blog challenge--the ABC's of me

Here you go---another blog challenge---MY FAVORITE THINGS FROM A TO Z:



Construction update

So--the day started off at 7:15am with a huge truck in our cult de sac and the kids saying, "the trusses are here, the trusses are here!" Almost like we won the lottery!

But that marked the beginning of a buzy construction day, we even had a port a potty delivered. That is definitely the highlight of the construction thus far!

Feb 26 2008 003-1

Then the trusses started being put in place:

Feb 26 2008 008-1

Feb 26 2008 009-1

There is a glitch though---but they assure me it will be taken care of ASAP. The truss side isn't fitting well into the existing pitch. To his credit, David told them this would be a problem, but they said---no, it will be fine! So, we will see!


Monday Monday........

Lots going on today!

Preparing for a great weekend retreat with my scrappin buddies! I can't wait. I have a list of things to do, but it is a happy list! I need to decorate a cigar box and fill it with fun scrap goodies and candy, prepare 10 minibooks for our circle journal, and pack my whole office into two containers that will fit in my car! But, it all sounds like fun work to me!

Construction crew showed up today and finished the walls and got everything ready for the trusses. They are telling me that it will be ready to roof by March 8th! Can you believe that? I am guardedly optimistic. I will take some more pics tomorrow to show you all the progress.

My last bit of fun news is that I was selected to be the guest designer for March for a Canadian site called the Scrapbooker's Club House. Can't wait to see what their April kit looks like! I put a link to their site on the sidebar. They have a fun monthly contest and the winner gets to be the next month's GDT member. You should all give it a try!

So, speaking of design teams, the reveal for the March kit at Dixie Pieces is right around the corner, so I thought you might like a little peek at one of my layouts. Remember to check out their site, www.dixiepieces.com on March 1st to be sure you get a kit. Here is my favorite layout this month---

march 4

In addition, I had some fun last night with the Scenic Route stuff that Sher sent me from the Diner, www.scrap-diner.com . Even after all the times that I have used their product, I never get tired of it. It is always fun to work with and it is so versatile! Here you go:

always a smile

be wise



The weather has been beautiful! Sunny and 60 degrees. Simply beautiful. I can't believe how much some sunshine can lift your spirits. Well, that and good old fashioned laughter and friendship. It's been a great weekend for both. Saturday morning, I woke up bright and early and left the house about 6am. I know, pretty damn early! But I was on a mission. Stopped in Everett to pick up Jen, stopped in Marysville to pick up Andrea and Pam and off we went to Bellingham. What's in Bellingham, you're asking??? Well, that was the home of a very cool scrapbooking garage sale! There were over 25 vendors, all will tons of cool stuff to sell. We set our stuff up and then took a walk around. There was soooooo much stuff there. At 9am, the doors opened and a flood of ladies swarmed in.


By 10:00 am, almost all our stuff was gone! It was amazing. It was a large room, as you can see from the picture. At one point at about 11:00 am, the line to pay wrapped all the way around the outside of the room! People were shoving bargains into their bags so fast! It was definitely the craziest garage sale I have ever been to and I have been to a lot! ALmost everything was gone by noon, so we started to pack it up. Here is the scene at 12:30----no one and nothing was left!


It was such fun! I won't know how much money I made until tomorrow. I can't wait to find out. Next weekend is out scrap retreat in LaConner and we are going to take a drive up to Bellingham to the store that hosted the garage sale and spend out gift certificates. That's how it works. They organize, host and collect the money and then you get a gift certificate for everything you earned to spend on new stuff! I plan on spending it all at one time, since I never get up to the store otherwise. They have some great canvases and things --- so I think I will buy some stuff for interior decorating my new space too! Here is the link to some of their cool canvases:


Then to top off the day, we met at Olive Garden for a surprise birthday celebration for Robyn, a friend from when I worked at the Local Scrapbook Store in Lynnwood. It was so fun to laugh and chat with all the folks I miss so much! It was a great time. So, I feel rejuvenated. Good fun, good food and good friends will do it everytime.

This is Andrea and her sister Pam ---aren't they cute?


And Andrea and Jen

jenandrea 5-7

Today -- David cleaned up the yard and the shed and took a load to the dump. I love the first real nice day after a long winter. It always makes you feel like sprucing up the yard. David is so good about that. It looks great! Still in construction mode, but looking pretty in the back.

Speaking of construction mode--they tell us, that they didn't come to the house all last week because they were ahead of schedule and waiting for the truss company to deliver. I don't know--seems kinda strange. After all, on Thursday, they showed up but only to get some of their equipment. Seems to me like they have another job going on. If we don't see some real progress this week, I guess we will have to start asking questions. I hate that. I just want it done with no drama. I hate drama.

Also went to watch Jordan's soccer game today. It was fun to sit in the bleachers in the sun, listen to David & the boys playing baseball behind me, watch my daugher in the goal, and relax. My favorite sign of pending spring is the sound of the ball hitting an aluminum bat. Baseball--my favorite sign of spring.

What else? ---- Oh yeah. We also went to Deb & Terry's for pizza dinner to celebrate Hannah's 8th birthday. That means that Luke's birthday is right around the corner and we will be in countdown mode soon. 61 more days till my baby is 8. Doesn't seem right. But, it was just over 8 years ago that we moved in to this wonderful neighborhood. God led us right here. Right where we belong.

I found that this weekend showed me a lot of things that I am thankful for:

good neighbors
& family


Check it out!

The Diner Store is overflowing with major BARGAINS!! Go to http://www.scrap-diner.com/ and check out the store's bargain basement. Sher has made huge markdowns on tons of stuff to make room for all the terrific new CHA stuff that is starting to arrive! The besst part is the stuff that is being marked down is still less than 6 months old!!! Great stuff!

Here are a couple layouts I did for the Diner and February Challenges:

This one is about "THE LOOK" - Luke took this picture for me - great job, little man.
the look

This one was for the All About Me - February Challenge:
5 senses
Yes, I know that I put the wrong year on the layout - I'm such a dork.

***By the Way---I printed those little pics out on my new printer than my mom bought me-love it-thanks mom!


Wow-it's Thurdsday already----

With both Monday & Tuesday off school this week, it feels so strange that it is already Thursday. I am excited that tomorrow is Friday - love Fridays. This weekend is going to be very busy! I am heading up to Bellingham on Saturday morning to participate in a scrapbook garage sale put on by a LSS called Treasury of Memories. For those of you interested in shopping the information is:

The sale is held at Christ the King Church in Bellingham, WA from 9am -1pm

Christ the King Community Church
4173 Meridian Street

From what I hear there are tons of vendors - I am one of them!

David will be busy down here too! Baseball practice, baseball tryouts, a baseball scrimmage, a birthday party and tons more!

I just rec'd the paper that we are using for Sarah's wedding invitations! So, we will be putting those together this month! Then off to buy Jordan's bridesmaid dress and get Luke fitted for a Tux. After that, it will just be helping Sarah where she needs it and waiting until the big day!

Other major events on the calendar in the next few months include Jordan's senior pictures, graduation ceremony and party, Austin's getting braces on the top teeth, and the list goes on & on....... $$$$$$

Oh well, it's just money.

Here are a couple of layouts:

Your smile



more pics from CHA

So--someone reminded me tonight that I hadn't posted many photos---so here you go:

Me-Brooke-Sher & Missy
Feb 09 2008 153

Me-Brooke & Stacy Julian
Feb 11 2008 083

Wendy & I in front of the Cosmo Cricket Booth
cogsmo 5-7

Brooke & I on the plane down
Feb 09 2008 003

President's Day!

So, we have been so productive this weekend! I can't believe all that we have gotten done.
---Went through all of the boys clothes, shoes and jackets & donated all that were too small
---Finished Jordan's bathroom!
---David finished two drywall side jobs
---I participated in a 24 hour online crop and scrapped my DT kit! (can't wait till March 1st to show you!)
---Raked and cleaned up the yard - the sun is shining here! Cold but sunny!
---Cleaned my office!
---Prepared all my coupons for the grocery store trip tonight
---Spend $200 at the thrift store 50% off sale --okay so this is hard to do! But, Jordan & I found so much great stuff! Tons of Abercrombie-Quiksilver and Converse!

Here are a couple layouts that I completed for the crop---they were quick & easy ones for the layout an hour part of the crop.


my little family copy

Here is one I completed for a contest:


10 little known facts about me!

So here you go! This is a challenge over at Dixie Pieces right now! There is an online crop going on and for every challenge you complete you get an entry into a drawing for a great grand prize! So even if you don't have much time--head on over there www.dixiepieces.com and at least do this blog challenge! Your entry could be the lucky one!

1. My last child was born at home
2. I am adopted
3. I have known my husband since I was 2 years old
4. I used to manage a scrapbook store
5. I have an anxiety disorder
6. My credit score is pushing 800
7. I’ve spent a season on an Alaskan fishing boat
8. I have had 5 children by natural childbirth
9. My first car was a tricked out VW Bug
10. I went to a parochial high school






The love of my life~~~

So, those of you that know me, know that David is my everything. I thought Valentine's Day was a good day to share that with the world--so there you go, my husband is my everything. I can't imagine my life any different. He is so much more than my husband. He is my friend, my comforter, my confidant, my protector-well I could go on and on. I literally can't imagine my life without him. Even after 21 years, I still watch the clock & wait for him to come in the door. It always makes my heart jump a little. I love that. His smile from across the room always makes me smile. We have made it through the baby years with our children and our time together is back on the increase. I so look forward to that time together. I remember when we started having kids, people would give us advice. The advice that turned out to be the best was this:

Never forget what brought you together. Always remember that your kids are going to grow up and leave and you will be left with your spouse. If you are too busy to nurture your marriage, you will be left with nothing and have no connection after the kids go. So remember to spend time together, remember that it is okay to tell your kids that you can't play because you are sitting with your spouse, remember to go on vacation alone occasionally, and remember to make time for romance.

So it turns out that this has worked for us. We are like newlyweds again and we look forward to every minute we have together-even after 21 years. Don't get me wrong, it hasn't all been easy. There were many years when all we could do was get through - just keep putting one foot in front of the other. There were many times when our relationship was strained. There were times when we would have to purposely spend time together even when we felt like we should be doing something else. Time when we forced ourselves to reconnect. But, it was so worth it. It is all so natural now and man am I blessed by that.

So here's to you hon--I love you and you are my everything.

dad2 4-6

Oh & by the way----you are one hell of a father!


What a whirlwind that was......

I feel like I never left. There was so much going on every second of every day that I was in California attending CHA. All fun stuff I admit, but nonstop nonetheless! This is just a quick post to let everyone know I am home safe, I had a great time, and life is back to normal. Ok, so not normal yet, but going that direction anyway. It will take me a few days but then ----as normal as it gets.

Here is a pick of us girls at dinner Monday night---so much laughter and giggles - a great time!
dinner 5-7

On a construction note---the lumber was delivered and the full crew was here. They quit pretty early but there was definite progress!
Feb 13 2008 001


As the weekend winds down...

so does our doggy adventure. We got a call from the dog's owner and he is currently on route to pick up "Yoshi". The funny thing is that Yoshi is owned by a husband and wife with no children, but he's been in a household of three energetic boys and myself for basically the whole weekend. And he's been hanging out with some of the neighborhood kids as well. It makes me wonder how he'll act when he gets back to a calmer house. Apparently Yoshi was staying at his owner's mother's house about six blocks from our house and ran away. Oh well, it was fun having a puppy around for a couple days! Farwell Yoshi, it was fun.

My mother's reaction? Well I'm not sure that I'm really one to say. She called the house at eleven pm last night to ask me about it. I think she thought it was funny/amusing, but I don't really know for sure. None-the-less, it is almost over and it'll make for a nice story.

As for the rest of the weekend... Dad lost his poker game last night. Church went well this morning. The boys (Austin and Chase) had auditions for the church play today. Austin was in and out really quick because he was only trying out for one part. Chase on the other hand was in there longer because he was trying out for two different parts. The funny thing is that Austin's best friend is trying out for the same part that Chase did, we'll see how that goes. Well, when Chase arrived Austin's friend asked if he'd practiced the song and Chase replied, "what song?" Little did we know that the part Chase was trying out for required a solo in the audition and so Chase began frantically reading and practicing the song probably 15 minutes before it was his turn to audition. He said it went good so I guess it's up to the leaders from here.

I think that's all from the Holmes' front, hope everyone else is having a good weekend. I can't wait for Mondays (sarcasm).



As soon as mom leaves...

we have a story to tell. Hi, this is Jordan. My mom told me to blog for her over the weekend while she was gone since she probaly won't have internet conection where she is. Well here's my first post/story.

Literally one hour after dad returned from the dropping mom at the airport Tanner knocked on our door. With puppy in one had he asks, "did you guys get a new dog?" To which we replied, "well, no." And thus begins our epic journey with a lost dog my brothers have now named "Junior". We decide to take a walk around the block to see if there's anyone out looking for the precious ball of fluff. But alas, all we got out of it was our neighbor telling us that his wife had the dog in their backyard and it dug out. And now you all think that this dog is our neighbors', no it's not. Our neighbor found the dog while out on a walk this morning and put it in her yard to keep it safe. It then proceeded to dig a hole under their fence and go disrupt Tanner's game of basketball. Which then leads us full circle back to this:

Feb 09 2008 001

Dad and Austin took it to a local pet "hotel" (if you will) to see if it had a chip in it, but no such luck. No ID tags either. Rather unfortunate, but I do somewhat enjoy having a puppy around again, of course I don't miss cleaning up after them at all though. It's safe to say that this four month old male golden retriever will in fact be staying the night (but definitely not in my room). Here's another picture, the pup was a good picture taker if I do say so, he sat still very well:

Feb 09 2008 005

I'm off----

I am walking out the door for the airport---heading to CHA. Life is good.


Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday to you--
Happy Birthday to you--
Happy Birthday to Mom,
Happy Birthday to you!

It's my mom's birthday, could you tell? Happy birthday mom--we love you!


It's getting better every day!

So, I just found out that the crop that we are having over at DixiePieces next weekend has had even more fabulous prizes donated!

In addition to the fabulous grand prize of the February Kit, they have a Scenic Route prize pack, an Acrylic Album prize pak, and those great magazine subscriptions. And let's not forget all the great RAK's!

There will be a challenge every hour on the hour and for every one you complete you get your name in the prize drawings! Some are as easy as making a list or playing a game! Be sure to check them out!

In addition, we are on the lookout for a Guest Design Team member - One lucky person will be chosen from those that participate in the 8am challenge during the crop - here are the details!

Dixie Pieces is looking for its first guest designer for the March 2008 kit. To apply, create a layout and card from the challenge that goes up at 8 am EST during our online crop. You have until 9pm EST on Saturday, February 16th, to post your completed layout and card in the Dixie Pieces’ gallery “Guest Designer Challenge” album. Once you’ve uploaded your entries, use the site’s Contact Us feature to let us know you’ve submitted your entries and provide us a phone number and email address we can use to contact you. You may participate in any of the crop challenges and games, and you are eligible for prizes!
The winner of the guest designer challenge will be contacted by Sunday evening, February 17th, and will be announced on the Dixie Pieces website by Monday, February 18th. International entries are welcome, but the designer will be asked to pay shipping charges that exceed $10.
If you're chosen as our March 2008 Guest Designer, you'll receive one of the March kits and be required to:
1. Complete 2-3 layouts as well as one project OR 2-3 cards using the kit. At least one layout must be a two-page layout. 12x12 layouts are preferred but 8-1/2x11 are acceptable. Layouts smaller than 8-1/2x11 are considered a project.
2. Create layouts from your original designs, showcasing your unique talent and style, and demonstrating a range of skill from basic to advanced (in other words, you don’t always have to spend hours on your design; sometimes a simple, uncomplicated design is the right choice).
3. Upload images of your completed layouts, cards and/or project to the March Design Team gallery album by March 1st.
4. Identify the Dixie Pieces kit when your layouts/projects using the kit are posted or published to another gallery, blog, or publication.Your photo and bio will be featured on our site in March,

You may purchase items in our catalog, including past kits, at a 25% discount.
Have fun and good luck! We look forward to meeting you on our forum, and we can't wait to see what you do with the challenge!


New meds today---

Doctor gave me a new med today to hopefully knock the heartburn out! At this point, I am game for anything. Turns out, we are waiting another few weeks before having the scope test done-which is fine with me! I start the new med tomorrow and I have great expectations. We'll see. She also told me losing a few pounds (like a needed to hear that) would help as well as eating smaller meals, avoiding chocolate and coffee, and sleeping on an empty stomach. Hmmmm--we'll see. She also told me it happens as we get older---since when is 43 older? So, I guess it's time, time to focus, shed a few pounds and get in shape. Wish me luck--or better yet--give me some motivation.

Here is a layout of Luke & Rosa playing Mary & Joseph in the Christmas Play. I love the way Luke is looking at the (doll) baby Jesus. It almost makes me think it is really Jesus in that manger. I love it.

name was jesus


Feeling kinda crummy---

For about three months now, I have been suffering from daily heartburn. SOme days the medication knocks it out and some days it doesn't. I know it is made worse with stress and anxiety--both of which I am burdened with. But the last two days have been miserable. Of course, the worse the heartburn is, the more I worry and the worse the heartburn gets! Great big vicious circle. So when I get back from California - I am going in for a scope to make sure nothing else is going on. Doesn't that just sound like fun--NOT! Necessary but definitely not fun. I have been trying to relax and take it easy - but most of you know--I love to be busy and relaxing is not something I do very well. So send some prayers my way--help me kick this heartburn in the -----

On a fun note-Jordan found out today that she is a permanent employee of Pottery Barn! Not more temporary seasonal help--she is official! You can't even imagine how thrilled this makes me! Now she gets her discount at all the stores, online, and at Williams Sonoma! Can't wait to pick some stuff out for my loft and new recroom! She deserves it, she is the hardest working stocker there!

3 day and counting till I get on that plane to Anaheim and CHA. I can't wait to be surrounded by all that fun product and people that love this incredible hobby like I do. Now to remember to spend some time outside while I'm there, soaking up some California sunshine and stocking up on my vitamin D! THis hobby has opened many doors for me and introduced me to some awesome people--many who I will get to be with this weekend:

Wendy--my buddy from CKU last year - seems like we have been friends for years - don't get to many chances in life to make that kind of friendship happen. I am so thankful for her and I can't wait to see her and meet her family.

Sher & Missy - my online buddies and boss from the Scrap-Diner. So fun to chat and scrap with them online-now to meet them in real life! I am so excited! Seems like Sher & I are kindered spirits - long lost sisters. Only through this great hobby can instant connections like this happen.

Brooke-my friend & the owner of the Urban Scrapbooker here in Edmonds, WA. She is so much fun and I am happy to be sharing a flight down with her. In addition, she has invited me to the Creative Imaginations Preview Party on Saturday night and then to bunk with her. Watch out Anaheim, here we come!

And last but not least - Sherry & Brenna from Dixie Pieces! I had the priviledge of meeting them last year at CKC here in Bellevue. WHat a great mother-daughter team they make! Their online kit club is about 4 months old now and their kits keep getting better & better! I am honored to design for them! I hope to see them down in Anaheim too!


Prayer request...

I just found out that someone very special to me is going in for triple bypass surgery on Monday. She is a giver, a totally unselfish lady, who is always there when you need help. That kind of person-you know the kind that you only meet once in a lifetime. So - if you think about it -lift her up in prayer, her name is Julie and I love her a lot. Appreciate it.

Here are a couple of fun pics of the kids for you:

luke hat 5-7

kids playing chess 5-7

And a layout I did--look at little Jordan isn't she cute???

my little star


Soccer Sunday's started today!

I know that it is Superbowl Sunday---but it was also soccer Sunday at our house. The first game of the last season Jordan will play with her select team, Allegra. It is definitely bittersweet as we enter the home stretch of her youth playing career. They dominated the other team today, 7-1 and I have to say that I have missed watching her play. It has been so long. With the switch of the season from the fall to February, it has been almost 9 months since she has played a local game that had any importance. She did travel tons with them over the summer, but we were not able to travel with her. I didn't realize how much I love to watch her on the field until today. It just did my mind and heart good to see her out there doing what she loves. She always looks so at ease out there. I am going to try to enjoy each and every game this season and to soak up every minute she is out there doing what she loves. I know she has college soccer in front of her, but that is an unknown for me. Who knows how that will play out and how many games I will get to see. So today, I stayed away from the other parents, and just shot pics of my baby girl, doing what she loves, leading her team, defending her goal. I love that.

Feb 03 2008 053

Feb 03 2008 073

Feb 03 2008 033

Feb 03 2008 031

Of course, there is always a downside--the boys have been drug all over the US watching her play soccer and they were not excited that the season was starting. But, they were troopers and braved the cold (40 degrees) and lasted for most of the game. Here are some fun pics:

Feb 03 2008 027

Feb 03 2008 040

Feb 03 2008 056

In addition, I have some layouts for you--these were done at a crop last weekend - just hanging out playing with some paper that a friend gave me. Just doing what I love for no specific reason.


my boy


peek a boo

the two of us

This was a layout that I did for a challenge over at the Scrap-Diner. The challenge was to scrap your crush---now let me tell you that I think a lot of celebrities are good looking, but I have never had a real crush on anyone - except my husband. I have known him my whole life -well every since I can remember. He is a very special guy, a great husband, and a hell of a father. I can't believe the Lord has provided for me in such a wonderful way. We have been married 21 years but it feels like yesterday because my heart still skips a beat everytime he walks in the room. I love you--you're my crush and you always will be.

my crush

Journaling reads:

I have known you since I was 2 and you played on my brother’s baseball team. You lived across the street and I can’t remember ever not knowing you. As you & my brother became good friends, I saw more and more of you to the point where you were like another brother to me. You were always there to protect me. When exactly it happened I don’t know. In this picture, I was 15 and in my first real relationship. You were 22 and had moved out of the house across the street. I didn’t see you much during these years, but you were always a good friend, always there if I needed you. I look back and know that God had a plan for us, even during those 6 years that I was growing up and you were not around much. We stepped right back into that friendship when I was 20 and in need of a job. You gave me one at your shop and the rest is history. Our love is grounded in that friendship and history and our passion for each other runs deep. You are and always have been my secret crush. I love you.


Coupons anyone?

So those of you that know me well, know that I am a bargain hunter. I get a rush from saving money at the grocery store or finding a perfect item at a garage sale or thrift store. There is nothing better. Okay, maybe a few things, but saving a ton of money is right up there at the top of my list of natural highs!

With the Superbowl tomorrow, there was a long list of items on our shopping list. Not mornal things, but fun once a year type snacks. It's basically the day, we all get to have our favorite snacks. David was going to go shopping tomorrow, but I knew that even if he looked for bargains it was going to cost us a fortune. So armed with my coupons and the kids, off we went to Albertsons tonight at 8:30pm. I like to go late to avoid tons of shoppers, especially those that hate to be in the checkout line behind me and my pile of coupons.

Here are a couple of pics of our receipt:

luke receipt 4-6

chase receipt 4-6 copy

So we purchased 96 items for $141.28 ---but we saved $138.66 in coupons and savings! So we got $285 in groceries for less than have that! It was fun! Now usually we get an even better deal, but we had to factor in those items that we had to have even if they weren't on sale: Steak to feed 6 of us, 3 gallons of Dreyers Ice Cream, 8 cinnamon rolls, Chex Mix, Doritos, Salsa, Marshmellows, peanuts, cashews and Oreos and chocolate milk! Something to make everyone happy tomorrow. Everyone that is except the cashier at Albertson's - who was pretty mad about all my coupons. That just makes it even better for me.

Happy Superbowl Sunday to everyone!


February 1st----Get your Dixie Pieces New Kit Today!

Hey girls-- First of the month means a new kit was just released over at www.dixiepieces.com ! This was my favorite kit to date - full of wonderful papers from various paper lines that all coordinated beautifully. And the embellishments--well they out did themselves! Grungeboard, bling, 2 alphabets, velvet ric rac, vlelum quotes and tons more.

Here are my February Layouts:

key - jan 08

so in love - feb

jesse & jordan

Here are my cards:

true love card

u & me card

what I love

luv u

And my mini bookL

love cover

love page 1

love page 2

love page 3

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