Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Blog Challenge: Women I admire

The question of the day is is there a woman "Who you'd love to have a one hour conversation with?"

There are a number of women who fit this bill. My most recent addition to this list is Sarah Palin. I don't care much about politics and I have a hard time sorting out all the whys and wherefores when it comes to political campaigns. However, this woman struck a cord with me. It was not about her politics but her personality. I think there is a ton of stuff I could sit and talk to her about. I would love to chat with her about parenting and getting kids safely to adulthood. She and I share an interest in fishing. In fact, it would be so awesome to have this one hour conversation while standing on the bank of one of her State's rivers with fishing poles in our hands. I think we could have some fun debates about the different teams in the field of 64 that made up the NCAA tournament.

I really admire this woman and her ability to put it all on the line to run for the second highest seat in the land with little preparation. I would love to spend an hour with her.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A pleasant day

What a pleasant day. The kids are with my parents having fun. They went fishing this afternoon. I am alone in the house while DH is at work. I have the TV tuned to March Madness. The window is open and a nice breeze is blowing. So far the weather has been dry today. The animals are all healthy and happy. Sure there is housework to do but the laundry is caught up and the dishes are all clean or in the dishwasher.

Yep, just a pleasant day.

Blog Challenge: Women I admire

I looked over the list of writing prompts for the blog challenge this morning and kept coming back to this one:

Write about a woman "Who inspires you?"

My friend Laurie inspires me. Laurie has had some really hard times in her life. She has overcome all of it and now is in a stable relationship, is a great mom and is a fun, loving friend. She is a co-leader of our 4-H club and works hard at everything she does. Her son, a friend of Jessie's, has some pretty serious health issues but Laurie deals with it all with grace.

In her younger life, Laurie had a drug problem, lived in her car with her little boy and escaped an borderline abusive relationship. She found the inner strength to pull herself together, get out of the relationship, and make something of her life.

Now Laurie works tirelessly to make things better for her son who deals with debilitating migraines and behavior issues. She nearly single handedly put together a huge fundraiser for our 4-H club that raised over $2500 dollars for our Relay for Life team.

Laurie inspires me to be a better, stronger person. I am so thankful to count her as a friend.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Blog Challenge: Women I admire

Oops, I have neglected my blog a bit this week with all the business of life getting in the way. I need to get back to posting daily. Nothing like the blog challenge to drag a post out of me. Today I want to write about a woman who had a wonderful influence on my life and is someone "Who you wish was still here with you?"

I wrote a lot about my grandma and my feelings about her passing last year in a couple of posts. One is here and another is here. Finally here is the last one here.

I desperately miss my grandmother. She taught me so very much through my life. I wish she was still here as she was when I was a child so my children could learn from her too.

My grandmother was just fun. She loved to play with us. We played cards, dice games, read stories, worked in the garden and just generally had a great time together. I miss Grandma. I would love to spend more time with her. She was a wonderful influence on my life. She is someone I aspire to be like.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Blog Challenge - Women I admire

Wow, lookie there this is my 200th blog post. Cool.

I just finished up a digital scrapbook layout using the 3rd sketch from the Feeling Scrappy class I am taking. Since the layout is of Matt's great-great aunt on her 100th birthday I will use it as a jumping off point to honor her.

Given the "rules" of this challenge I need to pick one of the writing prompts. This lady fairly personifies a woman I am in awe of.

Credits: Sketch by Stacey Lokovic. Maroon paper, yellowish paper, lace, bling and heart are all from a free kit by DigiLover's Addiction.
Purple background paper designed by me with a PSE 6 brush. Font: Lucida Handwriting.

Aunt Melba is a fascinating lady. She is tough as nails and fiercely independent. She has lived on her own since her husband Ray passed away over 10 years ago. Given that she is 100 years old, it amazes me that she still gets around on her own with just the use of wheeled walker. After all there are days I would like to be able to use one of those so she is doing great. She lives in an assisted living facility where she has a little apartment. She has a couple of doggies to keep her company.

Did I mention she is tough? She and Ray lived their entire married life in Los Angeles where he was an artist and furniture designer/builder for Hollywood. Their home was on the fringes of the LA riots in 1992. Let's do the math for a second. That was 16 years ago. 100 - 16 = 84. She was 84 years old at that time. Did they leave and let the police protect their home and property? No they did not. They stayed. They, with the help of some trusted young people from the neighborhood, protected their home through all the burning and fighting.

I am in awe of this woman. She had no children of her own but helped to raise her sister's children and helped those children with their families as well. One of those children was my husband's grandmother. Melba has outlived so many in her life including, sadly, Grandma Dessert. Frankly just the changes in this country and our social norms this woman has seen leave me in awe. We are coming up on her 101st birthday soon. Oley smokes that is a long time.

Since her health has held, her mind is still firmly intact and she is so independent, I would not be surprised to be invited back to celebrate 105 years in 2013.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Blog Challenge for March

My friend Traci has issued another great blog challenge for us. If you want to participate, jump on in.

Here are the details copied from her blog:
This month's challenge is of a different sort. March is Women's History Month. Since we are all women, it seems fitting to have a monthly challenge that honors the special women in our life.

Is there a woman...
  • Who you wish you spent more time with or talked to more often?
  • Who inspires you?
  • Who you can always talk to?
  • Whose story you're always in awe of?
  • Who touched your life in a major way?
  • Who taught you a skill that you use often?
  • Who you could trust to point out the lettuce stuck in you teeth from lunch?
  • Who you could invite over to your messiest house?
  • Who you want to be like when you grow up?
  • Who made you want to be a mom?
  • Who you've never met, but always admired?
  • Who you wish was still here with you?
  • Who you laugh so hard you cry with?
  • Who can finish your sentences for you?
  • Who has been your friend as long as you can remember?
  • Who you've been greatly encouraged by?
  • Who you'd love to have a one hour conversation with?

Since this is also the month of St Patrick's Day, we'll throw in a little "luck o' the Irish" and make the rules unique:

-Pick 7 (get it "lucky number 7?) of the above writing prompts and roll with them. Write 7 meaningful posts about 7 special ladies. If you don't like my prompts feel free to substitute some of your own.

-Prizes will also be unique this month. EVERYONE who participates will get a special little prize. I hope to have a bunch of participants and I'm willing to give out oodles of prizes!

Remember to leave a comment and let me know you're playing!!! And if you finish before the month is over feel free to stop over early and let me know that you've participated!

I look forward to reading about a bunch of special ladies! Happy Blogging Everyone!

This will be a real, well, challenge for me and could result in tears as well but I am game. I will get started tomorrow.

Happy birthday to me

Come on sing it with me. Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me.

Yep today is my birthday.

My kids very sweetly wished me happy birthday this morning before heading off to school.

Tonight DH, the kids and my parents are going out to dinner and then to the Oregon State Gymnastics meet. I am sure there will also be ice cream and cake somewhere in there.

Many people worry and stress about birthdays and getting older. I have never really worried about it that much. This year as I turn 35, I find myself more aware of my age. I think that is directly related to my oldest turning 13 in a few months. Oh boy, where have the years gone? I was 22 when she was born. 22!?! Oh how young that seems now. Each year seems to go by faster than the next. We get busier and busier the older the kids get. With that busier schedule I feel my age more and more. For example, I fell a couple weeks ago. I hurt my knee and my shoulder. A few years ago, this would have been a simple injury a few years ago. Now, it is still giving me problems. This has caused me to reflect on what is good for me and what I know I need to do. It is time to take control of my health. I have to put a plan in place to bump up my exercise, improve my eating and basically take back control.

Happy birthday to me!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sketch #2 - Daffodil Delight

I have spent a few hours going back and forth with this layout. I finally have it as I like it.

The journaling reads:
One of my very favorite flowers is the daffodil. I love the many color combinations but my absolute favorite is the bright yellow King Alfred daffodils. My grandfather raised King Alfred daffodil bulbs on his farm in Warrenton, Oregon. It would seem that the love of these flowers was passed down to me from him. It just says spring to me when the daffodils start to bloom. Spring flowers are a sign that the rainy, dreary, cold, gray winter is beginning to succumb to the warm sun of spring. On a bright, beautiful early spring day in March I got out with my camera and captured the gorgeous yellow color of these spring icons.

Digital layout created in PSE 6.
Sketch by Jayne Jones - Sketch #2 in Sketchapalooza 3.
Green background paper is from Kristine Pocock's Wenchd Graffix, Fall Splendor Kit.
Orange paper is from Jan Hosford's Woodland Song kit.
Clips are from Beth Kern's Simply Love kit.
Bling circle frame is from Boutique Cute Dolls Dreaming Sampler kit.
The daffodil paper was created by from my own photo and the green background paper by Kristine Pocock.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sketch #1 - Enjoying the Sun

Here is the layout I did with the first sketch of the new Sketchapalooza class over at Feeling Scrappy. If you are interested, I am sure you could still sign up for this fabulous class since there are only two sketches posted so far.

Sketch by Amy Bell. Sketch 1 from Sketchapalooza 3.
Digital layout created in PSE 6.
Photos edited using actions from Coffeeshop Free Actions
All papers from Digitreats Smirk Kit
Ric-Rac from Brittney's Britt-ish Designs.
Fonts: Poor Richard, Goudy Stout and Lucida Fax.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Almost didn't make it

I nearly forgot to sign up for Sketchapalooza III. Now that would have made me sad.

What is sketchapalooza? It is a fabulous class over at Feeling Scrappy. A wonderful design team will be providing us with oodles of sketches to get us moving to get a bunch of pages done. This is an inexpensive, fun class that will help get lots of scrapping done. Whether you do digital or traditional scrapbooking, this class will work for you.

Come join us for lots of scrappy fun. You can get so much inspiration just from hanging out with this group of ladies. It is not too late. The first sketch was just posted yesterday so there is plenty of time to get signed up and start scrapping.

Poor little guy

Yesterday the girls and today poor little David. He is running a fever (don't know how high since the thermometer battery is dead) and has been having episodes of vomiting all morning. At least he is good at getting to the bathroom.

Poor little one is all tuckered out and sleeping. Hopefully he will wake up feeling better.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Poor kids -- Poor me.

Darn it all.

So much for my quiet Monday morning.

Both girls are home sick.

Jessie has an icky tummy. She has been the longest holdout with all the illness swirling around. The colds have been in the house for a while starting with David going to Matt and I and finally Emily has been fighting it off for the last couple weeks. The only one not to get the cold has been Jessie. I thought she had a chance to avoid it all but nope, this morning the bedroom door cracked open with a "mom, I don't feel good". Now usually that is not enough to warrant a day off from school but she also felt warm and looked a bit green so back to bed she went.

Now with Emily I am not surprised at all. She has been struggling with a cough for a week and I had to bring her home from school early one day. But she has been trying so hard to work through it because it was her last week of basketball. Of course that was probably part of the problem, she was pushing herself to keep up and play in the last game of the season. Now she is paying the price for that dedication. Her cough is awful and she is exhausted which makes her attitude pretty testy.

Poor things are miserable. Poor me because I love my quiet, home all alone Monday mornings. Oh well, all I had planned was housework anyway. I just have to keep the radio volume turned down.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fabulous Day

Yesterday was a fabulous day. It was also a super busy day.

It started with an early morning wake-up. In order to get to town in time for warm-ups at 8:00 a.m. the alarm went off at 6:30. We were out the door into the cold, cold morning by 7:40. Emily's final basketball game of the season, against the toughest team in their age group, was set to start at 8:30. For this family that is waaaaayyyyy early for a Saturday morning.

The game, as I said, pitted us against the toughest team. The other coach is very loud and is teaching her girls to use game skills that are not allowed (such as a version of zone defense) at this level. All of that is very confusing for teams who are doing things as they should. Yesterday the girls did really well holding their ground and not letting the other team push them around. It was a hard fought game. Emily took a hard fall in the third quarter and hurt her shoulder. In the past this would have been enough to make her quit at least for the day. Yesterday, after shaking it off for a bit, she rejoined her team and finished the game. I was so proud of her!! Though there is no official score kept, all the parents know, we won this game!! More importantly the girls worked hard in the second half to come back from a fairly significant deficit for that win.

After spending a few hours at home doing some chores and relaxing, we headed back out to go to Corvallis. We gathered back up with the team for pizza, awards and birthday cake because it was coach's birthday. The pizza place we were at has a huge play area and the girls had a blast hanging out together and playing, eating pizza and cake and getting their team medals. Yeah I know the photo sucks but the focus was off in the dark room and it is the only one I have so I will use it and be happy that I have even that.

To cap off the day, the team got to go watch the Oregon State University Lady Beavers take on their in-state rivals, the University of Oregon Lady Ducks. The team got to sit together in fabulous seats to cheer on the Beavs to win. They also got a photo op with Benny Beaver. When the game was over the team and coach came up in the stands where the girls were sitting, giving high-fives and hugs. The kids were so excited and hyped up. Their eyes were sparkling and they were all talking a mile a minute. It took a good long time for all the excitement to drop down to normal levels.

To cap the evening we got a quick photo with one of the cheerleaders.