Sunday, January 31, 2010

Snow Days!

We got a little snow overnight on Friday... by the time the kids got outside Saturday morning, it was sleeting. Saturday night it started to clear up, and everything froze over.

Even though it wasn't a lot, the kids have had a blast playing in it! Abbie came up with this Jacob-powered sled... made from a box and a jumprope. (I call it "mother is the necessity of invention" since she originally wanted to use the top to a plastic tub and I said 'no'!)

Zac is standing at the edge of our ice rink, otherwise known as our cul-de-sac! The two inches of ice on the roads led to church being cancelled today, and the threat of black ice has cancelled school on Monday.

Even though it's not deep, and is a little crunchy... it was snow!

The kids played outside more in the last two days than they have in the last four months. It was great to see them go out several times a day this weekend to play!

And, of course, after coming in from the cold, it was time for a cup of hot chocolate!

We had a cozy weekend of staying home, thankful for our warm home.....

relaxing.... reading.....

and playing games!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Winter Weather Watch!

We are expecting some winter weather later today or tonight. Here in the south, that means that everyone is running to the grocery store for milk and bread. At about 8:15 this morning I wondered if I, too, should make a trip to the store. I thought about it for less than a minute.

I keep my grocery list going on a notepad on the fridge. As I am getting close to something running out, I write it down. I also try to make as few trips to the store as possible, because I find that I spend less money that way. I typically make one or two runs to Costco each month, usually on payday. I get most of my staples there, unless sale prices and coupons get me a better deal at the grocery store. My last trip to Costco was a week ago.

So right now, we have 3 gallons of milk and 3 dozen eggs in the fridge, as well as 4 loaves of bread in the freezer. I am also stocked up with plenty of meat and veggies in the freezer. The pantry is also well-stocked. So, no need to go to the store today! I am staying warm inside, and looking forward to a cozy weekend of scrapbooking, games, movies, and time with my family.

When it snows, she has no fear for her household; ~Proverbs 31:21a

{Made with Winter Solstice Digital Kit}

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We have a winner!

Congratulations to Anne T.!!! She is the the winner of my Photo Circle Giveaway!!!

Anne gets to choose one set of these cute little Mini PicFolio albums!!!

Didn't win? Well, you can still get 20 FREE prints when you join my Photo Circle!

To join my Photo Circle simply follow the link to the Creative Memories Digital Center. It is as simple as creating an account for yourself, using my CM ID: 24915986. For me to see you on my Photo Circle list, you do need to click the box allowing me to send you an occasional email. {Note: if you already have a Creative Memories Consultant, then you should create an account with them.} Check out all the great stuff you can do with your pictures! Enjoy your 20 FREE prints!!! And let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Honoring a Pet

Scrapbooking isn't just for books... or just for people, either.

Recently, I was asked to help make a special tribute to honor a dearly-loved pet who had passed on. This sweet family missed their precious puppy so much and wanted a way to remember him. I was sent a photo, which I played with a little, to come up with this layout. We then ordered an 8x10 Photo Panel so that Jackson could be displayed proudly on their mantel.

I was told that the entire family cried when their Photo Panel arrived.

Photo Panels are a unique way to display photos on walls, shelves, or table tops. The photo is laminated to the hard surface to make a durable keepsake. They are available at the Creative Memories Digital Center in three sizes: 5x7, 8x10 and 11x14. You can upload a photo, or a layout. I can help you with personalized, custom layouts for your project, too!

Don't forget about my Giveaway! Create your own account at the Creative Memories Digital Center using my consultant ID (24915986) and you get 20 free photo prints, plus the chance to win a set of Mini PicFolio albums worth $24!!! All it takes is your name and email when you register... info I won't be sharing. See this post for further details. Register your account and join my Photo Circle by Sunday night... the prize drawing will be Monday!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

One of my Simple Solutions

So, yesterday, the Nester wrote on her blog about simple solutions for everyday issues, and I posted a comment recommending one of my favorite things. I said I had a post brewing on this handy-dandy item. A little while later on facebook, she referenced my comment, asking if it really worked. By 8:30 last night her facebook post had 28 comments, and all but one were positive! So here is one of my favorite solutions around the house.

When I want to hang things on the wall, but don't want to pound a nail into nice kitchen cabinets. I use these.

They are Command Adhesives! I love these little hooks. They really are one of my favorite things. I have a collection of several kinds that I use all around the house in a variety of ways, for everything from holding up dishtowels to bath towels in the kids' bathroom, mops in the laundry room, and the calendar in the office.

These tiny hooks are great for light items. This style is not very attractive, so I used bows to hide the hook.

I wanted some extra lighting in the kitchen, so I installed a plug-in, under-cabinet light. Then I had to deal with the cord, keeping it hidden out of the way. Command Adhesive hooks to the rescue again! Here is a view of the underside of my kitchen cabinet.

Inside our coat closet door, I have hooks attached to the door at kid-height. My children can hang up their jackets all by themselves. These hooks have been up for well over a year... and they are usually holding several jackets each.

The same style of hook also holds our stockings on the mantel at Christmastime.

On top of my mantel, I attach 3 hooks which hold up my garland. These are laying flat so that the garland can hang over the edge.

Command Adhesive hooks are so cool because they hold really well, yet they are totally removable. After Christmas, all the hooks are removed without any trace, and with no damage to the mantel. I saw a special about Christmas decor at the White House, and guess what they use? Yep! Command Adhesive hooks.

The hook part slides off to reveal the holder and adhesive strip. The strips adhere to many surfaces including painted wood, walls, cabinets, doors, even wallpaper. When it is time to remove the hook, simply pull straight down on the adhesive strip and it will stretch into a long piece until it isn't attached to the wall anymore. I recommend holding the plastic piece with one hand as you pull the strip with the other. I have had the plastic snap free, against my hand, and it doesn't feel good! Other than that, I have had great success with these for years.

We have moved quite a lot, so I don't like to invest in a lot of hardware. I don't mind investing in my Command hooks, though! See, I have this little collection. When we move, I go around the house removing them all, taking them with me.

All the hooks come with extra adhesive strips so you can use them more than once. Not only can you buy hooks in various sizes, but you can buy extra adhesive strips in several sizes, as well. I have used my hooks over and over and over again!
Command Adhesives work for me! I am linking up with Kristen at We are That Family for Works For Me Wednesday.
p.s. Check out my Giveaway! Entries are open through 1/24!!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I am hosting a Giveaway this week! See these cute little Mini PicFolio albums? They are designed to hold eight 2x3" photos. But I also use one in my purse as the perfect thing to hold all our random gift cards. A Mini PicFolio is my favorite thing to give my kids' teachers, too... I am sure teachers get lots of little photos from kids. And these little books are just right for little hands to hold... your toddler or preschooler would love having their own photo album, don't you think?!

I am giving away one set of TWO Mini PicFolio albums in your choice of color combinations: Navy & Pink, or Aqua & Green!!!

All you have to do is join my Photo Circle at the Creative Memories Digital Center. It is as simple as creating an account for yourself, using my CM ID: 24915986. {Note: if you already have a Creative Memories Consultant, then you should create an account with them.} While you are creating your account, feel free to browse around the site and see all the fun stuff you can do with your pictures!

This Giveaway will end at 10pm on Sunday, January 24, 2010. The winner will be randomly chosen from my list of Photo Circle members. I will announce the winner next week!

A Wedding Album

For the past 12 years, I have been blessed and honored to be hired to make albums and scrapbook pages for others. As a stay-at-home mom who needs to contribute to the family budget, this has been work that provides a creative outlet for me, as well as some necessities for our family. I feel fortunate whenever I am entrusted with these heart-projects. I love that my work brings joy!

{Click Images to Enlarge}

At the same time, I have also taught and encouraged others, and provided them with tools and supplies to make their own beautiful pages. I get paid well to make albums for others, but I really gain more satisfaction from helping people make their own pages and complete their albums themselves. I do love a new project, though!

I recently completed these pages and had so much fun with them! I was commissioned by the mother-in-law, but worked with the bride. She gave me so many beautiful photos to work with!

We chose to use the Black & White Power Palette to best match her wedding.

We also chose to do this project as digital pages, rather than traditional scrapbooking. Digital pages are fun because they provide so many options! We could have had these printed as a hardcover StoryBook in either 12x12 or 8x8 sizes. In this project, the pages were printed as Page Prints and put in a traditional scrapbook album.

I like to design layouts as two-page spreads that coordinate. Here, I am showing individual pages, but you can tell that pages 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, etc. all coordinate with each other.

And I will let you in on a little secret... I started with Digital Predesigned Pages and then I tweaked them with StoryBook Creator Plus Software!

Do you think digital scrapbooking is too difficult or complicated? Predesigned pages and easy-to-use software created for scrapbookers makes it fun and simple! Really!!! You don't even have to be creative. But if you are, the sky's the limit to what you can come up with!

Want to try digital scrapbooking? All you have to do is download free software here, and download free predesigned pages here. It is as simple as dragging and dropping your photos, and clicking and typing your text! {Have a Mac? Our Mac software isn't ready yet, but will be soon! In the meantime, you can go here to make digital pages with any of the 125+ free layouts.}

Aren't these pages fun?

I so enjoyed making them!

The best part, though, is when the recipients see them and love them!!!

The following page is one I gave a sneak peak of a few weeks ago. I still love it!

This wedding album was 20 pages, with 97 photos!

Really, the hardest part of the project was choosing which beautiful pictures to use!

I would love to answer any questions you have about digital scrapbooking!

I am hosting a Giveaway this week! Click here for details!!

I am linking up with Kimba's DIY Day! See more fun projects there!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

This boy humbles me...

This little first grader humbles me with his love for the Lord!

As we packed up three bags of groceries to take to church for the food pantry, he cried... he wanted us to take more than 5 boxes of cereal. So we added two more boxes to our contribution.

He is the one in our family that always volunteers to pray.

He always wants to go Saturday mornings to serve breakfast with our street ministry.

When he woke up Wednesday morning, he was so excited it was Wednesday. He said it was his favorite day of the week because he has art class and gets to go to church! {Awana is Wednesday nights.}

We have found that having his Awana book at the breakfast table gives us a great time to review verses. Jacob was so motivated to memorize his next 5 verses so he could earn his 4th jewel of the year last night. He was excited to get to the 5th and 6th jewels because they were all about the books of the Old Testament... which he had learned last year when he was memorizing the books of the New Testament. He went to Awana last night determined to earn not one, but three jewels! And he did it! We are so proud of him.

This sweet boy blesses us with his love for the Lord. I pray that his heart will always be tender to God and His will. And I pray that my joy for and trust in the Lord would be as pure and fresh as Jacob's.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
~Matthew 19:14

Sunday, January 10, 2010

One last gift...

I know it is the New Year, and Christmas is well behind us. But I have to share about the sweetness of my family. We had a nice, quiet Christmas. It was low-key, and low-budget, but lovely. After we were all done with gifts, we enjoyed our traditional Christmas morning breakfast of homemade cinnamon rolls. I went upstairs for a few minutes, and when I came down, my family presented me with one last, little gift.

You see, I had been saving up some gift cards I had received for my birthday in order to buy a new camera since I have been without my own for a while now. Not a tricked-out-camera-of-my-dreams, just a basic point & shoot that takes decent photos. As Christmas approached, I realized that I needed to use those gift cards, instead, to buy presents for my family. An easy sacrifice to make, actually.

So what did my family do? They got together, Christmas morning after unwrapping gifts, and wrapped up the gift cards they got for Christmas, and gave them to me! They sacrificed their chance to shop for their own goodies, just so I could get a camera. I was so touched.

I had to wait a couple weeks, but Friday I was able to go pick up my new camera! I would have been happy with this camera in any color, truly. I was thrilled when I went to buy a silver camera and they said I had a choice... and I chose pink! Thank you, sweet family, thank you!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
~James 1:17

I am hosting a Giveaway through 1/24/10... click here for details!
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