Friday, November 4, 2011

one thousand gifts

Have you read this book yet? If you haven't, you should! This is my all time favorite book.
I had read a few blogs that I follow on occasion, and this book was being mentioned in several of them. I didn't really give it too much thought until the day that my husband and I were in Denver. We had just returned the night before from our vacation, and on this particular day we were waiting on our son to fly home from his Leadership Retreat. We had all day to wait, so we went to a Barnes & Noble to sit in their Starbucks lounge. While waiting, I had my iPad and was looking at some of my favorite blogs and there was this book again. The person writing about it had made a mini-album after she had read this book. She wanted to list all of the things she was thankful for in this mini-album. She also said that she had read and reread the book several times. Well, I'm in a book store with not a whole lot to do, so I decided to go and try to find it. I found it in the Inspirational aisle and it was the only one on the shelf. I took it back to the coffee lounge and began to read it. After a few paragraphs I decided that I had to buy it, I had to have it. I couldn't put it down. I do believe that the Lord put it in my hands just at the right time.
Mentally, I was not in a good place. I was grumbling to God for some things that had taken place in our lives. I think He showed me this book in that blog because He knew I needed the message that it gives. It talks about being thankful; not just for the big things in our lives, like getting a good job, or a new baby being born. Although those things are wonderful and we should thank the Lord for those big things, this book talks about being thankful for everything. Ann Voskamp, the author, had a very tragic thing happen in her life when she was just a child and because of that she had a hard time seeing the good in life even though she had a wonderful husband and beautiful children. A friend challenged her to write down 1,000 things that she was thankful for or things she saw as blessings, gifts. She then began to study this word "thanks' in the Bible. She shares in the book her insights from her studies. You will never look at your everyday life the same again after reading this book. Have you ever had a hard time trusting in God? Give thanks for all things, all days, and you will not be able to not trust God again.
So go and pick up this book. Go to your local book store today or order it on iTunes, Kindle or Amazon, as soon as you can. Then while you are reading it begin your own 1,000 gifts list. I made a framed board and hung it up in our house. Now everyday we write down something that we see as a gift from God. (I'll show you pictures at a later date.)
Dare to live fully right where you are.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Signs of the Coming Winter Season

Well it's that time of year, time to get ready for the winter. It has been getting down in the 30's at night and I am not ready. I shouldn't complain to much, they have had snow in the mountains, 15 inches in some places. I'm not ready to be cold, although my flannel pajamas do feel good. I am certainly not ready to turn on the furnace. I can just see the gas going through and burning up money. Our monthly gas bill went up last year and I'm not ready for it to go up again this year. So to help with that cost, my dear husband goes out and cuts wood for our wood-burning fireplace. He feels as though he needs to cut more since we have already had a fire going twice now. I have to thank our good friends and neighbors for letting us cut their old wood. I know they feel like we are doing them a favor by cleaning up their wood piles but really they are doing us the favor.
In all the years we lived in Florida never did we think we would cut wood or even own a chainsaw, but here we are, my husband in his overalls cutting wood like a professional lumberjack, and me with my work gloves on loading it up on a trailer.
This winter if you're in the area come on over and get in out of the cold, sit by our fire. We'll swap stories and drink a little hot chocolate.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Smash Albums Are Nothing New To Me

The "Smash Album" is all the rage in the scrapbook industry right now. I even went online to You Tube and found hundreds of videos of people making their own because they didn't want to pay the expense of buying K & Company's line of Smash Albums and accessories. I have even read other blogs where someone has went out and bought the album from a local store and they are so excited about it as if they had never thought of this idea before.

I have been doing my own line of Smash Albums for years, I mean years. I didn't know that was what you would call them. I just called them my 'scrap' books. Actually scrapbooking was started with these types of books. Ladies would save pretty cards or postcards, they would save a pretty ribbon, even maybe a photo if they were able; all of these things they would adhere in a book of some sort. And here we are all these years later doing the same thing, and some even making a pretty good profit off of it too.

My first 'scrap' or 'smash' book was a high school senior yearbook. It wasn't the book of all of the students photos, no it was a book that had pages with words and sentences that would prompt you to write down memories of your school year. It had built-in pockets so that you could save tickets from basketball games, or letters from your friends, any little memorabilia that you might have wanted to save so that you could remember your last year in high school. I'm not sure if my book is still around. I will have to ask my mom if she may still have it up in the attic.

Ever since that book, I have been keeping a journal/diary, and in them I have put the same things: tickets from a movie or ballgame, leaves turned into their fall colors, love letters from my husband, little pictures that my son has drawn for me over the years. There is just something about saving these things that appeals to me. I don't know if anyone will ever take the time to look back on them after I'm gone, or maybe it will just become junk to someone some day. Right now I just know I enjoy looking back over them. It may not mean a whole lot to anyone else but they mean so much to me. I can look at a movie ticket and remember exactly what we did that night, not just the movie but where we might have eaten that night or if we enjoyed the movie, little things like that. These things make me smile, and right now that is enough.

So good for you K & Company for bringing this type of memory keeping to the public at large. I might look into buying one of your albums just because they are really cute. More than anything I'm glad that you have shown the scrapbookers out there that there is more to this 'scrap' business than just keeping pictures.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Passport to Memories Part 2

Well, I finally sat down and got started on my Passport to Memories album. As I told you before I bought this as a kit from Archivers, so everything that you need is available, including instructions. I'm going to put pictures and memorabilia from our vacations in Las Vegas and in Glenwood Springs. I'm also going to put in memorabilia from Sam's 2 retreats in Milligan College. I'm excited to continue working on the album but, for some reason when I get home and see the house, dishes, and laundry, I get distracted from play and begin to worry about everything that needs to get done. I guess that the housework will be there again tomorrow. I just have to remember that and just stop everything and go play in my scrap room. With football season now in full swing I just might be able to get away a little easier.

This is just a side note, but after looking at this picture of myself, I can't help thinking just how much I look like my mother. Is that a good thing or not? I don't know, if you read this Aunt Judy let me know what you think.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Passport to Memories

I ordered this kit from Archivers. I saw this album in the store in Aurora and I thought it would be perfect to put for our vacation photos and also some of Sam's summer memorabilia from his trips to Milligan.
I have begun putting it together but of course I don't have it done, not yet anyway. I really want to get it done soon. When I get it completely done I'll take pics and show you the finish product.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

For Sale By Owner

We have decided to put our house up for sale. Right now we will try to sell it ourselves (trying to save that commission cost). So if you know of anyone moving to the northeastern plains of Colorado let them know there is 40 acres of land, with a large log home that has 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, and is ready for them to move in.
Before anyone ask, no we are not moving away, we will just downsize to a home in town.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Life Is Changing

I was looking through my News Feed on my Facebook page and noticed several mothers posting pictures of their little ones going to school for the first time. They mentioned they had a lot of tears because they knew that life was changing. No longer will be the days of complete dependence on Mom, now their lives will be filled with so many other adults to watch over them and so many new friends. While reading these posts I was thinking of my son and his first day of school/college.
We have homeschooled him for the last 10 years. He has been with us every day for the last 16 years. Now our lives are changing. My son started his first year in Morgan Community College. When it is time for him to officially graduate from High School he will actually be getting his Associates Degree. He is growing up so fast. I look at pictures of him taken just 6 months ago and I can see such a change. We are very proud of him and his accomplishments that he has made through his schooling. I know that, even though I'm sad over these new changes, he is very excited about this new venture he is taking.
My advice to all of those parents who put their children in Kindergarten or Preschool for the first time, is that you need to hold on to these memories, be sure to write down your thoughts or even the things they might have said on that first day. Document it all, as much as you can. One day, too soon, they will be gone and the pictures, the documentation, will be all that is left behind. I know that sounds sad, and it is, but I know for me, it causes me to smile when I see those pictures and remember those days.
The Lord ask us to remember. He said on the night before He was to be crucified, to take the bread and the wine and to remember, but also don't forget to give thanks. He gave thanks before He served the disciples. Thanks is something we need to do everyday.
Give thanks for your little ones, give thanks for whatever school they are attending, give thanks for the men and women who are there to teach them, and give thanks everyday that God has given you such a wonderful blessing.
Today I give my God thanks for my son, and his father who has done such a wonderful job in teaching and raising our son.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Graduation Albums

My life has been consumed by scrapbooking these last 3 weeks. My scrap room has been a mess with pictures, papers, tools, and embellishments laying everywhere. I was asked by two mother's of graduates to do their daughter's and son's albums for them. Two albums were for a high school graduate and the other was for an eighth grade graduate. Both mothers had given me a ton of pictures to look through and decide how to lay out the albums. Of course in that situation you have such a hard time to pick and choose just the right pictures. I could have done probably 20 albums with all of the pictures. So after narrowing down my selections I went to work. It was fun to do and both mothers said that they really liked the albums. I hope that the students like them just as much.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

His First Prom

My son was invited to his first Prom. He was so handsome in his suit. The name of his date is Aspen. She is a very pretty girl. The prom was held at her school at Arickaree, which is located south of here. He had a great time.
Don washed the Jeep inside and out. We let Sam drive, but I sat in the backseat, since he only has his learner's permit at this time. So when we got to the school and I left to go back home, I was a little teary eyed.
He is becoming such a good looking young man.
His dad taught him how to tie a necktie but when it came time to go, he just didn't like the way it looked, so his dad helped him get it just right. While they were doing this I was getting a little tear in my eye at this time too. I just remembered those days when he was little and we would go to Baby Gap or to some other children's clothing store. Don would take him into the dressing room to try on the clothes and then they would come out to show me how it looked. And here they were, his dad helping him to get dressed again. Wow, where did all of those years go, they went by much to fast, faster than I expected.
It did make me feel good that he gave me a little hug before I left them at the school.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Reception Card

I finished the Reception Card I was doing for a friend of mine. I hope her daughter likes the card since it is for her graduation. I distressed each card (tag) then I stamped each card with 3 different stamps, I then stamped the tiger stamp and cut each one out, then I placed the tiger and the ticket (not all of the tickets say the same word) on the tag with pop up dots. I hope you like it too!

I also went to Rocky Mountain Memories Scrapbooking store on Monday for an interview with Cheryl, the owner. I'm not sure what will come out of that but I had a fun time visiting with her. She has a beautiful store. Next time you are in Estes Park make sure you look her up. Her store is next to the old theater in the middle of town.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Happy Birthday To My 16 Year Old

I have been doing a countdown on my Facebook Page. It was a countdown for today - today my son turned 16!
Sixteen years ago on this day a miracle happened, the miracle of life, and I praise God everyday for this miracle, for this son of mine!
Wow, how these 16 years have flown by. I do miss those toddler years seeing him explore his world. And now I am very proud of the man he is becoming.
I love you my son!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Tiger Stamp

I just ordered and received this tiger stamp. I'm making 35 invitations to a reception which is following a graduation. It is for a friend mine, for her daughter.
I ordered the stamp from I didn't even know they sold stamps on their website. But when I typed 'tiger stamp' in Google's search bar they came up first.
Are you wondering why a tiger stamp? Well the trial reception card that I made to show my friend had a bird on it. (The card is actually a large tag) She said she liked everything but the bird because the mascot of the school is a lion. So I had to start locating a tiger stamp to replace the bird. I really like how the card is coming out. I will post pics of the card when I get them done. I've done 18 now only 17 more to go! and they have to be done by tomorrow!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Beauty of the Plains

Sometimes this high plains desert gets a little tiring with the high winds (sometimes hurricane force winds), dust coming through every little crack,and with the lack of rain and moisture. But then you drive into your drive-way and what do you see? This beautiful herd of deer. There are 9 in the herd. They have been in our front yard for the past 3 days. It is so wonderful to watch them. When it gets dusk they jump over the fence and go into a stand of evergreen trees across the road.
Even amidst a hard day, amidst stress, and all the other things that cloud up our day, I think God just wanted me to slow down and see that there is beauty in this harsh world.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Happy Anniversary Card

A friend asked if I would make an anniversary card for a friend of theirs. This is what I came up with. I went to the member's gallery on Two Peas in a Bucket and found something similar. It was so pretty I thought I would try to duplicate it. It isn't exact, of course, but I do like how mine came out.
I just used scraps that I had in my studio. I love the butterfly punch, it is from the Martha Stewart Collection.
Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rocky Mountain Memories

I have an interview this month with Cheryl Grigsby, owner of Rocky Mountain Memories in Estes Park. I am so looking forward to meeting her and seeing what could be in store for us.

I also have two scrapbooking jobs that I need to get started on right away. One is an invitation card for a college graduate. And the other is a high school graduation album. Two albums to be exact. That is the big thing here in Yuma. If you have a son or daughter who will be graduating you must have an album made for all your guest to look back over their school years.

Friday, March 25, 2011

On Tuesday of this week we went to Scottsbluff, NE. Don had been invited to speak at the Chapel Service at Summit Christian College. He was scheduled to speak Wednesday morning, so we drove up a day early so we helpfully could see some sites. The college provided a wonderful room for us to stay the night.

Unfortunately the Scottsbluff National Monument was closed by the time we got there so we went and got some supper and had a wonderful family evening.

The next day after Chapel (Don did a great job speaking!), we went to the National Monument. What a beautiful spot! The history of this place is unbelievable. If you ever go, be sure to see the little movie. It gave so much more information on the Oregon Trail than I had ever heard before. At this site back in the 1850's the western pioneers were just beginning to see the Rocky Mountains. What an awesome feeling comes over you as you stand where they crossed the plains. I highly recommend stopping by to see this beautiful monument to those brave travelers of yesteryear.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hospital Visit

Last Friday night I went to bed with a headache, I then woke up at 1:00am with such a severe pain in my stomach. At 9:00am I was so weak from being sick all night long (every 10 min) that Don was getting very worried so he got me up and off we went to the Clinic at the Yuma District Hospital. Once there they sent me straight to the ER. I spent the next 7 hours getting hooked up to IV's and they were giving me anti-nausea medicine all day. After a cat scan and some much needed sleep (induced by the medicine), I was finally able to hold down some jell-o and juice so they let me go home. I really don't remember a lot of that day or the next day I was still very weak and still under the drug's effects. It wasn't until Monday evening that I finally began feeling like myself. The doctor had a suspicion of what was going on but I need to go back for more test to be sure.

I've been admitted into a hospital before for various procedures but that was my first time in an ER. From the moment you are placed into an ER bed you loose all sense of dignity. All you want them to do is to get you better and you do not care what they do to get you to that point. I had two very nice and sweet nurses (the perks of small town is that they know you personally) and the Dr. was so good to me too. You could tell that they were trying their best to figure out not only what was wrong but what kinds of medicines and procedures that would help me feel better.

I was watching a TV reality show that showed the lives of Doctors in an ER setting and what kind of cases that come through these big city hospitals. This one particular Dr. had just saved this man's life and he said that he believed in God and that God sends miracles down to us every day but we just don't seem to see them. He said that someone had once told him that the Doctors dress the wounds and God heals them. I saw that happen on that day I was so sick. I thank the nurses and Doctor for being there to help me and I thank God for healing me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rearranging of the Furniture

I had posted on my Facebook a few days back that I rearranged my dining room and kitchen. My son said when he say that post that I had changed around the refrigerator and stove and the kitchen cabinets.

I know he was teasing me but I thought I would go ahead and show you a little of what I did. I took out the big pine cabinet I had in the kitchen. (It held the microwave, toaster and some metal bowls, etc.) I then took my dining room hutch apart and put the table (the bottom half) in place of the big pine cabinet. I turned this into a desk. I love the way it looks. The dining room looks so much roomy and there is so much more room going from the kitchen into the dining room. I had fun rearranging but it took all day long. I didn't think it would take very much time to move two pieces of furniture but once you get started on a project like this you realize just how dirty things are. The things that are behind and not seen on a day to day basis. My next big project will be my scrap-booking space. That is going to be a huge undertaking. I need to go through everything and purge!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Chocolate Pumpkin Mini-Muffins Recipe

(makes approx 48 mini muffins)

1 box chocolate cake mix
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
1/2 c mini chocolate chips
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp water

Preheat oven to 375.

Grease the insides of your mini muffin liners, otherwise the muffins will stick to the paper. (I used vegetable oil and a small brush for this. I know this is a pain but it does work. If you don't do this your muffins will stick to the paper. I got tired of doing it and the muffins that didn't get oiled did stick.)

In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until a little foamy. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir until well blended. Use a tablespoon to fill prepared baking cups. Bake for about 13 - 15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pans and let cool.

This is a very simple recipe. They didn't look like much when they came out. I guess you could put some icing on them to help their looks but I didn't have time to do this.
I was wondering if you could mash some bananas and use them instead of the pumpkin. Just a thought.

Our church has begun a new ministry called "He Brews" Coffee Ministry. Immediately following church service a table is set up in the back and we have coffee brewed, hot water for tea, and some goodies to eat. This is great time for everyone to stop and fellowship a little after service. Kind of a get-to-know-you time.
We are trying to get people to sign up for the goodies which could be anything from muffins to fruit. I signed up for last Sunday so these muffins are what I took. I heard there was a couple of guys who were popping them in their mouths one right after another. Good to know they were delicious.

If you have a recipe that would be quick but good for our ministry, let me know.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of our family, her name is Bellus. If you have been reading this you know that we have been searching for a cat for about 2 months now. We have been looking for an Egyptian Mau or a Bengal. Well Don and I went to PetSmart on Valentine's Day just to see if they had any cats left over from their National Adoption Weekend. And yes they did! Bellus was the third cat that we looked at and when we saw the markings on her legs, head and belly we just knew she had to have some Bengal in her. (Sorry for the picture with the white eyes, she has the most beautiful green eyes.) She was so cute and lovable that we said "We'll take her!" A few hours later, after buying everything you need for a house cat we were on our way home with Bellus.
Actually her name that the Shelter had given her was Turnip but my son didn't like that name. He found Bellus, which means beautiful in Latin. She's to sophisticated to have a name like Turnip!
We were a little nervous about she and Max, our Lab, getting along, but no worries at all! They get along very well. No dog chasing a cat yet!! She has been sleeping in our son's room for the last two nights and she pretty much follows him throughout the house. She is so cute.
We just love have Bellus in our family!!