Monday, August 10, 2009


While perusing a couple of CTMH blogs, I came across this blog that had some really fun artwork. As I was reading there was a widget on the side that said "praying for stellan", so, of course I went to it to see what was wrong with this precious little baby pictured in the widget. Her latest entry was talking about finding 4 leaf clovers...and then she said this. I have heard it said in so many different ways, and even thought it myself, but I love the way she stated it and thought I would share it with you...

"Perhaps having a good life, one that we are satisfied or joyful in, is not measured by how much subjective good there actually is in our lives, but simply in if we look for satisfaction and joy.

For example, when I am full of a spirit of restoration and love, I can choose to look at my husband and see the good in him. I can focus my attention on the things I love about my husband and put blinders up to the small, irritating things that might otherwise irk me.

The converse is true, too. When I am feeling self-righteous and negative, I can look at that same husband and choose to see only his flaws. When I let his flaws fester in my mind, they seem to grow bigger and more irritating. The good that is in my husband is shoved to the side as I am first unwilling and, later, in fact unable to see it in him.

Nothing about my husband himself changed in these two scenarios. The difference was just in my outlook, in what I searched for."

Well SAID!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The more things change...

the more I think David may actually be right...maybe I really DO have some grey hair? Naw...not yet. But things certainly are changing! We went home to Ohio for a much needed break. Well... it started out a little that way. The first full day there we went to my sisters house in Doylestown where we had a great day with all the Ohio cousins playing baseball/softball (depending on gender)...just imagine, 11 kids ranging from 17 to 4 playing a game of pick-up ball... No tantrums, no fighting, just a fun, relaxing afternoon in the cool 60 degree weather playing an all american just doesn't get any better than that! Then we went back to my sisters house to have BBQ ribs and cheesy potatoes and brownies...YUM! Perfect! Then outside to collect fireflies and play in the dark...oh I remember being the little one! The next day was the 4th and we went to Blossom Music Center to watch the Cleveland Orchestra play their salute to America and the fireworks afterward. I LOVE outdoor arenas and Blossom brings back so many memories! I haven't been there in years and it was a great way to relax and celebrate the 4th...picnics, family and much fun! We celebrated Bethany's 11th Birthday the following Monday...can you believe I have an 11 year old? I can't!

Anyway, next day we went back to Doylestown to see my nieces play the last softball game of their travel season! What a great way for my girls to see how the big girls play! Not only did we have fun watching the game, but we had a great time playing with cousins and enjoying the brisk cool NE Ohio air! My kids have never seen so many fireflies (or giant attack mosquitoes) as they did in Doylestown. In Tennessee, we're lucky to catch maybe 3 or 4, but in Ohio they caught so many that they started speading the "light" parts on their faces like war paint to glow in the dark...poor little bugs. I wonder what their lifespan is anyway? With my kids, it is about 5 seconds!

Next, we visited the McKinley Museum and explored with the dinosaurs, learned about rock layers and fossils, discovered native animals of Ohio and even a little about space! Went on a museum scavenger hunt (in my opinion, all museums should have this wonderful learning tool! They equip the kids with pencils and clipboards and have them fill in age appropriate information about different exhibits...matching for the little ones, fill in the blanks for the big ones) and then went upstairs to learn about a distant relative of ours, William McKinley the 25th president. Of course, my 16 year old niece had to play the part of the blond and ask, "who is that" as the talking mannequin began his speech about his life in the white house and how he got there. I just had to look at her and let in sink in a little before she realized WHERE we were and put 2 and 2 together. Yes, it was the blond leading the blond, but I think I'm actually more brunette now! Pretty funny though. Then we climbed the stairs to look at the Memorial and slide back down the "rails". (Actually, I walked, they slid)

Unfortunately, things took a turn with my dear mother-in-law and I thankfully went up to Geneva to take care of her and give my sisters-in-law a little break. I am so grateful for those 3 days! I learned so much about my mother-in-law. She lived an amazing life, endured with such grace and strength and loved so can only emulate her. I enjoyed the time, realizing all too well that it was more and more limited. After those few days, David's sister return to care for her and David was on his way in two days to see her because her condition had become grave. We all were there on Friday for the weekend and on Monday, July 20, my mother-in-law was escorted to heaven by my father-in-law. She said he was with her and she peacefully went away with him. It all happened so quickly that none of us were/are prepared for it. 9 days after her discharge from the hospital she was gone. We all had some beautiful moments, some very funny moments and of course, some very sorrowful moments. Once again I'm reminded how precious life is and how quickly things change...

I took this picture when most of David's siblings were gathered around her reading a poem she loved. She was starting to relax after being restless and the moment was too beautiful not to capture. This period in time was not a time to carry the camera around, but while watching this moment, I couldn't resist taking this shot...pretty amazing!

Later that week, David's family had calling hours and a beautiful funeral. It was amazing to see their family's strength and weakness all at the same time, but it was more amazing to see my children during the process. Even Nicholas understood what had happened and I really had a hard time keeping my composure after he completely broke down at the funeral. We have some pretty terrific, very loving and very sensitive kids to truly know and understand this life changing situation. I can not imagine having to suffer the loss of my grandparents at such a young age and to know what it means. They understood completely and displayed such love, loss and grace.

Before we returned to Clarksville, we went down to Amish country to show the kids an amazingly different kind of life. While driving down there we passed this tree...

We had to stop and look at it. The owner of the house happened to be standing outside and I asked him about the tree. He said it was getting too overgrown and he knew he needed to cut it down, but he wanted to do something special with it. He was the former principal of the high school located right behind this house and knew one of the teachers at the school loved to carve wood. So he asked him what he could do with it and the teacher simply replied, "we could have a lot of fun". He cut the tree down to this point and the teacher started on a Wednesday afternoon and finished on the following Saturday afternoon. It is truly a work of art.

these are just a few of the images of the tree. It was pretty amazing!

Beautiful Ohio!

Speaking of things changing, we are moving...again. This time to Ft. Belvoir, VA for who knows how long. NO, our house has not sold, so some extra prayers for us in that area would be GREAT! We figured it would be better for us to be together and paying two rents, than being apart and paying two rents. So... if you know anyone who wants to buy or rent a house in Clarksville, I highly recommend ours! We have an awesome neighborhood and great friends here...(yes, shameless plug!)

Well, that's our last month or so...busy, full and never a dull moment.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Going home

Well, we are headed home for a couple of weeks... life is amazing! I have no idea where we'll be 2 months from now but somehow we will be fine. I'm in for a lot of hard work, a lot of long days and a lot of changes but life has a way of doing that. I still have hope, I still have dreams and I still have faith that God will help me find the right path to take. I just wish everything didn't have to be so hard. So for now I'm going back to my roots and hopefully things will fall into place, one way or another.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

About me Book

I made this book for my nephew (a very late birthday present) to record his 8th year of life! He is a wonderful writer so I left a lot of space for him to write about his feelings at this age as well as life in general. Most of the products I used are from CTMH except for a few number and letter stickers. The layout design was duplicated from CTMH's simply snapshots. I also used CTMH's wonderful About Me Stickease Journaling Prompts. I think it was a hit with him.

Supplies: (All CTMH except where indicated) Inks: Archival Black, Cranberry, Grey Wool; Stamps: Journaling Jots, Make it Count, numerous alphabet stamps; Paper:Holiday Red B&T, Bamboo cs, Black cs, Grey Wool cs, Game On Level 2; letter stickers (unknown, from stash) and MM Slice (for letter and number cut outs and other paper detail cut outs), book-Making Memories

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mojo, Spike and Fuzzy

Well, yesterday was a fun day! While I was out running, I found this cute little 1/2 dollar sized turtle on the road. It's brother/sister had already met it's maker. So, I decided it would be fun to save this one and let the kids see it before we released it. (And we did, through many protests and pleadings to keep it, Spike is happy in our neighborhood lake!) So here are a few pics of the girls with Spike. (Nicholas didn't really care too much about him.)

As I mentioned in my previous post, there are several blogs that have card sketches that I love. One of them is Mojo Monday. Here is a card from this weeks sketch!

Materials: (All CTMH unless specified) White Daisy, Olive CS; It's a Guy Thing paper pack; Cocoa ink, Promotional stamp set (unavailable), yarn (unknown), stamp scissors (Fiskars), liquid applique, prisma glitter (on frosting), cranberry brad.

(As you can see, I'm still trying to learn a few things about the blogging world.)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Time to start again

Well, I haven't posted in a while and the reason I started this blog was to share my creativity with anyone interested. Well, it's time to get back to that. I have a ton of stuff in my scrap area waiting to be cut into, stamped and distressed and I haven't touched it in a while. So, I think it's about time to get back to it. My marathon is over, my house is always in need to a good cleaning, but it hasn't even been looked at in a few weeks, so whatever, right? It's time I do what I love and enjoy creating again. So, hopefully my next post will be soon and you'll be able to see some new creativity flowing. There are a couple of card sketch websites I love and I want to share with you. So I will create, post and share. Time to get some normalcy back! For anyone reading this, thanks for checking back. See you soon!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Check out this blog candy!

For those of you who don't craft, blog candy is what some people offer to individuals who look at their blog often. It is generally given to entice people back because they love to share their talent. This particular candy is huge for those in the crafting world. Enjoy her blog! Hopefully I can start posting more often now. Life is starting to kind of settle down. Garage sale is over, 1/2 marathon is done (I am very happy with my results... 2:10:45) and the only thing left is ballet recital, baseball, and sell the house and move. Nothing too small, but doable! (check back in a week and see if I still feel that way!) So, crafting, here I come.


....So here's what you could win!

Set A (36) Copic Ciao Markers (I got this set because it's a good starter and includes skin shades) Nestabilities (5) Sets: Labels 2, Labels 3, Labels 4, Classic heart and Scalloped Classic heart.
Martha Stewart Floral Lace border punch.
Miss Anya Stamp set by The Greeting Farm.
2 6x6" pads of the latest releases from Basic Grey Lime Rickey and Wisteria.
100 Flowers.
20 x 1 metre lengths of assorted ribbons
25 Flower Buttons.

Monday, March 9, 2009

First showing

Well, we had our first showing on Friday. My neighbor spied on our house for me and told me they were here for about 40-50 minutes...I think that's good! At least they made it in the door and wanted to see more! I'm not sure how they felt about Holly's beautiful Tinkerbell room. My realtor told me not to paint it just yet...maybe someone will like it. We'll see. I'm sure I'll be painting it before long though. I do love it!

It brought to light a few concerns I haven't taken time to truly consider. IF we do sell before I need to, where are we going to live? I've thought about it, but haven't really taken it into consideration or truly looked for a place to rent in the meantime. Also, how am I going to discuss it with D? Doesn't that stuff usually happen rather quickly? They offer, we counter if necessary, they...Will I have time to email and wait for a response? Anyone know? Help me with that one. I guess I should talk to my realtor too!

So, life here is loads of fun. The kids are getting used to military rule in the house. They'll be ready to have their beds checked with quarters pretty soon. Every call on the weekend is the "is it her" call now. Not really fun trying to keep the house clean while relaxing...but it must be done.

Nicholas had a kindergarten performance on Tuesday last week...Oh my gosh was it ever cute! He is such a ham...dancing like John Travolta, singing his math song. There are definitely some drama kings and queens in his class! The parents couldn't stop laughing as some of the kids just let it all out! Maybe I should have enrolled him in dance also? Naw, I think baseball will be a lot more fun to watch.

Bethany had a science fair project due tomorrow. When did she begin? Well, she worked on some of it (writing part) this week, started the experiment on Friday and put it all together today...of course I told her I would not help her if she waited until the last minute...alas, she did. I did offer to type and cut out a couple of things, but it frustrates me so much when she waits to start the major portion. Not good. I think it turned out pretty cute...I'll have to take a couple of pictures to show you. She is very proud of her project.

Ashley is doing well, loving dance and still reading a ton. She finishes her books so fast she needs to visit the library every other day practically. She is starting to hit a little bit of a growth spurt again and getting into her size/age clothes again. She is still a little on the small side...she gets that from me...poor girl.

Holly is my little stinker. Boy is she giving me a run for my money lately. She keeps me on my toes with household cleaners and paints, but she is just looking for that creative outlet...on the carpets, walls and doors. Now I need to show her where she CAN paint and clean! She is getting so big, she's outgrowing her age/size clothes. She also LOVES dance and her teachers keep telling me of her "natural" talent. I ask if they mean the DRAMA part...they laugh. I am not kidding!! :) She's so much fun though. We are going to have a tea party tomorrow (we tried on Friday, but had to leave the house for the showing, so it never happened). Yummy tea with milk and lemon cookies! She wants to have all her friends (dolls) be a part of it. I can't wait!

So that is us in a nutshell right now. Keep your prayers up for our house, family and move! Please also say a prayer for my mom who is still fighting a staph infection in her knee, and David's mom for her Cancer. It's been a tough start of the year for both of them. Thanks again...and Happy Spring!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Finally done

Well, it's finally done. I still have a lot of work to do, but my house is actually on the market. Now we'll see if we can actually keep it clean! I have to go through a few things and organize a lot more. I've kind of fallen off the bandwagon, and now I have to get back on and fast! If any of you have any pointers, I'd appreciate all input. It looks like the kids and I are going to be finding as many activities OUTSIDE of the home as possible so it can stay clean. I just hope the weather cooperates! Anyway...the sign's in the please pray it sells (just not too quickly!).

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crazy week

What a crazy week this has been. It started with Holly having the stomach flu for 5 days. She was beginning to feel better Monday but I kept her home. As it turns out, Monday at her school, an older woman (grandma) pulled up in the handicapped parking space in front of the playground her class plays on and drove under/through the fence and hit the slide off the playset and stopped just short of the glass windows to the parish hall. Just minutes before they had gotten the kids off the playground and several people were still standing outside (it was a beautiful day) talking and taking their time getting their kids to their cars. It was a very traumatic event for alot of moms, teachers and the preschool director. The woman was fine, just shaken up as were many people that day. Amazingly, no one was hurt.

Wednesday I lost my cell phone at the commissary. Normally I would say this isn't a big deal because I don't particularly like having it all the time, but when David is gone, it is the only way for the schools to communicate with a parent when I'm not home so I am much better about having it and turning it on when he is not home. Fortunately it was found 2 days problems.

Thursday, a certain female child decided to turn on the shower and "wait for it to get hot". 10 minutes later, I heard a flood of water in the ceiling in the kitchen and suddenly water flowed from the light fixture and seams between the sheetrock...I ran up the stairs pushed the curtain in the tub, turned off the water and started grabbing anything that could soak up water to dry up the I have to repair and paint the ceiling in the kitchen before I try to sell our house...soon.

Friday am, same female child decided she wanted ramen for lunch. She put it in my pampered chef microwave cooker and cooked it for 3 minutes...without water. Needless to say I need to get a new micro cooker and our house smelled awful all day! Even with open windows and fans on.

Saturday a couple more things happened that I can't even post and needless to say, I have had a WEEK! Thank GOD it is over and we can start fresh. Don't you love waking up in the morning knowing that a new day has arrived and it will hopefully be better than the day before?

Well, now that I have new work ahead of me and one less day to do it (ie children have no school) I will be planning a preparing a little more.

BTW, I am trying to train for a 1/2 marathon in April down in Nashville. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them. I am 10 weeks away, running 3-4 times per week and am running about 4-5 miles each now. I am also attempting to do cross-fit still, but it is harder to come up with my workouts. It's all good though...hee, hee.

Well, it is time to get the kids ready for bed, but I decided to share a peek into my world lately. Trying to get a house ready to be put on the market, raising 4 kids, ballet/baseball, and training for a marathon... I guess my life is a marathon at the moment. Wish me luck!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Meet Riley

Our newest addition to our clan. We just hated coming home to emptiness. He's so much fun...

Happy Discovery

OK, I typed too I loaded my printer driver onto the computer, I happened to glance down at it and realized that it, too has memory card slots....YEAH!!! I remember thinking when I bought it that I would never have any reason to use it...well, now I do! It works perfectly with the computer and I uploaded my Christmas pictures so easily. Don't you just LOVE when that happens. So far, I can't find anything wrong with this computer...everything is easier! Gotta love that. It just WORKS! 5 stars for Apple!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

New Year, New beginnings

First, I have to tell you all that we got a new computer...a Mac, and I am still working through the differences. I have a lot to learn and one of the first things I have to figure out is how I'm going to upload pictures. My old computer had a slot for memory cards and it was extremely convenient to upload pictures, but this does not. Sooo...I have to find the cords for my cameras and hope they work. I hope once I get some pictures on, it will be easy (everyone says it is) but in the meantime, I can only type.

I have decided that this year is a year of hope for all of us. It started off OK, but I think it is going to be a lot better than last year. Things are improving on the home front and the kids are getting excited to move. We are going to move to Virginia this summer or after our house sells, which ever comes first. I'm sure many of you who know me know that this is a change from our previous plans. We are working on things and they are improving.

Thanks to all of you who have supported me and my family through the tough times we've been isn't perfect yet, but we are on the right path.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

I hope anyone who might actually still check here has a wonderful New Year! We all had a good holiday and are enjoying our many gifts...especially the time we are having together. God Bless you all in this new year and may it be better than last...


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