My Loves

Noah turned 12 years old on the 26th. We had Meet the Teacher Night at school so he got his presents, but we ran out of time and eventually forgot his cake and ice cream. He always asks for my chocolate cake. It's really from Hershey's and is on the back of their cocoa.
There is a landscaping company across the street from us and every year they have a Customer Appreciation party. We buy mulch from them every year, so we always get an invitation. They have fun things like a bounce house, a petting zoo, a steel drum band, landscape sales, and games for the kids. for me the best part is their cook out. They serve hot dogs and bratwurst. It is the only time of the year I eat a brat and I LOVE it! There is nothing better than grilled meat, and I love a brat with some mustard.

I even remember my first brat. I thought it was that good. I was a junior at college and my friend Paul had a cook out. He made brats and was astonished I had never had one before. I immediately fell in love. He is from Minnesota and made it sund like perhaps bratwurst was the national food of Minnesota (or whatever the term would be for a state, it wouldn't be national, but you knoww hat I am trying to say.)

I saw these little delicacies at the grocery and had to get them. they are called Pluots or Pluiots. I think they must be across between a plum and an apricot. They are soft like a plum but have funny multishaded spots all over them. They just called to me. They taste like a plum. Good. Plain. Not exciting. But they are stunningly beautiful in real life.

I had lunch with friends today and had a fun time. We went to a fancy sandwich shop and it had outdoor seating. I was afraid someone would suggest eating outdoors, but I got lucky and no one did. My hair is just long enough to end up in my mouth if the wind is blowing.

I did make a craft today. Maybe I'll post that pic tomorrow.

Sketch Wednesday

This is the sketch over on SCS that we were to use today. I dolled it up the best I could. The paper is from Stampin Up in years past and the image is Riley Moose from Hanna Stamps. I used the SU set Short and Sweet for the Thank You message.

This past Sunday at church was Education Sunday. Children entering Third Grade got Bibles. Seth was very happy.

Children entering Sixth Grade got United Methodist Hymnals. That left us with a big "huh?" moment. While we appreciate the recognition that our children are growing up, we just are not that musical. I love the quiet of church and the sermon. I appreciate the time for prayer in the quiet of the sanctuary as prayers at home are often in noise for some reason. But I have to confesss, church music rarely moves me. It's just me. I accept that. Maybe because I was raised by non musical atheist parents. There are a few hymns I love, the rest are just filler to me.

As we left the sanctuary our very handsome organist came over to Noah and talked to him about his love for music, what it's done in his life, etc....He encouraged Noah to bring his hymnal to church and make notes in it and follow the songs and write about what he liked and why he liked it. Clearly, this was a man for whom receiving a hymnal would have been a life changing experience. I am hoping Noah will enjoy having his own hymnal and I am not saying a word about how not excited I am.

We had Meet the Teacher night at school yesterday and the teachers explained that if an assignment is turned in late that the child gets 55%, which is an F. Later they talked about the homework hotline and said that they occasionally forget to leave a message on it explaining something like "We are all very busy and sometimes run out the door after school and we just don't get to it." Let me get this straight, if my kid forgets his homework on the table at home he gets an F but if they forget to do part of their job, well, they have important lives after all. Scott said later he definitely misses the days of elementary school when the teachers are nice and sweet and friendly. I appreciate teaching children responsibility, but I expect adults to accept it as well.

Mrs. Ukraine

I had lunch with Mrs. Ukraine today. We met at a local place known to have good sushi. I ordered a box lunch or some such. Several things come on a square plate. I had teriyaki chicken, rice, orange slices, California Roll and some green hot paste. Mrs. Ukraine ordered a sushi variety, trying to entice me in. She ordered eel, roe, urchin and something else equally gross to me. She was so happy to see me, but I had a hard time eating my own food, and little interest in sampling hers, though I tried with a smile and ate some yummy crab thing.

She knows my Argentian friend Maria and wants to have lunch with her next time, too. We picked a Greek place to meet at as she has never had Greek. Now there is a meal I want to eat. Chicken and potatoes and green beans and tzaziki are for me! (Lamb, NO!) I do not think of myself as a picky eater, I have just eaten enough in my life to know what I like and don't like.

I did survive being wrapped in a blanket and sat next to a roaring fire on the hottest night of the year. I survived countless refills of wine, vodka and cognac. Mr. Ukraine is trying not to drink Vodka anymore and his Dad inUkraine told him he is "A Soft American Pussy."

Todays challenge was called faux embossing. You are supposed to stamp on paper with white ink and then stamp the ame image almost on top of the first image in the same color as your paper. Some people made really cool cards, but mine does not look embossed. I covered the faux background with the turtle image from Inky Antics and some ribbon, and the card looks good after all.

Tonight I am off to a home show for "Taste Of Home" which is a cooking magazine. Let's hope I spend very litle money as I have no room for more kitchen gadgets and I would rather spend my money on craft supplies anyway. Plus, I hate cooking, my kids are so unappreciative.

Crazy Ukranians

Those of you who have been around for a while are aware Scott has an employee from Ukraine. He is nice but he and his wife have over the top hospitality. Can one be too hospitable? Only on occasion, really. We have been invited to their home lately several times and finally consented to go again last night. The invitation was for wine and cheese.
So, we went to dinner and headed over at 7:30. When we got there, they decided to have food, too and the grill was in full roar. I never quite know what the meat is that they serve, but it tasted like chicken. I never ask what it is, partly because I can never get a question into the conversation and partly because it seems so impolite. Any dinner at their home always includes certain things....there will always be black olives, Ukranian mushrooms, pickles, cheese and nuts. Of course, wine, vodka and cognac are always served and expected to be indulged in by the guests.
Not being much of a drinker, I am always pouring whatever is in my glass into the yard or sink when no one is looking. You can say "no", that you don't want any of whatever is being poured, and that "no" you don't want any MORE and "no" you don't want your glass topped off. Mr. Ukraine just keeps pouring. It is exhausting and I always leave wishing for a cold glass of water or some pop. I'll have to get smart and have a small cooler of pop or bottled water in the van so we can have a cold drink on the way home.
And somehow I agreed to lunch at a sushi place on Monday with Mrs. Ukraine. Oh dear.
They are the nicest people ever, but I can only take so much hospitatlity. Mr. Ukraine threw gas on some wood and started a fire so the kids could roast S'Mores. My kids were thrilled but the mosquitos ate me alive. There was no bug spray to be had so Mrs. Ukraine wrapped a blanket around me to try to save what skin I had left. So I sat in humid 85 degree heat near a roaring fire, wrapped in a blanket.
The card above has images from Stampotique and paper from Basic Grey.

Friday, Ahhhhhh....

I don't know if I am happy it is Friday or not. Sure, I can sleep in a bit tomorrow, but the kids will also be with me all the time. I am enjoying school days.

I made the Hanna above for the Friday Hanna Challenge, to use your fisrt Hanna. My first Hanna was the very first Hanna released, "But I Need It." I used my Scor Pal to crease the lavender paper and the striped paper is from Cloud 9 Designs. I added some ribbon and Dew Drops and there you have it.

This is for the challenge to add bling. The cherries are actually a hair barette that I bought at Gymboree when I was out with a friend. I have boys and would never go to Gymboree by myself, but I was with a friend who has 2 little girls when I spied these barettes. They were on sale (2 for $1.49) and I knew they would match my Tart and Tangy cherry stamp so I could not pass them up. I stamped my background paper and embossed the top of the card and added ribbons. Whoever receives this card can take off the barette and use it.

I don't have much planned. My mom called last night and wants to have lunch today. Makes me wonder what's up, as she is not one to suggest that we get together. Maybe she feels guilty that I tried to invite her to lunch with me and the boys before summer was over but she was, as always, much too busy for us.

Mystery Visitor

Before I tell you about strange doings at my house, I'll show the creation of the day, Riley Moose from Hanna Stamps, made for the daily SCS challenge. Today was a sketch challenge. I, and everyone else apparently love the sketch challenge as the layout is made for you, and you just use what you like. Today we were to make a square card with a circular image. I used nestabilities and paper from a long retired SU pack.
I had a visitor at my home yesterday. A nicely dressed lady came to see me. She does investigative and mitigation work, hired by an attorney's office in Indianapolis. She had an old Child Protection file from my days there (okay, 11 years) and wanted to know what I could remember about a certain case. Interestingly enough, I had been assigned the case 15 years ago exactly. I mean, to the day!
I could not remember a bit about the case, but it was my handwriting, so I have no problem acknowledging it was a family I worked with. Turns out the boy in the case who was 13 at the time was arrested and charged in 2006 with the killing (execution really) of 7 members of one family. He had been in prison two times before this arrest. For our area this is an extremely high profile case and the alleged killers (there are 2 charged) will be lucky to avoid the death penalty. All the times I heard the news or read the paper, the name never rang a bell.
The lady is working on behalf of the defense and said it was not easy to find me. I don't think I'll be called to testify in court, as I don't remember a thing. I must have seen about 350-400 families that year due to high caseloads. I do enjoy testifying in court however, it is a cat and mouse game and I actually sort of enjoy it. That said, I have never had to testify at a murder trial either. I was in Child Protection for a long enough time that it never is completely away from me, I still have friends working in the system in various counties. But I was surprised to be tracked down.

Not Much

The treat box was made for a SplitCoast Challenge. It is a take on the 2,4, 6, 8 box but I really did not think much of it. It is cute and other people made some examples of sheer beauty, but in order to put anything with real weight inside it, you have to use alot of red stucky tape for reinforcements. All I had around was jelly beans so I put those inside, other people used GORP, dog treats, chocolates, etc...

Not much is going on around here. I'd love to tell you how I spent yesterday, but it was so unremarkable even I cannot remember it. I am sure it involved laundry and dishes. To distract you from my boring life, Look! A Hanna! I made the card above for a challenge over at SplitCoast. It was an Inspiration Challenge. The erson in charge posted some swimsuits from a popular collection and we were to find something to be inspired by. Apparently I am inspired to lay down as I chose Hanna who is sun tanning.
I am hoping to hear from friends and see them for lunch today. Ahhh, the joys of childless days.


I am beginning to wonder how people keep up with Daily Challenges. I suspect that people own a lot more supplies than I do. I know this is fact from seeing the craft area of my SU demonstartor. I try to be a minimalist, but I do have supplies on hand. Some people whip out cards with 7 layers and brads and ribbon and colors unimagineable to me, in seconds flat. I made this for the Hanna Challenge to use a certain sketch and make it for Halloween. I at least got to Fall, if not into full blown Halloween. I used gardening Hanna and made the pumpkins from my SU punches. I could not bring myself to draw jack o' lantern faces on them.
The limited supply challenge from SCS is to make a Snowman card. I used a set, Winter Play, from SU and added the snowman and little child together to make a scene. I thought the sentiment worked for both cards, whether you are wishing for a bigger pumpkin or a bigger snowman.

Noah has pumpkins planted in our little garden. I have forgotten all about them actually, and guess we should get to watering them if they are still there. Ooooops!

I had lunch with my friend Rebecca today and I can't tell you how nice it was to be out and seeing friends again. I have given up the fantasy of housecleaning as there is too much fun going on in the outside world.


It's almost official, I am insane.

I woke up late today. You see last year Scott would wake me at 7 AM and head out the door to drive car pool with Noah. I would get up and get myself and Seth ready for the day. I set my alarm and got up early yesterday to get everyone out the door smoothly . Today I did not set the alarm and Scott did not wake me up. Whoops. Thankfully I woke up at 8 AM and got Seth up and out the door for the bus which comes at 8:20. Then I got in the shower and got ready for the day.

I made this card for the daily challenge at Splitcoast. I colored my stamps with copics and then misted them with rubbing alcohol. The effect is a soft and pretty card, it just looks harsh and bright on my computer screen. The stamps are from SU, an old set called Best Blossoms and I put pop dots under the quote even though you can't tell in the photo. The quote is from Rubbernecker. I saw their African stamps and HAD to have them.

I am off to a scheduled lunch with my friend Jenny and am hoping for my old friend Rebecca to be able to meet me for lunch tomorrow. Guess I should call her and ask, eh? I am so happy to be able to be on my own running errands and seeing friends. It feels like it has been forever.


The first day of school is here and that means no sleeping in for my weary bones. I started the morning off right by making a card for the Sketch Challenge at SCS. I used Hanna from last Christmas and added a quote from River City Rubber Works. I gotta get those Hannas out there for everyoen to see! I forget where the snowflake paper came from, it was a scrap I had laying around. The sketch was three layers with minimal embellishments. Easy to do.

Noah was first up and out the door today. scott made cinnamon rolls from one of those cans you whack open. Noah ate the entire pan of them. You can't say we didn't start him out with breakfast! He chose to wear the DARE shirt he got last year. Local law enforcement came to school and talked about the merits of being drug free and at the end of the "course" the kids graduated and signed the t shirts they each got. I guess he wants his 6th Grade teacher to know he is drug free. Good Thinking, in case there were any concerns otherwise.

Since we drive Noah to and from school, there aren't any bus stop line up photos of him. But poor Seth is captured on about 8 neighborhood cameras this morning and even some videotapes. This is our neighbor girl Andi next to him. She is cute as can be, but born to be the boss of a Fortune 500 company.

I have a couple hours before I have to head out for my the appointment with Kevin, my hair guy. Maybe I'll pick up around the house. Or maybe not.

Last Day of Summer Break

School starts tomorrow and I have so many exciting things planned: returning overdue library books, going to the post office, getting my hair dyed the correct sexy color...I might even pick up the house since I will have five hours to myself and no one to misplace my picked up items.
Today I am babysitting. Well, I am supposed to be, but so far the activity is "entertain yourself" while I make a card for a color challenge over at SplitCoast. The card above is my offering for the day. The challenge at SCS is to make a card with certain colors and the colors are : Eggplant Envy, Old Olive and Taken with Teal. The card I uploaded yesterday got 26 comments, which is way up from the usual 2 or 3 commentsI usally get. So, I was on a mission to load a card to the gallery early and get more comments. I am about to become a challenge chaser, which means I am out to post cards as early in the day as possible in order to get more comments. Thank God I don't have a job and can do this for my own amusement on a daily basis.
Todays plans are to take my kids, and the sweeties I am supposed to be babysitting to "Nim's Island" at the dollar movies. Then we are going to a bounce place to play and we'll have some lunch. The kids I am watching are so easy to take care of they practically watch themselves. Plus, they come with a big older brother who helps out a lot.
We went to the State Fair last night and my kids are still in bed. I have to get them up so we can move on with our fun day. We rode rides, got great free stuff, as opposed to the usual junk and just wore the kids out. My kids look forward to the State Fiar as if it were one of the most fun things we do in this lifetime. It certainly is one of the most expensive!


When I was at Bev's in Dallas I inked up some of her Inky Antics Stamps. She used to be on their Design Team and I could not resist using these stamps together to make a big Texas card. I used the word welcome from an SU set, because that is how she made us feel. I like most of the cards I make, but I truly LOVE this card. I may add more paper to the sides and frame it and put it in my guest room. The stars are from the SU set Starstruck. It is the perfect Texas accessory set. (I popped up the stars on pop dots). The coloring is a little off, I took the photo outside but didn't use my flash.
Mr. Miller, the school counselor called me yesterday to explain Noah's placement. I am a little calmer and he is aware of the possible bullying situation. I also got a phone call from someone at the elementary school and another teacher has been added to Third Grade. I did feel peace like a river sweep through my soul, and thankfully, it didn't seem to take any time at all. For once I got the answer I wanted from my prayers. And quick!


Yesterdays' challenge at SplitCoast Stampers was to add jewels or bling to your creations. I made these over the weekend in Dallas and had to post them for the challenge as I thought they were the perfect fit. The stamps are from an old Stampin Up set called "Botanicals."I used Glossy Accents to adhere Fragments and then added jewels to them so they couldbe worn as necklace pendants.

This is the time of year when I get my panties in a twist about school issues. First came the information that our local elementary school will have 25 3rd graders in each class and the 4th grade classes will each have 26. Not earth shattering for everyone, I know, but for our district that is very high. I called the Administrative Office and of course got the run around. I realize it is late to change anything for this year, but maybe in the future they will realize angry parents will hunt them down and confront them. I started to wonder if I should call school board members as their phone numbers are listed on every mailing I get from the school district.

Another elem school in our district has 18 kids per class and I am simply tired of living in the crowded area of a school that continually functions over their capacity.

Then last night we had Meet theTeacher night at the Intermediate School and Noah was in a different class grouping than I thought he would be in. Noah's 5th Grade teacher had a special ed background and had a lot of the special ed kids in his class. Noah had his best year ever at school, socially and behavior wise. His teacher moved on to 6th Grade this year and I was pretty much assured in the spring that Noah would have this teacher in his class grouping. Not so.

Noah has no teachers with special ed backgrounds and his Homeroom teacher is visibly pregnant. This means she will probably be absent a bit. (Changes like this are hard for Noah and lots of kids on the Autism Spectrum. Substitute teacher days are hard on him. I also think that when his teacher goes on maternity leave the school willl hire some new graduate at base pay and stick her into a classroom with a high concentration of special ed kids. I am so angry it is unbelieveable. And again, not much can be done except for me to calm down and pray for an attitude change on my part.

On Meet the Teacher night everyone goes to the gym to find their kids' name on a class list and then you go find the room and teacher (s). The school counselor saw me and the look on my face and immediately broke away from the conversation he was involved in to come and tell me how sorry he was that the scheduling did not work out for Noah to have his former teacher again. I wanted to tell him "If Noah has a bad year this year, deal with it yourself and don't call me beause I am not coming."

I hope Noah will do fine at school and accept all the new teachers he has. Another kick in the butt is that the kid who is Noah's bully on the bus is now in his class. We drive Noah back and forth to school in order to avoid this child, and now they are stuck together all day in their classes.

Today I am bitter and need to find something fun to do with the kids before I completely lose my mind due to issues that I cannot change. I need the peace of a loving God to sweep through my soul like a river today.

Daily Challenge

When I was at Bev's in Dallas this weekend I was in awe of her awesome amount of Copic markers. Mostly I just sat and colored all weekend, every chance I got. I had supplies that I could have used to put cards together, but I didn't feel like it. I just colored and colored. Kristi was urging me one night to make a pirate. I didn't feel like it at the time, but the next morning I made this sexy woman. (I used a Daily Challenge Sketch over at Splitcoast to make the card for Pirate Hanna.) After I took the photo I added some dew drops to the corners of the cards, so it has a little more pizzaz.
The boys are asking what is on the schedule for today. I may take them to a Chinese Buffet they have been begging to go to. No, it's not because they love Chinese food. The restaurant has a chocolate fountain they want to dip fruit and marshmallows into.
We need a new Man Rule: Once you retire, you are retired. I used to really like Brett Farve. Now? I am so very tired of his drama. Note to Brett: Dude, Give it up, and go home to Mississipppi. There is so much more to life than football. Go home and do something worthwhile with your millions.

Happy Fall

The Hanna Stamps Challenge this week was to make a card with buttons on it. I never use buttons, but I do have a few that I have laying around, so I added a couple to this card. Maybe I am dreaming of fall because the kids will be in school. I colored with copics and used paper from Basic Grey and Prism.
I am not looking forward to cleaning my house, but I am looking forward to having a clean house, which can only be done when the kids are not underfoot tearing it apart as fast as I can put it together. I am babysitting three kids today. We went to the dollar movies to see "Surf's Up" and came home to make grilled cheese sandwhiches for lunch. Then my kids started whining and we all ended up at McDonald's. I have had enough Mc Donald's lately to last me a very long time.
I have loads of laundry to work on and still have not cleaned off my craft table after dumping everything onto it when I got home from Dallas. I have been buisy making phone calls and getting people worked up over class sizes at our elementary school this year. It may be too little too late, but at least I have talked to administrators and other parents about the problem. All I can try to do is my small part in making the world a better place, the rest is up to the beaurocrats. Think that might be the problem?

The Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex Area

Well, that's what they call it, folks. At least that is what I was told, and it wouldn't be the first time a tourist was lead astray about something local. We went to Booger Red's in Fort Worth for lunch and I had a very delicious Chili Cheeseburger. Mmmmmm Mmmmm Good!
This was the place across the street from Booger red's. I just liked the looks of it. And the fun part of downtown Fort Worth?
They have a cattle drive right down the middle of the street! Everyday at 11:30 and 4 Pm the cows come in to market. You don't even want to know how bad I wanted to be in front of the herd and pretend I was running with the bulls in Fort Worth. Too bad they have enough secuurity to catch me in the act. And I really wanted to craft with my friends, not hope one of them would bail me out of jail.

The funniest part? It's all for show. One of the cowboys said later that he and the other cowboys work for the city and manage the herd of cows that the city owns. They bring them in to the old market twice a day, just for the tourists to come and take photos. It made me wish I had a better camera though, and that I had nudged other people out of the prime photo taking spots.

There were plenty of women from the Hanna Design Team to post photos of, but I prefer to show you our support staff who made it all possible, the wonderful Ron. He is smart and funny, and ready to take photos of us with our cameras (as he is doing here). He cooked for us, and drove us all around the area. He is married to my friend Bev, and she said she was going to be very good to him afetr we left. I hope so. He is a great catch. Maybe I can be his trophy wife next time around?

I had a great time but never made a card the whole trip. I learned new techniques and spent my crafting time with Bev's huge assortment of copics. I have plenty of colored images to use in my crating right now, so once the kids are in school next week, I'll be very busy.