different effect.)

After the glue dried, I took the card outside to spray it with some glitter spray.

Here's the before during and after, side by side. (The last one is from the sample and it has some silver Scribbles paint along the edge.)

Here is what it looks like with purple cardstock and pink tissue.

What do the final cards look like? Well that's a secret for now, but I will show you when the swap is done!

If you try altering your backgrounds with tissue let me see.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tweetup and a Blog Award

I met a fellow Tweeter today for lunch. She came all the way from Kansas to meet some scrapbookers that she met on the internet. It got me thinking how small the internet has made the world.Yes, we have beaches in Central Texas.

In the past, your friends were people you met at school, work, church, maybe even sitting in a doctor's waiting room. Certainly we didn't just suddenly have friends from Kansas, Canada, Australia, England or the Netherlands. If you wanted to make such friends, you had to fly to those places or sign up for pen pals and hope that someone replied to your request. You then had to wait weeks for that reply to come.

Last year, a coworker told me about Scrapblog. It was through that site that I made several friends. Then Scrapblog led me to SISTV where I made more friends. Those friends then asked who Twittered which I quickly responded to and thereby received names of people I chatted to more frequently. It was better than waiting for an email. (This reminds me of how we used to say a watched pot never boils, but now we are impatient if we have to wait the two minutes it takes to heat a cup of tea in the microwave - time has definitely become relative. But I digress.)

Now I am not here to sing of the praises of Twitter as there are many people who don't get it, don't want to get it, or get it but don't want to have one more obsession to get involved with. Nevertheless, I do follow certain people on Twitter, and I have been known to update my status from time to time.

Despite my love of most things technology based, I am still what is called a Digital Immigrant. My students would be considered Digital Natives. That leaves me wondering what we call people like my mother who don't even like programming their DVR and insist on using film to take pictures even though there is a perfectly good digital camera sitting in the guest room. Digital Aliens??

Regardless, the ever changing world of technology is upon us, and we need to redefine words such as "friends" and rethink how we make them. I believe there are people I know far more about whom I have met on the internet as opposed to sitting across the aisle from in church every Sunday for the past 10 years.

For these digital friends I say, "Thanks for being my friend."

Now to share a blog award with these wonderful people.

I received this blog award from Sharmaine yesterday.
It came along with this comment:

The Love My Friends Award is given to those bloggers who aspire, inspire and share the most beautiful of human attributes: art, wisdom and friendship. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more.

I don't know if I can do eight, but here it goes.
1. Peggy
2. AVTCoach
3. Roban
4. Chris
5. Eva Helen
6. Michelle
7. MJ
8. Shan

Woo hoo! I did it. These are all blogs I love to follow. Some because of their wonderful words and some because of their artistic talent. And some are just for joy their blogs bring when they come up on my reader. Check them out. Tell them hello. It may lead to a new digital friend.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Can You Believe What She Said?

Not wanting to feel left out, Caitlin had to come up with her own "ism."

Mom: Caitlin, why do you have a can of soda?

Caitlin: You came home sooner than I thought . I figured I would be finished before you got here.

Ah, honesty! Who could ask for anything more?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


James was sitting in our bed waiting for his sheets to dry (you can guess why.)

Mommy: James if you don't calm down you will have to go to sleep in your bare bed.

James: Mommy, I am NOT a bear!

We took my brother to the airport this morning to fly from Texas to North Carolina.

(8 hours later)
James: Uncle Andre is flying in the sky.

Mommy: Yes, he is.

James: Now he is landing.

Mommy: Okay.

James: We have to pick him up now.

Mommy: I think that would be a very long drive.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Now Why Didn't I Think of That?

Do you know what this is? Give it a minute. Realize that this is the broken version of something very important to my everyday life.

Do you recognize it now?

Yes it's a knob.

Yes, it is the on/off switch to my beloved dryer. Only many months ago, I cracked it. I was still able to use it with a little finesse, but after months of being tweaked a certain way, the metal core snapped into pieces and refused to be abused anymore.

I asked my darling husband to please take a look at it with the new tool set the kids bought him for father's day, but he said it was a lost cause. He thought the entire internal switch had burned out, and it needed professional help. I looked upon this as an opportunity for a new dryer, but he insisted I call the repair man.

After much procrastination, I finally called the technician to come out and take a look at the old machine, hoping he too would rather I buy a new machine instead of repairing the old one. No such luck.

Mr. A showed up in a timely manner with tools in hand telling me that he thought he would need to order a part and proceeded to write down those all important serial and model numbers. Then he stood up, looked at the machine and proceeded to do this:

The dryer immediately turned on with the temperature setting knob. He even showed me how the washer knob could be pulled off to turn the temperature setting since the "new" on/off knob had been permanently wedged in place. It was funniest thing I ever saw, and I never felt more dumb, although he was very nice about the entire thing. He was ready to leave it at that, but feeling bad about having him come out for nothing, I asked him to go ahead and order me a new knob for the temperature setting. ( Actually, I don't want to spend the rest of the life of this washer and dryer switching knobs back and forth. )

Hopefully the rest of my week goes as simply.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mosaic Monday

And they told their blog friends, and they told their blog friends, and so on and so on. (Flashing back to an old Faberge shampoo commercials.)

I saw this on Roban's blog who saw it on Whimsical Whispers who saw it on Little Red House.Here are few glimpses of last two weeks. A flag from the Fourth of July Parade, a flamingo from the Dallas World Aquarium, James and firetruck, and James and his daddy after the rodeo.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dutch Vink

My friend Chimene is hosting a give away in celebration of her 20,000th visitor. She is an amazing paper artist and photographer. To learn more about how to win a great prize visit this post.
This is part of the wonderful prize package.

And Then it Was July the Fifth

My brother has been visiting from North Carolina.

You know him, the photographer.

A couple of months ago, I saw a really nice camera at a yard sale that the dance booster club was running. It came with a big case and several accessories. Even though the trend has moved toward digital cameras, sometimes it is nice to use a traditional 35mm. I called him and asked him if he wanted it. At first he said, "No." Later on, however, he sent me a text to ask if the camera was still available and to buy it.

Today he got to try it out taking photos of our family. The problem with 35mm film is you have to wait for the film to be processed, even in a one hour processing place. So while he was taking pictures, I decided to break out the digital camera and post some of them today.

Mom is sitting on her front porch surrounded by her lovely plants. Many of them are gifts we received almost a year ago when my father passed away. This is why plants are better than flowers.

We convinced James to sit up in the tree. His patience was slowly wearing thin with us, though, so we had to work quickly.

Suddenly I am singing Bon Jovi lyrics...I'm a cowboy. On a steel (plastic) horse I ride.

The rare sighting of cowboy daddy.

You will have to wait to see the rest until my brother goes to store to get the film developed. Anticipation. The Waiting is the Hardest Part...

Any other song lyrics come to mind?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is a fun holiday around here. Each year the City of Belton holds their annual rodeo and parade. It is known as one of the largest Fourth of July Parades in Texas. This is the first year that my family and I have made it to both the rodeo and the parade.

The rodeo was a blast and it gave my husband a chance to dust off his boots and hat which used to be staples of his daily wardrobe. Going into the corporate world put a halt to most of that. He was so excited that he took my son to the local western wear store to get our son a pair of Wrangler jeans and his first pair of boots. It was so cute.

The rodeo was full of bucking broncs and bulls. Even the little tykes got into the action with some "mutton busting" (sheep riding.) That was quite fun.

This evening after having some barbecue with my mom and brother, we will head out to watch the fireworks. I will see if my camera can catch them. (It says it can.)

Another reason this is a special day is my late father was born of the Fourth of July. He was the real Yankee Doodle Dandy. We really miss him around here, but the great thing is everyone around here celebrates his birthday with lots of parties and tops them off with fabulous fireworks. So HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!
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