Kids Book Corner

  • Goose Girl
  • Mrs. Frisby and The Rats of NIMH
  • Peter and The Shadow Thieves
  • Peter and The Star Catchers
  • Simon Bloom, The Gravity Keeper
  • Stella Brite and The Dark Matter Myster
  • The Island of The Blue Dolphins
  • The Phantom Toll Booth
  • The School Library Journal
  • The Sisters Grimm
  • Tuck Everlasting


Friday, September 29, 2006

Tea Party:

Actually, it was a Sprite Party, but tradition must be maintained in this highly civilized occasion!

Noah took over and pretended to be the mother at the head of the table. He, or she, served the tea to each of the ladies at the table. Everyone participated and it was a grand event!

*Notice the pinky action!

Eve dressed up for the occasion.


Rachel is having a tough time at school, especially, with math. She asked if I would consider home schooling her. I told her she was always welcome to be taught at home, but wanted her to be sure that is what she really wants to do first. I wrote a letter to her teacher and will probably receive a call from her tomorrow afternoon or Monday. Rachel has had teachers who have really liked her in the past and have been on the touchy feely sweet side. Her new teacher is all business and Rachel feels she is failing because she can't seem to ingratiate herself with the teacher. I don't think it is the teacher being unkind, I think she is just a plow ahead and get things done and we don't have time to hug and be cute. I told her if she came home to learn I would give her assignments and expect her to work hard, as well. The problem from what I'm understanding from Rachel is in math the teacher will present a concept, give a quiz, then a test and if you don't do well she still moves on to the next concept. Rachel's attitude towards math is negative, so she is already starting at a negative and she is floundering. I go over her math homework with her and it disturbs me that she is counting on her fingers and not grasping simple math. She has taken standardized tests and scored above average on every subject, so I know the capacity to understand is there, but putting it into every day effect is not happening.

She said she would take in the note and give the situation some more time. I really wouldn't mind having her home. She and Aaron are competitive with each other, so it might light a fire under him to learn more. Rachel could also use Saxon Math, which belabors math concepts in its approach to teaching. This repetion might help her become proficient. I'm just not sure about her somewhat fickle notions, so setting a definite is difficult.


We will be Denny sitting tomorrow, as my folks are going to a wedding in Tennessee. My mom is super nervous leaving my brother. I don't think my mother has left Denny for longer than 2 days in his 43 years of life. I enjoy overhearing her read his favorite Sesame Street stories to him. She does the best voices! My favorite is "The Diamond D". It is about dumb Dora of Dumbdiddle and the Dreadful Dragon.
Click Herefor the version my mother has, which is on sale at


Noah, Eve, Aaron, Michael and half of Noah's Tiger Cub den went up Stone Mountain tonight. We had a severe thunderstorm move in and the excursion was almost cancelled, but it scooted on through. Noah said he was glad because he had, "Looked forward to this trip ALL WEEK!"

Rachel and I went to Girl Scouts where she made a paper lantern and I paper-scrapped a 6 X 6 brag book for my sister-in-laws baby. I will have to finish it up tomorrow. The baby is due in 2 weeks!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Breathings of Your Heart:

This is another one of my ATCs for the Altered/Collage challenge section at Scrap Artist:

wired-eyelet: Day Gallery by Robyn England,
Heart: Noni by Debra Tope
Rose Queen: Fairy Tales by Liza Dozier
Postcard: Letters Home by dbmiller
Vintage Tag: Charming Curiosity by Poppy Andrews
Vintage Journaling block: Autumn Splendor by PSpringmann
Paper: The Pembroke Collection by Ashalee Wall
Inked edge: Freebie from Nancie Rowe Janitz

Text: Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Writing is both mask and unveiling. ~E.B. White

Postcard says: Dear, You are always (in my thoughts)!


This morning Eve and I are going to the Emory University Department of Child Psychology. One of the students is doing a study on how children categorize objects. Hopefully Eve will be up to going. I think she may be getting the Croup. Her cough was rather chunky, but not to the barking stage. She also has a husky voice when she speaks. She was miserable, but refused to take any medicine, so we both ended up rather sticky with Tylenol Nighttime cold medicine. So far, Rachel is my healthy one...Yeah, for small miracles! Hopefully I'll have something cool to tell you about Eve's experience at the Child Study Center later on today!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I checked my friend, Janna's, blog and she had a YouTube video by Weird Al. I think my family and I have watched the video 10 times.Click Mefor the White and Nerdy video by Weird Al. If you have an affinity for M.C. Esher (I love his drawings), Star Trek (I lean toward Jean Luc the video and you will understand), and like bowling you will get a huge laugh out of this song!

Coolio and Weird Al with their happenin' coifs:

Weird Al has a new album coming out so I guess this is my blog "Pimping" for his new form of satire. He has a great website:

Here is a link to a song called "Don't Download This Song" that, in fact, you CAN download: Click to Listen

Another favorite of mine is rather recent where Weird Al parodies James Blunt (I don't like falsettos, so this is hilarious to me): The song is called "Your Pitiful"
Click here for link. This link takes you to the article about the song on the NPR site, which in turn has the hyperlink to the song. It is well worth it!

I hope these links provide you with a laugh!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Thanks, Janna!

My brother did a marvelous job with the face painting for his kids:

Paper: Donna Rafferty's Spooky Fall Kit
Pumpkin and Spider from Janna Billman's Halloween Silhouette Kit
Frames by Rhonna Farrer and Robin Cabana
Glitter from Jen Wilson
Title from Shabby Princess' Free Halloween Kit
Font: Amanda's Hand

Here are a few layouts I've Done Lately:

I tried to get his taped effect. This is very different, but it is always fun to try new things. Thank you ladies!

Photo from Flickr
tape and crumpled overlay from Mo Jackson's Primitive Scrapbook
Fonts: Nail Scratch, Dirty Ego, and Misproject
Inked Edge by Nancy Rowe Janitz

This is a scraplift of Dagmar's;ppuser=3 319

This is a photo of my nephew, Alfredo, who was recently adopted into the family!

Fonts: Mouser Outline/ Pea Martha
Kits/Papers/Elements: Michelle Coleman's Art Papers II, Leather Rose Trim and paper from Gypsy Rose Kit, country wire from Indian Summer Elements Kit by Jen WIlson, Stitched Frame from Emma's Sundress by Michelle Coleman, Leather stitch from Authentic by Sara Carling
Extras: Stamp from Gina Cabrera's Lucky Star Kit, Grunge frame by Jessica Sprague, Tag from Dream for you elements by Jen Wilson

This is one of my new nieces. She was adopted last month, along with her 3 siblings. She was diagnosed with A.L.L. right after Halloween last year. She has 2 more years of chemo, at least. She is a brave girl!

Teresa and Mama Shelene have their photo taken by a group called "Flashes of Hope". The photographers take professional photos for the sick children at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Family Ties Kit by Sandra Boddington and Suzy Nunes at Sweet Shoppe Designs
Fonts Used: Oldstyle Italic

Sweet Home Alabama and the Plastic Bag:

I'm back from Seale, Alabama where I got to visit with my Aunt Loly and Uncle David. My mother was attending her high school reunion, but didn't want to drive the express way. I took the girls with us, while Michael held down the fort with the boys. Noah was feeling much better, so I decided it was okay to leave him.

Rachel kept asking us if we had made it to Alabama about every 20 minutes. From my mother's house it takes about 2 hours to cross the Chattahoochee River into Alabama. We met Aunt Loly and Uncle David in Phenix City, which is about 20 minutes from their home in Seale. They bought lunch for us at the Waffle King. The girls thought it was fun to have breakfast at lunch time. Eve was very shy, but Rachel gave everyone a hug.

After lunch we drove to the house and my Aunt Loly came back into her bedroom, which she was allowing us to sleep in while we were there and she handed me a plastic bag. She stated that she hoped the girls liked what was in the bag. I thanked her then she walked out of the room. I started pulling items out of the plastic bag to find other plastic bags...there was a space saver bag, 2 comforter covers, and a couple of grocery bags. At the bottom of the bag was a free plastic cake server from Publix. I was thinking this was an odd gift for little kids to play with, but I gave the kids the cake server and they thought that was cool. Rachel had heard Aunt Loly say something about a bag of things for the kids, so she wanted to open the bag and see what was in it. I told her to help her self, but that it was just full of plastic bags. She grabbed the bag and carefully examined everything and came to the quick conclusion I was correct.

The next day Aunt Loly asked my mother if the girls liked the stuffed animals she had given them. Mom mom responded that she hadn't seen any stuffed animals, but she would ask the girls. When we told my mom it was just plastic bags she went to ask Aunt Loly if she might not have given us the wrong bag. You should have heard the laughing from the other room! They both walked into the room laughing and had the rest of us laughing. She went to her closet and found the correct bag and the girls picked out a lion and a bear. We had quite a laugh about the plastic bags all the way home that day. I suppose it was our Southern upbringing, but I couldn't say anything about the plastic bags because I figured that may have been what she thought the kids wanted to play with and I would look ungrateful. My mom even felt bad about saying anything even though Aunt Loly had mentioned what she thought she had given the girls.


My Uncle David is such a chilvarous guy. When their was any hint at all that we weren't sure of directions on how to get somewhere he would say just follow my car and I'll lead you there. He had even stayed up 5 hours after the time he usually went to bed to make sure my mother got home safely from her reunion. Mind you he isn't in the best health and he needs his rest.

In his younger years my Uncle David owned a Crown gas station. He told my Aunt Loly that as long as their was a man alive she would never have to pump her own gas. Aunt Loly told me that if anything were to happen to him she would have to call her son Bubba and have him meet her at the gas station to pump her gas because she didn't know how to use the pumps. My Aunt Loly has many talents, but this is one skill she isn't about to worry about.

It was such a wonderful visit and I'm glad the girls got to see my Aunt and, too!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Free Skittles!...

Nope, I'm not offering any free skittles! But, this evening when we had dinner at a lovely local Mexican restaurant Rachel tried the candy machine (I think this is genetic from my side) and found that the machine was broken. She was excited to score free Skittles. She shared with everyone at the table and was going back for more when Michael and I explained to her that these candy machines were apart of someones livelihood and she was actually stealing from this person. We suggested she tell the manager of the problem, which she did promptly. The manager came by our table 5 minutes later and told her he had fixed the machine and rewarded her with a huge handfull of free Skittles to share with the family. She absolutely beamed with pride. It isn't often that a lesson is so quickly learned and rewarded, but I was so happy she made the right decision and that the manager was so quick to reinforce that decision. So, if you see Rachel you can hit her up for some Skittles, but not the yellow ones because Evey already has dibs on those!


Were about to get to bed and Noah only had to have one breathing treatment after his nap this afternoon. He still sounds like Barry White, but we can't get him to say, "Hey, Baby!" for any amount of money or treats.


This may not be exciting, but Michael and I worked together with some great input from Aaron...(Eve coached on my lap) to finish Myst V, End of Ages. It is an interactive game with countless puzzles to solve. Michael is extremely logical and methodical, Aaron is observant and has some great ideas, I'm mostly illogical, but I try and I'm impulsive. I love to see what the buttons and levers do and run around to see the digital worlds. This last game isnt' the best in the series due to the lack of emphasis on allowing you to just walk around and touch things and the CGI characters are annoying, but the puzzles were pretty cool. We finished the game without Eve on my lap because she is spending the night with Granny and Grandpa Towhey, so we saved the game at a crucial point so she could see what happens. According to the game we chose correctly and saved the world on our first attempt. Aaron wants to go back and chose both of the other two incorrect possibilites. This is a bit too close to real life with many of his decisions...kinda makes me nervous. I can't imagine many people exuberantly saying, "Hey, I got life right, but just let me go back and make some wrong decisions!" Anyway, if you like difficult, yet interesting puzzles and intelligent interactive games give the Myst series a try. I recommend going in order because you get a sense of helping this particular family throughout the series and you like them.


My house has turned into the 24 hour Raising Arizona channel. Aaron keeps putting it in and laughing his head off. One of my favorite lines is when Hi goes into steal from this gas station and ask the clerk if the balloons he carries blow up into funny shapes and all. The clerk responds, "Well no, unless round is funny."

That just cracks me up!

Have a great weekend! Off to Alabama I ride!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Just When You Thought it Was Safe...

There is yet another birthday:

Mo Jackson's Construction Kit, and Birthday Candles, Inked Edge from Studio Chic by Shabby Princess, Denim paper by SVandyke, receipt paper from BYOBB Kit by Gina Miller, Arttrash Alpha by Maya, Suspenders from internet, Font: Sharonshand

Happy Birthday to my stepfather, (Grandpa Jim)!


Noah update:

Noah stayed home from school today. We gave him a breathing treatment at 4:30a.m. and knew that school was not happening. He actually felt well enough to go to his first cub meeting, but as activity reduces the chest gets tighter and we knew by 8:00p.m. he would need another breathing treatment. He didn't argue at all and sat pleasantly. After being asleep about an hour he had one of his hallucination type zombie moments. Where he is not awake, but setting up and talking to you incoherently. I rocked him for a little bit and sat up with him to finish making Jim's birthday card. I expect to be doing another breathing treatment for him in another few hours. Poor guy!


I took Rachel to pick out her birthday gifts. She really likes Raven Simone...(Georgia girl), so she chose one of her cds that include a few other singers and her Cheetah Girls cd. I can just hear Aaron groaning in his pre-pubescent way about having to listen to anything Rachel likes. Rachel observed that she likes music Aaron likes, but he doesn't like other music Rachel likes.


Kinda funny...

Rachel was working on her homework right after she got home and Noah went into her room to hang out with her. While Noah was waiting for Rachel to finish her math homework she read him the questions, which he promptly answered. She said he was a big help! Kindergarteners are an unmined fountain or math tutoring for 3rd graders. If you need help with math I'll try to schedule an appointment with Noah for you!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rachel's Birthday and a sick little brother:

Rachel turns 9 years old today! She is very excited. I will take her to the store after school.

Noah,unfortunately, has croup. He gets it every year. Our pediatrician gave us a nebulizer to keep at our house when Noah was one. Last year after a rather harrowing bout of croup and a trip to the emergency room the doctor gave me two prescriptions of abuterol for back up purposes. Well, I broke into my supply and gave a very frightened boy his breathing treatment. It is scary watching him struggle to breath. Noah tends to drift off in a restless sleep, then wake up wild-eyed and barking in air and hitting his chest. He calls for me, but doesn't recognize me at first and babbles other words that don't make much sense. Michael is upstairs with him right now. Michael dosed him with Advil, which cooled his fever. I can give him a breathing treatment every 4 ours, so we'll see how the next few hours go. I hope he can rest and recuperate! I suppose one day he may grow out of his susceptibility to this horrid virus.


Aaron picked out to of the new Bioniocles for his birthday gift, which set him to building right after lunch. I was proud of him for doing well on his math quiz and test today. First of all, he didn't complain that I was giving him a quiz and test on his birthday. Second, he completed the test quickly and neatly. Third, he only missed one and realized his error and corrected it quickly before we left for the store. If only every day was met with such determination and effort!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Aaron is Twelve Today:

Mo Jackson's Birthday Candles, Party Favor,Balloons, Twas the Night, and Oak Knoll.
Anna Benjamin's (Paper Moons) Robot and t.v. from Janna Billman

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Beautiful Smiles and the Rainbow Fish:

Here are a couple of layouts of Eve working with a fish chalk sketch Michael created for her:

Misty Mareda's Together Kit and Tiffany Kits, Rhonna Farrer's Snap Shot Frames, Font: Pea Donna

Misty Mareda's Tiffany Kit, Jen Wilson's Squiggly Fleur and Glitter Swirl, Funky Frame by Carrie Stephens, Date Stamp by Jenn Star Font: Another Typewriter

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Aaron's Homeschool and a Werewolf

This is for the homeschool challenge at 2Peas:

Seventies kit by Tia Bennett, Dinner Party Kit by Sara Carling and Shabby Princess, Textured Notebook paper from New Growth Kit by Tia Bennett Torn Paper from The Ultimate Torn Paper pack by Fhung Lie Font: Angedawn/Artistamp Medium/Chalkdust Key by KimL

Paint Brush, Snap Frames, Rockstar Kit, staples and "explore" sign by Rhonna Farrer French Laundry Alpha by Sande Kreiger Seventies paper by Tia Bennett Inked Edge by Shabby Princess Fonts: Ash 94, School Script Dashed


This is another idea for the Outrageous Lyrics Challenge at Scrap Artist:

paper from Wicked Garden by Iron Orchid Designs, photos from the internet

Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
walkin through the streets of Soho in the rain.
He was lookin for the place called Lee Ho Fooks, gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein.

Aaahoo, werewolves of London

Ya hear him howlin around your kitchen door, ya better not let him in.
Little old lady got mutilated late last night, werewolves of London again.

Chorus 2x

He's the hairy, hairy gent, who ran amok in Kent.
Lately he's been overheard in Mayfair.
You better stay away from him, he'll rip your lungs out Jim.
Huh, I'd like to meet his tailor.

Chorus 2x

Well, I saw Lon Chaney walkin with the queen, doing the werewolves of London.
I saw Lon Chaney Jr. walkin with the queen, doin the werewolves of London
I saw a werewolf drinkin a pina colada at Trader Vic's
And his hair was perfect.

ahhhooooo, werewolves of London
Draw blood

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Family Ties...

Eve and Noah got to pal around together at Stone Mountain. They are both first-rate explorers. They enjoyed leaping from rock to rock and making their day together an adventure!

Family Ties Kit by Sandra Boddington and Suzy Nunes at Sweet Shoppe Designs, template by Pattie Knox for DDE, Inked edge from Studio Chic by Shabby Princess, Font: Pea Alesa


I took some cute picture of Michael and Eve drawing a "rainbow fish" on my parent's driveway with sidewalk chalk today. I will post them as soon as Michael finishes uploading them. Currently he is playing a game of "Bounce Out" on his laptop.

I also have some fun photos of Eve having a tea party with her new plastic princess tea set from Granny and Grandpa Towhey. Noah decided to be the hostess at the party, which was a riot! He was dispensing his fountain of knowledge in regards to proper tea party etiquette!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Eve's Day and a Trip to Stone Mountain:

What do you get when you turn 4? Why you go to the doctor and have a check up,...silly! Eve was game to go to the doctor late this morning. She is doing well. She is 38 inches tall and 32lbs. The doctor charted her at 16 percentile for height and 24 percentile for weight, or visa versa. Either way he said they were proportional and fine. Then came the news...SHOTS! The new recommendation is for a second varicella shot for chicken pox, so she got that plus, DTaP and her MMR. She was brave, but sore. I appreciate her trusting me and not jerking away. She got 3 stickers, which she was able to mutilate within 5 minutes of leaving the doctor's office. She put them on her legs and then pulled them off and waded them up. I'm not sure what I think about this, but she didn't cry so I guess all was well.

Then, we went to see Michael so he could have lunch with the birthday girl. She chose Chick-Fil-A. We got to say "hi" to one of our "outlaw" relatives, Elizabeth, who is the cousin of our sister-in-law, Laura Taylor. Elizabeth helps clean the tables in the food court where we stopped to eat. I'm pretty sure that Eve could live of chicken nuggets and ketchup. Eve would say Sprite, too!

This morning I made chocolate chip waffles for Eve and put a yellow twisty candle in them as a cute morning birthday surprise. She refused to blow the candle out even though Aaron, Rachel, Noah and I tried to convince her it would be fun and she could make a wish. I finally blew the candle out myself and gave her a kiss. A few minutes later she said, "I didn't blow out the candle because there was no pony on it and I didn't have a party hat!" (I got the ponies for the cake, but she was okay with no hat).



Kid Knex are so COOL! Noah got this set for Christmas from his Uncle Stephen and I thought they were awesome!
He and Aaron love to play with the pieces and they have such personality! The set comes with big wide eyes are cool appendages. Eve really liked them too, so I got her a set for her birthday. Aaron was about to jump out of his skin to give her the present, so I let him go ahead and let her open them before the others came home. Then he sat down and helped her build every example on the box. TOO FUN! They have so many fun styles, so I included their site so you can see for your self:


Michael took some great photos of Noah while up on the mountain:

Noah doesn't only drive people up a tree, he's a Client!

This little boy loves to explore:


While Michael was at Stone Mountain with Thing 3 and Thing 4, I took Rachel to her first Girl Scout meeting of the year with Aaron in tow. I will be making other arrangements next time, so Rachel can hang out with her troop with out Aaron acting as a catalyst for teen angst!

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Mo Jackson's Moodles 4 and Birthday Candles, Font: Simon Script and Girls are Weird

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My Handsome Tiger Cub:

Noah was so jazzed to be at tonight's first pack meeting. There were lots of kids excited to see each other. Noah was thrilled to have Carson, a friend from pre-school, and Dylan, a boy from his Kindergarten class, in his Den. Noah is Den 11, which means there are a lot of children participating.

After finding the Bernina with a severed cord (not only was it severed, but a foot of it's length was missing, so even though Michael knew how to splice the cord it wouldn't be long enough). He got out our other sewing machine (thank you Granny Vone) and sewed on the patches and one broken needle later the shirt was ready.
Noah was one handsome little dude!


Peter and The Shadow Thieves

We finished reading this book two days ago and it was a thick book. My opinion...this book is a home library keeper! The kids were excited to discuss the what ifs throughout the book and the would sneak for finding out what was going to happen (hey...their reading)! There is not a weak point in the book and all loose ends are tied up nicely and a wonderful humorous thread weaves throughout. My favorite interaction of the book is with Tinkerbell and Peter. My kids are asking if there will be more adventures...I hope so!


Our current family reading time book is Chocolate Fever

The premise of the book is hilarious to them. It is about a boy who eats chocolate at ever meal and at snack. One morning he breaks out in a chocolate rash.
I remember reading this book as a kid and really enjoying it.


My husband tells me I made a delectable smoothie for him yesterday:

1/3 of cup of frozen chunked pineapple
1/3 of cup frozen chunked mango
2 scoops of vanilla frozen yogurt
1 cup milk

He wanted me to buy coconut milk, so I have a couple of cans to experiment with soon.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Sam Taylor We Will Miss You:

An old family friend died last week of a massive coronary. His name was Sam Taylor. He could remember the call letters of my stepfather's C.B. He could remember verbatim conversations that you had with him. Sam's memory was astounding, but his limitation was autism. My brother, Denny, is perpetually hovering around 4 years-old in communication and understanding (from what we can tell). Sam functioned on a genius level. Sam had high aspirations, but being the U.S. President would always elude him. He loved to meet politicians and he was honest. So being autistic and honest would have always kept him from the inner circle of politics. He loved to shake hands with the governors of Georgia. This layout shows Sam, his grandmother, my mother, and brother with the, then, Governor George Busbee.

Papers and elements from Fee Jardine's Cool Denim Baby Kit, Font: OldgateLaneOutline, Barbara Hane. Overlay freebie Designs by Lauren at DSP

Wes Sarginson has done news features about Sam Taylor a few times and he did a final tribute to Sam in this:
News Article and Video Link.


In Rhonna Farrer's interview in Creative Keepsakes she mentioned one of her new favorite font's called >Newcastle. I went on to check the website called CHANK and found some other wonderful free fonts. The Halloween Font pak by B.J. Harvey was pretty cool. I also liked Cowboy Rumbahut by Matt Frost. There are several neat fonts so see what you think!

Also check Rhonna'sblog she has a link to 5 png files that are awesome for some Halloween fun on cards or layouts. Her link is not only for digital folks. If you paperscrap she has stuff for them too!

This is my "creation" for the Outrageous Lyric challenge at Scrap Artist. I chose the B 52's song "Love Shack". I figured being from Georgia and having driven down the Atlanta Highway was a good enough reason. So here it is:

background photo and sign from Stockexchange Photos, Glitter on the road and front porch by Jen Wilson, Fairies and word blocks by Hope Wallace, Toy Chrysler from Mo Jackson's Party Favors, Jukebox photo from the web, road by Cherie, Daydreamer doodle by nancy Rowe Janitz, Glitter Kiss by Michelle Coleman, glitter heart and the word love by Emily Powers, Fuzzy heart by Kim Christensen and one by Scrapabyte, Font: Minya Nouvelle and paintball, notebook paper from Gina Miller's Note This, pattern paper from Michelle Coleman's Boho Chic, glitter swirl from Michelle Coleman's Birthday Elements, paper man from Maya's Jumping Jacks


Noah has his first pack meeting tonight with his Tiger Cub pack. He is excited. Michael just called from the scout office to pick up the missing uniform pieces. Michael had all of Aaron's old patches removed rather quickly. He will have them sewed on in no time.


I need to go throw some chicken into the slow cooker. I think chicken enchiladas might be good for today!


Monday, September 11, 2006

Remember 9/11

As many Americans today ponder the devastation of the terrorist attacks 5 years ago I would like to remember those who valiantly risked and gave their lives to save all those they could from the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon. The words for how I think many of us felt is Blind-sided. I recall watching the news in awe as the towers were burning. Confusion reigned as people tried to get a handle on what was happening and get help where it was needed, which was so many places at once. I cry tears of sadness thinking of the inhumanity of man against one another perpetrated in the name of God. It is a bizarre juxtaposition that from this inhumanity that compassion, charity, sacrifice and love comes like a phoenix from the ashes. I just wish it didn't take such atrocities to see that humanity emerge.


I haven't said anything about the death of Steve Irwin from the barb of a sting ray. I've been impressed with his family from the news reports. Steve's father, Bob, is such a straight-forward and level-headed guy. I hope he sticks around for awhile to be able to teach Bindi and Bob. My children and I love to watch Animal Planet when we go to my parent's home. My kids have such an enthusiastic love and respect for animals with the help of Steve's over the top and fun personality. I hope conservation efforts will be maintained by those who must take over in absence of such a dynamic personality. Terri has such an easy going and wonderful personality. My heart goes out to her and all of Steve's family and friends. I feel for the crew that was with him who were powerless to change what had happened. I am not familiar, at all, with Germaine Greer who spoke rather harsh words about Steve and his contact with animals, but I can speak on the positive impression he has given my family on how to protect and preserve wildlife and their habitate. I believe that touching even one person's life for good gives an eternal benefit and for this my family and I are eternally greatful to Steve Irwin and Terri.


This is one happy girl who has to wear glasses and braces. Rachel's attitude is "I CAN SEE and I'll have GREAT TEETH!"

frame and papers by Sausan Designs, overlay by Shabby Princess in the Studio Chic kit, E alpha by Sande Krieger called French Laundry Alpha, staples by Fhunglie from Soul Searching Kit, Stitch corner, flower, leather rose trim, Hand Stamped Brush by Michelle Coleman form Gypsy Rose, Emma's Sundress, and Birthday Kits. Vintage hand from Maya's Weird is Wonderful, Date Tags by Janel Kretschman. Fonts: Farrah and Artistamp Medium

Saturday, September 09, 2006

We're Not Team Players...

because it can get too rough. My husband and I aren't great athletes by any stretch of the imagination. Michael likes mountain biking, camping and rock climbing. I like researching dead people (and live ones, too), gardening and walking. All of these can be achieved with little or no assistance. I played basketball, but if you have ever played church basketball you know it a vicious and rowdy sport (taken all too seriously). I believe you can learn good skills working with a team. We signed Aaron up for soccer for a couple of years and Rachel signed on for one, but the rude parents and the negativity from my own kids made me angry. My motto is "Cheer for your own team and say nothing negative about anyone else".
Our children have grown up not watching sports, but an occasional baseball game. I actually like watching volleyball (collegiate is my favorite), but I don't like when folks start talking nasty about the other team. This layout is one from 2003 when Aaron was trying to get involved with his uncles and cousins in a family game of touch football. His Uncle Reuben was trying to give him the basic lessons of how to play. The sad thing is Aaron never fits in to these games. For one thing he is shady on the rules and strategy, and another thing is he has a very slim build and doesn't like people hitting him. (Bad thing if you plan to play football!) So, inevitably he gets trounced by a bigger kid, or adult and comes over crying and hurt. Michael's response is "that is the point of football and that's why I don't play." I feel really bad for him because he desparately wants to fit into a world that doesn't value his presence and is quite happy to have him not participate. This carries over into his relationship with them in general...he doesn't play rough...he must be a wimp...mentality.
It's kind of funny that I right all of this because I actually thought this layout was fun to make and a cute photo of Aaron trying something different. Atleast, he tries to fit in and make friends. It's just unfortunate that others don't reciprocate.

Sketch by Jen Caputo
Papers, alpha and brushes by Tia Bennett (Free Pea Football Kit)
Font: Century Gothic

Text: Uncle Reuben teaches Aaron some football basics.


Rachel has already had a glasses malfunction. The screw came out of her nose piece and she doesn't know when it occurred, so tomorrow after the funeral I have to drive over to the optical department to see if they can do a quick and solid fix.


Noah's teacher sent a note home requesting that he work with playdough or clay to help strengthen his fingers for writing. When I told my mother tonight she said, "And who is going to pay to get it out of my carpet!" She is the one that goes to the dollar store and replenishes the dried out and color combined globs of dough every couple of months. She's a trooper with my kids. She, in true granny fashion, ensures the kids have as many paints, crayons, paper and playdough they request...(beg, plead, whine).


Only one chapter left of Peter and The Shadow Thieves, but the kids are at my parents' house for Friday sleepover. We will all have to wait until Saturday night for the finale. It has been an amazing book, thus far!


I have been in a reading groove lately. I finished The Wine Dark Sea
and the library has sent me a notice that The Commodore
is waiting. Michael keeps telling me, "Victoria, you know they're not real!" I got upset that Capt. Jack Aubrey had a very brief kava induced dalliance with a nicely "scented" Polynesian woman. Patrick O'Brian weaves such a wonder tapestry of words, places and ideas that I feel like the characters just stop in place waiting for me to open the book to start their action again. Totally absorbing reads!


I saw this on Janna's blog so I decided to check out my color:

You are Ocean Blue

You're both warm and practical. You're very driven, but you're also very well rounded.

You tend to see both sides to every issue, and people consider you a natural diplomat.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Don't Make a Spectacle of Yourself...

...just wear them! Rachel is officially nearsighted (20/175). Genetics at their finest! She has completed her new chrysalis phase of her transformation. She will now enter the very delicate phase of morphing into a beautiful butterfly. This transformation will take time and, I believe, a large quantity of estrogen! She was so excited to show of her new specs that we drove over to show them off to Grandpa Towhey. On the short drive Michael said Rachel was reading every license plate and street sign. Happily, Grandpa Jim was home and he was excited to see Rachel's new look. Here is Grandpa's blog comments and photo: Click Me!


My husband suggested this oxymoron so this is what I did. I kept thinking about the new "Grillz" in the news (the braces with all the bling).

Tire Swing, Shirt collar and die from Stockexchange photos
Jewels and Monogram Alpha by Shabby Princess
Overlay by Nancy Rowe Janitz
Leather Alpha by Christie Lyle
Background paper from Monkey Doodle Doo by Christie Lyle and Robin Carlton (modified with a dry brush filter)
Braces a web freebie (modified with jewels by S.P.)
Monkey from Monkey See kit freebie on the web
Sunglasses by Dani B.
Grunge frame by Jessica Sprague


Good news: Noah is beginning to read better everyday! The school identified him for a special reading program and he comes home everyday and reads a book to us! YEAH!


There will be a viewing for our little friend Tommy who passed away. Michael and I read his obituary and thought it would be appropriate for Michael and the boys to wear these:

Tommy's parents listed that he loved Spongebob, so we felt it was a simple gesture to let his family know we loved Tommy, too!


I mowed the lawn...front, back and sides today. My stepdad, Jim, gave me his old push mower because he wanted to get a new one. I suppose he felt sorry for our needing a mower EVERY YEAR! I think the mowers we get are really made by some cretin in the pantyhose industry that moonlights in mower parts for a cheap thrill. In a bit of a pleading tone and in a bit of a snit I asked that my birthday gift, which doesn't come until May, be a self-propelled, easy start motor. I would like either a Honda or a Toro. I think I'm leaning toward a Toro (But don't tell that cretin in the pantyhose industry. He just get a promotion, or a job moonlighting in the Toro factory).


Tiger Cubs and Girl Scouts are starting in the next week, so I will put on my chauffers hat and gas up the Queen Victoria Family Truckster. Gas prices have moved down to $2.46. When we use our local grocery store loyalty card and spend at least $100, they take an additional .10 off per gallon.

Fall Homeschool Bowling league starts soon too. Aaron looks forward to seeing his friends again.



Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Voodoo Science:

Scrap Artist Altered/Collage Challenge. The theme for this week is: Oxymorons.

My husband just finished a book by the same title, so this is what I came up with for the challenge. The words are: Reason, Theory, inquiry, laws, logic and hypothesis. I put Einstein next to his birth country of Germany. The clock reads 5 o'clock, because as the lyrics say and I believe Einstein may is 5 o'clock...somewhere!

Background paper: War Kit by Happy Robyn
Clock brush and clock face: Happy Robyn
Frame: Rhonna Farrer
Font: Janelleshand/Chalkdust/Futura MD
Paper Heart: Zazou's Avec amour
Alphas: Sande Krieger's French Laundry Alpha, and Sara Carling's Dinner Party
Doll face, swirly hat and muslin body: Maya
Hand brush: Maya's Weird and Wonderful
Pins and stitches: Mo Jackson's Stitches One


Michael and I took Aaron, Rachel and Noah to see the movie, "How To Eat Fried Worms". If you have read the book...don't worry this movie doesn't have much that resembles it's namesake...well,...except...a kid eats some fried worms. The plot line and characters might as well have been named something else all together. I kinda of wonder why anyone bothered to get the rights to the book? The kids laughed, but spent more time telling us how the book was different from the movie.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Sad News:

Today, while I was substituting in primary, my husband asked me to step outside of the classroom to tell me that Noah's friend, Tommy, had passed away from inoperable cancer. Tommy has been through so much in his, all too short, life. My mind and heart went to his parents. They have done everything in their power and as a ward we have prayed and fasted. So, what did we learn? We learned that one young boys life is important and has a lasting effect on our humanity. We learned compassion for him and for his family. We learned to pray for the doctors and researchers that they might be led to a better understanding of what to do to help him and others. We learned to love one another better. Do I believe and know he is not suffering...Yes...but, does it wrench my soul...yes. Noah teared up, but handled the news well. Rachel is extremely sensitive to death and wept for a long time, then would stop, then weep again. Aaron fears death to the point of sleepless nights. He came in last night crying because a character on a t.v. program died. His anxiety is tangible, so I went to his room and slept next to him and Rachel came in and slept on the trundle next to Noah. I contemplate what the kids ask and want to comfort them, but not necessarily shield them from the truth that we are mortal. I kiss them on top of the head and appreciate the warmth that emanates and give them a hug and I think how hollow not having them in my life would be. Each child is different and creates a different aspect to our family dynamic. One day they don't exist in your family, then they are born and it's as if they were always there.

Gina Cabrera's Lucky Star kit. Font: SJWoodbury, Heart from Just for Fun by Meredith Fenwick

Friday, September 01, 2006

Everyday Eve

This is a scraplift of an Iron Orchid Design for the Thursday night chat, but I couldn't get it to upload at the DST gallery.
Background from IOD's 9th Avenue
Dandelion by Donna Rafferty- Dandelion Kit
Fonts: Artistamp Medium, Jane Austen, Susie's Hand

Text: The neverending story is one of your more hilarious traits. With a lot of expression in your face, and animation in your voice, you tell me a story about princesses and dragons...AND...just when you think the story may be over you throw in another...AND... I love how you hide under the
covers in the morning, so we can play hide and seek. You love to gve me 7 decorative hairbows to put in your hair, so that you can pull it out in 5 minutes.
You pick out ballerina outfits as the perfect
thing to wear to the library where you proceed to check 13 books
that you can't wait to read with me! You love animals, especially Jasper your
pet ferret. Everyday you ask to play on and
When you "design" a new outfit on you ask me if I think it's "Stylish".
Your favorite color is "Lello", which is perfect for your cheerful
silly personality. When you really like something you say
it is "Cutesie Wootsie". If I'm not paying attention to one of your stories you grab my
face, or the back of my head and turn it to what ever you want me to see.
You tell us every night that you want to go to sleep with us instead of your room with Rachel. To get you to sleep in your room daddy lays down next to you at family reading time and pats your back gently or just holds you and hopes you fall asleep. You maintain the belief that every girl is a princess and every lady a queen. Everyday your imagination is the largest part of your day and I find you fascinating!