Sunday, March 29, 2009

More of that Texas tradition

"Bluebonnets, blue lovely Bluebonnets,
More beautiful than all the rest.
Texas chose you for her flower,
And we love you best, Bluebonnets"
   Bluebonnets (chorus) - words and music by J. Booth and L. Crockett

I wanted to get pictures of my nieces and nephew in the bluebonnets before they are gone for the season, but the weather hasn't really been cooperating. Today was really way too bright, but we had to make do! I couldn't get one single good picture of all three of them together. Those redheads are hard to wrangle!! But, as a trio they are pretty darn cute. :)




Thursday, March 26, 2009

All at once

When it rains it pours... everything always happens all at once... bad things come in threes...

The sayings are many, and they all seem cliche until a week like this comes along. Both of my kids have been slowly on the mend, my sisters kids are all sick, and the adults are trying to avoid it. On Wednesday morning my sister got a call that her father-in-law had passed away. This was a very sudden loss for her family and it is just horrible. My nieces and nephew have lost their Great Grandmother, Great Grandfather, and now their Grandfather all within the last 10 months. That's a lot of loss for these kiddos to handle.

So, I've been helping out where I can - including watching my darling 19 month old niece while my sister and her husband help take care of family business. Even though she has a fever, she has just been utterly sweet and adorable. Don't you just want to NOM her elbows?



Please keep my brother-in-laws family lifted in prayers - especially his precious mother, Malinda. She is a darling woman and even my kids call her Nanny.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

1st Digi Scrap Attempt

Okay, I keep saying that I'm not going to do this digi-scrap thing. I LOVE the touch and feel of layers, textures, and embellishments. But, on the other hand - I have a LOT of fun playing with my Paint Shop Pro X2 for photo editing. I also have a friend who sent me a TON of digi stuff a few years ago, but I just never messed with any of it.

So, today (who knows why) I decided to give it a try. I have no clue who made any of these things - so my sincere apologies to the clever folks who did. If I find out I'll give you credit. :)

It seems like we did hardly anything over Spring Break - but this weekend we were insanely busy with projects from sunrise to sunset. (And now I have a frillion loads of laundry to do, plus a week's worth of ironing - before I go to bed tonight. What was I thinking?) Today we also went and took the kids pictures in a bluebonnet patch - it's a Texas thing, y'all.

Without further ado, here is my first ever digital layout...



You can click on it to open it in a new window to see more details. I know it's really simple and doesn't have nearly the amount of stuff I would have put on it if it was a traditional page, but I think I did okay for my first try - what do you think? Be honest!

It was kind of fun, actually. :) So what do you digi scrappers do? Do you print them out? Who will print out a 12x12 photo? Or do you print them out 8x8? I need digi schooling! Any good sites you recommend? Places to get freebies? Places to learn how to make my own embellishments? Um. Maybe I should slow down since I have an ENTIRE craft room full of for realio-trulio stuff that longs to be glued down. Of course, I could just use all of that stuff on cards...

Friday, March 20, 2009

My Girlie Girl

Chloe was finally felling better last night, and so we were able to do more than just sit around today. We had planned on going to the zoo, but because she was still in the recuperation phase, I didn't want to stress her system.

Instead, we spent some time gardening. I LOVE to garden - we grow our own vegetables all summer long. We have a cherry tree that is blooming, a fig tree that has buds, and just tons of flowers. Since I grow so many edibles, I don't like to use pesticides unless absolutely necessary (I *do* treat my turf with fire ant and other bug killers, just not in my garden). In my garden beds I do a lot of organics and home remedy treatments - like this...

Take a look at my little gardener - doesn't she look like a doll? You'd think she was smiling because she got to plant some flowers. Or because it was a gorgeous day.


NOPE. She's grinning because she helped her mama dig up GRUBS!



She just loves them - her pwecious wittle cuddle buggies. UGH!!!! See, mama is a vicious killer and digs up those buggers and throws them in the trash. But Chloe wants to keep them and let them crawl up her arms and such. *shudder* Last year our tomato plants got those HUGE tobacco hornworm caterpillars and she was in heaven. I had to dispose of them after she was done naming them. "No, Chloe, they LOVE swimming in the beer bucket!" :)

So, if you need someone to dig up some good fishing bait - just give us a call. Just don't tell Chloe that's what they are for!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Spring Break that wasn't

I had all these huge plans for Spring Break (gardening, yard work, house work, crafty stuffs) - but with my back going out on Saturday, and Chloe being sick since Tuesday. Well, we haven't done much but watch movies and cuddle on the couch. Not that those things aren't fun, but other things planned were FUNNER. :)

For instance, today I was supposed to be celebrating a friend's birthday - and we were all going to scrap at Archivers all day long! With lunch ordered in! Without children!! Bah. Instead I have done some scrapping at home, but it's just not the same!

This is the card I made for my friend, Leslie. Her birthday was the 9th, but I was going to give it to her today at the get-together. I made a card with this Bella a few weeks ago and she really liked it, so I made one for her. :) (you can click on it to see it larger in a new window)



I hope everyone is having a productive and amazing time scrapping together today - I totally miss you! Happy Birthday, Leslie! I guess I better get back to the couch - Chloe is watching The Fox and the Hound for the first time ever, and I want to talk her through that horrible end scene with all the fighting and growling and sadness and such.



Materials (all SU! unless otherwise mentioned)

Card stock: Tempting Turquoise, Certainly Celery, Real Red, Watercolor paper
Designer Paper: Real Red Patterns, unknown piece from scrap pile (cupcake wrapper)
Stamps: Cupacakeabella (Stamping Bella)
Ink: Staz On Black, Tempting Turquoise, Sahara Sand
Other: 2-way Glue, Stampin' Dimensionals, Blender Pen, SU! Markers, Ticket Corner Punch, Mini Glue Dots, Sponge, Crystal Effects, Paper Snips, Big Shot, Stampin' Up! Backgrounds 1 texturz plate, Scallop Circle die, Soft Grey organza ribbon, Dazzling Diamonds Glitter, Tempting Turquoise Re-inker, Snail Adhesive, Crop-o-dile, Red Gem (Creative Cafe), Sew Crafty Mini sewing machine (Provo Craft)


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A bit o' green

I like making little gifts for the kids' teachers - I know they are underpaid, overworked, and love every single bit of what they do. So, I try to show them my appreciation as often as I can. Here is what I made for them for St. Patrick's Day.

These little SU! baskets hold 4 mini Peppermint Patties altered with the scallop circle punch and some little stamps. The circle is from Priceless and the little clover is from a retired set, Year Round Fun II. These are incredible easy to make, but I think their teachers will still love them. :)


Monday, March 16, 2009

First Day of Spring Break

I'm not counting Saturday and Sunday because all it did was rain, and be all cold and gray and miserable. But today...



Just splendid! Even though my back still hurts (HURTS), the kids had a great time running around outside, blowing bubbles, inviting buggy critters to visit our home, and generally getting along wonderfully. :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

A tisket, a tasket....

...Look at these little baskets:



Aren't those adorable? We made those at the workshop I had for my new recruit. Everyone loved them and they are SO easy. In fact, my 10-year-old niece made all three of those by herself. She did the little embellishments and everything. It's hard to see in the picture, but she ran the Whisper White card stock through the Paper Crimper first, then cut it out with the die! Isn't that a great idea?! Can't wait to sign her up! :)

The baskets are so easy to make because they are done with the Big Shot and an exclusive Stampin' Up! die: Baskets & Blooms. The designer paper is from the Sale-a-bration catalog (FREE!) and I just love the colors.

If you would like to make these at your next workshop, just give me a call - these would be adorable filled with Easter grass and a decorative egg! I am planning to make a bunch of them to give as gifts. If you would like to order the die just click on the link in the right side bar.

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cute as a....

This evening after dinner the kids and I were hanging out in my craft room listening to music on my computer and doing a little dancin'. All three of us were playing together. (famous last words coming up) And then I only turned my back for a second to turn the volume up a bit.

When I turned back around Bradley was coughing a bit and he was pulling on the skin of his neck like a wattle. Mother's Instinct immediately clicked and I *KNEW* he had swallowed something. I calmly grabbed his hand and began walking him to the kitchen. His coughing slowed down and I asked if he was okay - he said his throat hurt. I gave him some of my ice water (which I happened to leave sitting on the counter half-empty (one of Mike's pet peeves)). (Also, I'm trained in CPR and first aid and such and I knew he wasn't choking or anything at this point, so don't panic!)

Here is the conversation that followed (because I know y'all can never get enough of my boy and his genius).

Me: Bradley, are you okay?

B: It hurts.

Me: Did you put something in your mouth?

B: Yes.

Me: What did you put in your mouth?

B: A cough.

Me: A cough?

B: Yes, it's in my throat.

Me: (after feeling his neck and doing a quick once-over in his mouth) What color was the cough?

B: Yellow.

Me: Yellow? What did it look like?

B: Like a button.

Yup. Just a like a button. A button that perhaps came from this tray of chokie-bits. A tray that just yesterday I told Chloe to leave alone. A tray that she did not leave alone, but moved to floor to get a closer look at the shinies. Shinies which are also chokies.



So, now I'm on the great Button Hunt of 2009. As is my darling day care provider, bless her heart. My sister (an urgent care nurse) says to search for the next 48-hours, and if it doesn't find its way out by then to bring Bradley in for imaging.

Oh, yes, I shared that information with Bradley, too. I asked why (WHY?!) on earth he would put a button in his mouth and he said he didn't know, but that it hurt his throat. He also said it was going to hurt his tummy. And mama let him know that's not all that's going to hurt!

Later, Mike was wondering what would happen if it got stuck. I explained we would get an ultrasound or x-ray to see where it was. And he said no, what if it got STUCK there. You know, like this....


And that, my friends, is a typical evening with the Cross family. Good-night.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Quiet Sympathy

I mentioned last week that one of my co-workers lost his mother suddenly. He'll be back at work tomorrow and our team bought him a gift card so he and his wife could have an evening out together. He's a really quiet guy and I don't really know him very well since it's my first year at this school. It's hard for me to make sympathy cards - adding in that factor plus that I was making it for a guy... This is what I came up with for all of us to sign. (You can click on it to view it larger in a new window.)



The flowers are from the new Sale-a-bration set Botanical Blooms and the sentiment is from Sincere Salutations. The background is embossed with the baroque pattern Texturz Plates exclusive to SU! - Stampin Up! Backgrounds 1. The small dots were done with the Dotted Cuttlebug folder. (All done in my Big Shot, of course.)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Katie is 18 today...


Katie's 18th Birthday from Abra Leah on Vimeo.

Come on, Internet!

I swear I had NO clue today was Spring Forward. Not one single person I know talked about it. Not even my Internet friends who usually keep me on track!

It's always a bit annoying to lose that hour, but to lose it and not find out about it until just when you are leaving for church (LATE). Well, that's a bitter pill. Bah.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Week 2 update

This week was a little harder - there was a lot of stress at work with the TAKS test (our state's standardized assessment), some big ARDS, and we had to deal with a FLOOD. That's right - a pipe broke in an upstairs bathroom at the school I work at and the water came through the ceiling in our ARD room! (That's an IEP meeting for y'all who aren't in Texas.) The water damaged five classrooms, too - and all the phones in the building were down all day AND we had no Internet or intranet access. No email. Nada. Lovely.

I am doing okay with the listening to the word and fasting (though that was HARD on Thursday, the day of the Broken Pipe and No Computers). I *think* I'm doing better with the negative words, but honestly I think it's because Mike is not using them so I don't have anyone to argue with.

I drove up to North Richland Hills, Texas on Friday night with my awesome niece, Alexis, to do a workshop for my cousin (who is also in my downline). I like to do the first workshop for my recruits so they don't feel overwhelmed! :) We had a fun little road trip, did some crafting, and got home late. So, now I've got to get to bed because I'm exhausted!!! I'll post some pictures of the projects later this week.

Happy Stamping!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Queen of the School

This morning Bradley and I had a great conversation:

Bradley: Mommy, can I go to school with you today?

Me: Not today, sweetie. (I brought him to work with me a couple of weeks ago because his day care was closed, and I had to get stuff done! He loved it, of course, and always asks to visit again.)

Bradley: But I want to see the Queen!

Me: ... What queen? (thinking he must have seen a book or something with a queen or crown on it)

Bradley: The Queen of the School!

Me: Um. What Queen?

Bradley: You know! The pretty lady in charge of the school - what is her name?

Me: You mean the principal? Her name is Ms. West.

Bradley: Yes! Ms. Queen West!

Me: I am sure she will be thrilled with her new title!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Spingy Fun Sneak Peek!

Get these stamp sets BEFORE the catalog is out! The new SU! mini catalog won't start until April 1st, but because we want you to get a head start on on all your Easter and Spring-themed cards and layouts we are letting you in on an early order opportunity! I LOVE the Wagon Full of Fun set - that cupcake is just too cute. :)

And, remember that Sale-a-bration is still going strong - for every $50 you spend you can choose one of the Sale-a-bration items for FREE!

Call or email to place your orders - or go to my website to order online. If you order online you will get a FREE Spring-Summer 2009 Idea Book & Catalog free with your purchase.

Happy Stamping!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Beauty and the Beast

Oh. My. Goodness. Some horrible, awful, terrible force has taken over my daughter. My friends keep telling me it's just a phase, but WOW. She has some attitude on her. Yesterday she was just intolerable! We were supposed to go to a birthday party for one of their little friends, but she was defiant and rude all morning long. She spent some quality time in Time Out, but it doesn't seem to change her behaviors.

I woke her up from her nap to get her ready for the party, and the attitude had just festered in her sleep. She refused to get ready, yelled, pouted, whined... It was just obnoxious. So, I told her that if her attitude didn't change she was not going to go to the party. She said she understood, and that she didn't want to go anyway. Then she hit me.

So, Little Miss was told that she was NOT going with Bradley to the party. She was fine with that until Bradley and I were actually walking out the door. She threw herself onto the tile and just wailed. I calmly explained that maybe next time she would remember that her actions have consequences and we would see her later.

*****************************************************

Bradley had a wonderful time at the party! Here he is with the Birthday Boy, who turned 3 this week. Isn't it crazy that they are only 4 months apart? The kids bounced, ran, and thoroughly wore themselves out. I love birthday parties! :)



This is the card I made for the occasion. I pulled out a retired SU! set that I LOVE and use all the time for boys cards. It's called By Land and I wish it was still current. I used red acrylic paint on glossy white card stock so that the car would really shine. (It's hard to tell in this picture, though.) The base is Kraft, and I used Night of Navy and Old Olive for the layers. The chipboard "3" is from my big ol' box of chipboard - I have no idea where it's from. Basic Black ink and a couple of buttons from my craft supply added the last touches. Bradley thought it was "really cool," and so I hope the birthday boy loved it, too. (We left before the presents were opened.) I think I need to buy some more "boyish" stamp sets - I have a lot of fun making cards for boys. :)




(PS: Today, BTW, Chloe has been simply charming all day long. Twice she mentioned that she will follow directions because she doesn't want to miss another party. Now I have to morph that into following directions because that is the right thing to do!)
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