Las Vegas Day One!

Wow - this place is crazy!

First off, we are staying at the Venetian, which is an awesome place. I think someone told us it has over 6 million square feet! Amazing! We are finally starting to get ourselves acclimated to where we are and how we get to our room! The room is 650 square feet, has 3 flat screen tv's (one in the bathroom) and has a sunken living room. It is the nicest hotel room I have ever been in and it is one of their "BASIC" suites. I feel like someone special! Love it.

The Casino is like all the others, but I did win $220 last night on a nickel machine! That was fun - and being the conservative person that I am, I took $200 back to my room and will play tonight with the $20. We'll see!

We also walked up the strip last night about 3 miles! It was beautiful and the hotels are breathtaking. You just have to be able to ignore all the people on the streets who are trying to give you naked lady cards! I just kept looking at them and wondering "WHY?????"

David was in classes all day today - I was able to catch up on my message boards and do a little scrapping. I actually only got one page done, but I like it. I will download it when I get home. I also took a walk around the hotel mall today. They have a gondola ride and the ceiling is painted like the sky so you feel like you are walking through Italy. Pretty cool. The funnest thing I found was this t-shirt at David & Goliath's. It wasn't meant for scrappers but I think it is perfect.

rock is dead

Everything here is top notch - immaculate and inviting. They really do know how to treat people in these 5 star hotels. Even the ice cream and the carmel apples are over the top:



I'll check in tomorrow!


What happens in Vegas....

Wel- David & I are off tomorrow for Las Vegas. He is there for an AutoCad Seminar and Convention all week and I am just along for the ride. Gotta love those $50 companion tickets! Thanks Alaska AIrlines!

I was just going to bring my Christmas Cards to work on while I was sitting around all day, but then David told me to pack more stuff so I didn't get bored. Well---you can imagine that my bag now weighs close to 50 pounds and there are not many clothes in there! I ended up packing all the stuff in my craft room that I have been wanting to play with and leaving the Christmas Cards at home! I may never leave the hotel room! I am excited to have three days to myself to scrapbook and to explore the internet. I am going to check out all sorts of sites that I have been hearing about and leave lots of love in the galleries of my favorite sites!

Then we will spend every evening exploring the strip and seeing all the great free shows at the casinos. I can't wait to get a look at all the beautiful hotels decorated for Christmas! Should be breathtaking!

I will post from there (hopefully) and keep everyone updated!

Have a great week!


Oops - I almost forgot---Black Friday!

David & I braved the Black Friday shopping crowd and were at the stores by 5am! I know, we are crazy- but it is such a fun tradition. We didn't even have anything specific that we were going after, just wanted to spend the time together and say we were there! The kids are getting harder to buy for and their lists are pretty specific this year. So we ended up at Fred Meyer's and bought towels & socks!

Here we are at 4:30am, in the car on the way to the mall!
black friday shopping 5-7

Had breakfast together and then home by 10:00am for a nap!

Three posts in one day - You're so lucky!

Wow-there has been so much going on, that I keep remembering more things that I wanted to get in here! That's what I get for waiting 6 days between posts!

So don't forget to keep reading at the end of this post, there are two more new ones!

Jordan's High School Soccer banquet was last week and it was a very nice event. Since this is her senior year and last year on the soccer squad, it was even more special than normal. SHe was awarded MVP which is voted on by her team. They said, as a goalie, she saved their a** too many times to count! In addition, she made the first team in the Wesco Conference. This is like an honorary All-Star team for all the local high schools. This was the first time she has rec'd that honor and it was certainly earned this year. As a parent, I was so proud of her. Of course, we know she is an awesome soccer player, but to see the respect she has earned from her teammates and coach was very special. She was an awesome team captain and leader this year and it was easy to see the adult she is becoming.

This is a picture of her and her coach, Bill. Great guy!
bill jordan

This is her receiving her MVP award
jordan mvp 4-6

In addition, she signed on the dotted line this week - she received and signed her Letter of Intent to play soccer for Northwest University. It was so fulfilling as a parent to see all her hard work rewarded in the form of a soccer and a academic scholarship. She has earned them both. She is excited to play for them, but even more excited to go to school there. She had her choice of some great schools with strong soccer programs. But once NWU started talking to her, she knew this was where her heart was. They are a very small Christian school with an awesome teaching program. She is so thrilled to be attending a school that will foster her love of the Lord. Life is sweet.

intent 5-7

I'm back!

Hey, I almost forgot! Thanksgiving morning, David, Jordan & the boys met some friends at the park for our annual Turkey Bowl Football Game. Jordan was going to take pictures, but she was recruited to play, so I ended up with a group shot -


From what I heard it was a hard fought battle (not without a controversy or two!) and for the most part a fun time was had by all!

Taking a breather!

I'm finally taking a breather! It has been non-stop around here since last Monday! We spent the first part of the week cleaning our house and yard to make it presentable for the Thanksgiving Party. Thankfully, the weather was beautiful, cold but sunny, and that made the cleanup much easier.

Here are a few pictures from Thanksgiving - we had over 30 people here! It was such a blessing that all the fishermen were home this year and with the exception of Emily, Sarah & Mike, Michelle and Tom & Angie, the family was all together. Thank you, Lord! We were truly blessed.

luke tyler
This is Tyler, Makena, Lily & Luke at the little table!

aunties 5-7
This is me & my aunties - without them, I could have never pulled it off!

Here are a few of the men - telling fish stories!

mom & david
Mom & David

me & travis
Me & Travis - so nice to be able to relax and catch up with my boy

jim & Makena
This is my favorite picture of the day - Grandpa Jim with Makena- so cute!

It was a great day! Everyone was happy & healthy and having a great time. My thanks to everyone for a team effort on the dinner - it was fabulous! Another thanks to Jordan for taking pictures - without her, I wouldn't have any!

It was a great day - I was able to relax and visit and to soak up everything and everyone that I love and I am thankful for. A perfect day.


Poem & Artwork!

Here is a poem the boys learned in school and the artwork they created to go with it:

Shadows on the wall noises down the hall life dosn't frighten me at all.
Bad dogs barking loud big ghosts in a cloud life dosn't frighten me at all.

Mean old Mother Goose lions on the loose that dosn't frighten me at all.
Dragons breathing flame on my counterpane they don't frighten me at all.

I go boo make them shoo I make fun way they run I won't cry so they fly I just smile they go wild life dosn't frighten me at all.

Tough guy in a fight
All alone at night
Life doesn't frighten at all
Panthers in the park
Stangers in the dark
No, they don't frighten me all

That new classroom where
Boys all pull my hair (Kissing little girls with their hair in curls)
They don't frighten me at all.

don't show me frogs and snakes
And listen for my scream,
If I'm afraid at all
it's only in my dreams.

I' ve got magic charms
That I keep up my sleeve,
I can walk the ocean floor
and never have to breathe.

Life doesn't frighten me at all
Not at all
Not at all.
Life doesn't frighten me at all.

austin art

luke poem

chase art

Seahawk Sunday

Hope everyone is doing well - and relaxing.

Here are a few more layouts from teh weekend DT crop.


free falling

I pray



Rainy Saturday!

It is a rainy, dreary day in the PNW today, but that makes perfect scrapbooking weather! With the crop happening over at the Scrap-Diner, www.scrap-diner.com , I am getting tons of layouts done and it is barely noon! I love that.

Here are the ones I've done so far:



sweet sophie

just loungin' around


crazy boys


the journaling for the above layout is hidden and reads:


my fair favorite

michelle hill

David, Jordan & Austin are heading down south to a soccer game and then off to the Seattle Center to watch Edmonds Woodway play the quarter final football game in the state championship. It is going to be cold & wet. I am so glad I'm not going!!!

I'll check back in later!


Fun Friday!

I am so excited! The online crop starts in just a few hours! Check it out here:

7 Course Crop

It is a fabulous site & I would love to see some of my friends come over and play with us tonight! Please join me!

On a different note: the papers are signed and construction will be starting the week after Thanksgiving! You can't even imagine how happy I am that that part is done. Too much back & forth converstaions for me. Too MUCH!

I finally got another camera. I love my Canon Rebel but I needed something to throw in my purse so that it was always accessible. I stuck with Canon and bought the A650(Thanks, Greta for the great recommendation!). So far I love it! I will play with it more this weekend. ANd thanks mom for buying it for me! I love it - and we will learn how to use them together!

Still suffering from heartburn or what I hope is heartburn. I have an appointment on Monday to make sure. Say a prayer that I don't have an ulcer - that's all I need.

But guess what??????????
IT'S FRIDAY-----------IT'S FRIDAY------------------IT'S FRIDAY----------IT'S FRIDAY

So happy for that. Everyone enjoy your weekend and I will be back on Sunday night with pics of my layouts from the weekend crop and some fun pictures.


Thursday already???

Time flies - when you're having fun and even when you're not! Things are still hectic at the Holmes' house. We are still trying to iron out the terms of the construction project with the contractor. He is very good, but man is this whole process stressful. We went to Home Depot yesterday and picked out doors, windows and carpet. I used to love that - shopping for my house. Not so much right now!

Along with the stress, I have developed heartburn. Yuck! I now feel bad for all the times I gave David a hard time and just told him to eat better! I have a doctor appt. on Monday to make sure it's just stress induced heartburn and not an ulcer. Wouldn't that be fun?

Not much else interesting happening around here - just the contractor stuff and trying to de-stress our life. I let you know if I have any luck with either of those - but for now - Have a great Thursday.


A blur-----------------------

Just a little warning-----a little ranting to follow:

That's what the last month has been for me - a blur. Too much stress. Everyone is always telling me that I have too much on my plate, but I never seem to listen. After all, I'm superwoman, right? Ok, so I'm not and I admit it. My problem is that if it is something I want to do, I never think it adds to my stress. Until I get sick, the heart starts racing, the anxiety flairs, I'm tired, heartburn kicks in, eyes start twitching - you know - the whole 10 yards at one time. Gets so bad, I feel sick every morning. Man, can it knock me for a loop.

I'm sharing because I know I'm not alone. Too many people carry way too much on their shoulders. It's a definate pattern for me. Starts out small and before I know it, I have myself so scheduled and stressed that the Lord intervenes and says - OKAY, ENOUGH! The problem this time, was that I made things hard for my friends and family at the same time. I hate that I did this. So, it's time to change things for me. Somehow, I have to make sure that it doesn't happen again. I know I'm not capable of doing it on my own, so I'm giving it to the Lord. Finally. I am a control freak. I know it, I can admit it. It is what gets me in trouble. I'm giving it up to the Lord. Telling everyone, so gently remind me. I can't do it. I know it. I hit a place last week that I never want to be again.

I know for some of you that aren't "A" type personalities that stress seems just like a yuppy catch word. But, it's real and the pain that comes along with it is real too. Tough on your heart. Tough on your life and definately tough on your family. Mine has been through many roller coasters with me, they know. Time to give it up, time to let the Lord shoulder it for me. I am going to take things one day at a time. I can't worry about tomorrow - that's the Lord's job. Man, it sounds easy when I write it down.

Okay, so it won't be that easy-but I'm am going to start working on it right now. I am going to focus on the things that make me smile and make those around me smile too. Everyone needs to smile more - to find the joy more - to go to the Lord more.

Do it ----- Today! I am going to.

Things that are important:

my relationship with God
my family
my health
my hobby
schooling with my kids

Things that aren't important:

more money
bigger house
doing it all
having it all

Time to change my focus from the bottom list to the top list. Stay focused-stay healthy - stay happy!

DONE ranting.


Saturday slowdown-----

Yesterday was Chase's birthday! Happy birthday Chase! He's 11 now! So cool.

chase @11

We only had 1 1/2 hours last night to celebrate as a family, but we made the most of it! Everyone was together, it was so great. Travis & Michelle, Mike & Sarah, Grandma and all the rest of us together in one place at the same time! It was loud but such a great time. Chase was thrilled that we were all gathered to celebrate with him. He never stopped smiling! We had pizza and root beer floats and even played a family game of spoons!

I was so thankful to have most of my babies in the same place (missed you Tom & Angie!) - it was quite a treat. Everyone was happy and having fun and basically just thankful to be together. Man, was that good. We caught up on some news:

Travis is doing great at his roofing job and is currently car shopping. The weather is holding and they have jobs lined up into next year. I'm proud of him - he's working hard. Michelle is heading to Miami for a month of modeling soon, but she'll be back for Christmas. We are thankful for that. Mike just got hired on at Boeing so that is exciting news too! Sarah brought us pictures of her wedding dress that she picked out and it is gorgeous. She will be a beautiful bride. We are holding off major wedding plans until after the first of the year, but we still chat about it occasionally. Austin headed off to LaConner for the weekend with friends and the small boys and Jordan went up to church for the evening.

So, what could have been better than dinner and laughs with all my kids and then a quiet evening at home with just David. I have to say that it was the perfect night. Couldn't have asked for anything more. Thanks, Lord. I needed that.

Here is a pic that I took before everyone headed out. It's always an ordeal to get a family picture. I have excepted that and I figure it will always be like that especially as our family grows! Thanks to Mike & Michelle who were great and had a smile in every shot!

Slept in a little today---then shopped for Chase's birthday party. He had 7 boys over, the perfect number. They played at the park, had ice cream pie, opened presents and watched Ratatouille. What a great show. He scored tons of gift cards:

chase pie

Looking forward to a relaxing evening - David & Jordan are at the high school football game. EDWY is in the semi finals of the state playoffs. I just heard from them and Edmonds Woodway is killing Snohomish like 30-0. That means they are heading to the final game. So cool.

I am going to watch the movie again with the boys and then get a few pages done. Here are two I did yesterday. They are for the Scrap-Diner Design Team. It was awesome line of product by K & Co. Check it out at their store: http://store.scrap-diner.com/index.asp?PageAction=MFGSEARCH&ManfID=26&Page=23

my girls

our story

Just a reminder that the Scrap-Diner is having an awesome crop weekend next weekend with lots of fun and prizes! Join us - I'll be there playing.

7 Course Crop


It's Thursday again????

So where did the time go? Could I have it back please? Come on-give it back? I know you have it! You lost it too? Okay, I guess it's time to move on.

Did everyone see this article in Newsweek? http://www.newsweek.com/id/67947 Scrapbooking has finally made it to the bigtime! All it took was a scandal and a bunch of crabby women. Now we are all labeled! Typical. The only thing that I have to say, is "it's a contest, everyone should follow the rules". Of course I love her work, I love everyone's work - but rules are rules.

So, I went it to work for my first shift yesterday. Can't say much about it yet because I spent most of the time taking little mini tests on medical stuff. But, I can tell you that it's a fun atmosphere - everyone is nice to be around and the place seems well run. The most exciting time was when I got home though.

Ok, so I had written a very detailed plan in the scheduler. Made sure everyone knew what, where and when they were suppose to take care of things. Well, when I got home, they were watching a movie (remember - we have NO screen time during the school week), no one was done with school except Luke, their chores were not done, and the art project that I thought would take an hour, they did in 5 minutes. Needless to say, the creations weren't masterpieces! Have to tell you honestly that I blew a fuse! The tears came, the guilt surfaced and boy did everyone get an earfull.

Of course, it turned out for the best - we had a family meeting and made sure everyone was on the same page as far as why I took a part time job, what everyone's expectations were, and how we will handle it in the future. We ended up at the table playing yatzhee. Luke won - he always does. Family bliss is restored.

So, it's Thursday - I'm dropping the boys off at school and running to the Urban Scrapbooker to see her new product! Can't wait. I'll take my camera with me today and share my favorite products.

Have a great Thursday.


Construction Update!

We are getting closer and closer to breaking ground on the construction front. However, we are still about 5k away from a contract with our contractor. Boy, is this tough! I love him to death but man is negotiating a touchy business. Permits are close to being finished - they are just making slight changes to the truss plans and the loft ceiling height. I am learning so much through all this, I think I will be prepared to start a new company as a project manager! Speaking of working, I am starting a part-time job tomorrow with Heartland Home Health Care. Wish me luck! It is just a few hours a week and I hope to use the extra cash for Christmas and construction and scrapbooking!!! I will be working with my buddy Amy and I am so looking forward to that.

Starting to get ready for Chase's 11th birthday on Friday. Planning a family pizza dinner and then a friend party on Saturday. His main request is an ice cream cake, so if anyone has a great recipe, please share it with me!

Goodnight all!

Dixie Pieces Design Team November Kit

hey ya'll ---(sounding kind countryish, don't you think??) Well, the CMA awards are right around the corner-just trying to get in the mood :)

Here are my November layouts for www.Dixiepieces.com . It was an awesome kit to design with, all sorts of great My Mind's Eye goodies. Check it out:

the man

girls-have fun



I have also gotten a tiny peak at the December kit and you are going to want that one too! Go on over to the site and check out the forum too! Lots of great ladies over there and we would love to have you join us! Well, I would love to have you join us! - the more friendly faces the better!


Check out my friends cool site!

I friend from CKU, Julie, has started her own very cool web based business. She creates wonderful wearable pieces of art! Check it out! www.creative-jules.com


7 Course Crop


Great Weekend!

I sure had a great weekend! It started early for me when I went to the CK Convention in Bellevue with Brooke on Friday. After an hour (ok, not really an hour, but it felt like it!) looking for parking, we hit the vendor faire. I can't say that I saw anything new and exciting, but we did have a fun time looking for bargains! It is always fun to be surrounded by scrapbookers and bargains! Two of my favorite things!

I ran into some friends that I hadn't seen in a while - Julie, Ann, Annette, Pam, Joy, Chris, Kim, Cassie, and Michelle - it was great to see you! I also got to meet Sherry and Brenna from Dixie Pieces Kit Club! We got to spend lunch break together chatting. I am so excited to hear that the first month of the kit club is going well. If you get a chance, go check out the first month's kit http://dixiepieces.com/index.html

In addition, I really enjoyed spending the day with Brooke, the owner of the Urban Scrapbooker. We shared some hilarious moments and had fun getting to know each other better! All in all, the convention was a lot of fun. http://www.urbanscrapbooker.com/

Came home on Friday night just in time for date night with David! We watched, Bull Durham, one of our all time favorite movies.

Man, I love the scene where Kevin Costner gives his, "I believe...." speech. My all time favorite movie quote.

With nothing set on the schedule for Saturday, we were able to get quite a bit accomplished! I finished a layout for the ongoing "Scrap that Tune" contest at www.scrappygiraffekits.com . It was a tough week for me-the songs were great but hard to scrap. But I made it!

David & the boys got the yard cleaned up, the wood chopped and stacked and the couch delivered to Travis.

luke rake 5-7

blower 5-7

david 5-7

diving in 4-6

luke leaves 5-7

It was a very productive day.

Oh Yeah, our new furniture was delivered! The all time favorite piece is the oversized chair with the attached ottoman. We purchased it at Costco Furniture Center in Kirkland. Man, what a great place!! They were even on time with delivery from California, amazing!

Here are some pics:

couch 5-7

couch 4-6

Then, I snuck away for a few hours (thanks, hon!) to the crop at the Urban Scrapbooker. I had a great time chatting with friends (love ya, Andrea!) and working on projects. I actually spent like 5 hours on one layout (I know, crazy) but I love the photo so much, I wanted it to be just right. I can share it with you in a few days. When, I got home, the house was quiet and hot! The fireplace was rolling and the temperature must have been 90 degrees in the living room. Both Ethel and Luke were knocked out in the living room, spread out so that they weren't touching any other part of their body. It was quite a scene! Here is Luke, in what was left of his fort:

luke out 5-7

The heat had him in such a deep sleep that I basically had to drag him to the other side of the living room where it wasn't so hot. There was no way I was going to be able to pick him up or wake him up to get him to his room!

Ethel was in heaven with the heat. Here she is sprawled out about 2 feet from the fire:

ethel 5-7

Today, I was feeling a little under the weather, I think it was the pizza I ate last night. But, it was the perfect opportunity to lay low and get caught up on all my organizational tasks like paying the bills and balancing the checkbook! The Seahawks were disappointing today with a overtime loss to the Cleveland Browns. Man, did they blow that game. No defense showed up to play! Oh well, it's just football!

I am about to go watch my shows and plan school for the week! I hope everyone has a great week! Spend some time enjoying your many blessings!

Here are a few layouts I completed for the Scrap-Diner DT last week - enjoy!

fall fun!



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