Finding the Joy Day #2

Rec'd my first paycheck today for scrapbooking services rendered to my first "real" client. Now, I probably should deposit it into the checking account and use it to offset the water tank expenses of last week. Instead, it is going into my scrap fund and I'll use it in January at CHA Winter Anaheim.

My joy today comes from knowing that the Lord provided me with that job --- a complete stranger puts their faith in me and their memories in my hands. That doesn't just happen for no reason. That is the Lord providing for me, encouraging me and letting me know He is present in my life.

Smiles - Photo Therapy

Photos for today to make you smile ---

Dogs in sunglasses make me smile:

austin coop

Black spotted piglets make me smile:



Finding the Joy - Day #1

hehehe --- I feel better already! Do you know what brings me joy today? Baby elephants ---- yep, baby elephants in FARMVILLE. FARMVILLE has been my escape lately --- random computer FACEBOOK fun where the worst thing that happens is that you forget to harvest the strawberries and they wither. Money is fake - crops are fake - but the fun is real & harmless. Yesterday, a baby elephant showed up on my farm and then by this afternoon, I had 6 baby elephants on my farm. They make me happy --- bring a smile to my face.

okay --- not the only thing that made me smile today.

---- stopped at Brooke's store --- new Basic Grey goodies are in the house and that makes me VERY happy. I will be planning a little pre-crop shoppin' trip very soon --- spend a bit of the store credit I have!

---- took the boys to Robin Hood Lanes today to use the 'free game of bowling' coupons that expire tomorrow. Seeing Luke get excited about getting a spare --- after the ball bounced off the bumpers 4 times --- now that was hysterical!

---- torrential rain canceled baseball practice - so David built the first fire of the season and the house is all toasty. Fires & sweaters --- two of my favorite things and great reasons to smile.

---- stopped at SuperCuts this morning and got my hair cut --- pretty short but so nice to have it feelin' healthy again!

---- Cooper finished all his medication for his leg and the limp seems to be gone --- whew --- that is definitely a good thing!

Okay --- now to share some scrappin' projects that have been hanging around for awhile!

The Scrap Tiffany Blog has a couple more great challenges posted! This week's challenge was to scraplift someone that inspires you. Tiffany herself is a fabulous artist and I lifted one of her layouts where she put zippers on it --- I loved the look, so I gave it a try:

sweet pitstop

lazy days of summer

enjoy life

I'll be back later to share some fun photos from the weekend with you!

No Excuses ----

for not blogging. I should be able to blog and not dwell on the crap that is all around us these days. Part of me only wants to post when I have something fun or happy to share. Stress is not fun. Work is not fun. This economy is not fun. Lack of scrapbooking is not fun. Family disputes are not fun. Possible layoffs are not fun. Hearing horror stories of families on the street are not fun. Honestly ------ my anxiety is in high gear and I am struggling to find the joy in these situations. Don't get me wrong --- I smile and laugh and feel blessed everyday. My kids are happy and healthy and love on me all day long. My husband is present, healthy and hard working. I am safe, secure and healthy. So what is my problem? Why do I still dwell on all the things that are not fun? Why is this week different than last month or last year or 2001? Why could I get through all those times without dwelling on the negative --- but I can't seem to get through the day now? Why do I feel so scared and what exactly am I scared of?

I am sorry for the long, thought provoking post. It seems that everywhere I go I hear the stories. People out of work, people declaring bankruptcy, people on the streets, fear of coming layoffs ---- it's just not getting any better out there. In fact, it is coming closer and closer to being a reality for a lot of folks I know and love. We are trying to cut expenses, trying to tighten the budget and trying to increase the savings account. But then the unexpected happens --- the water heater explodes and the savings is cut in half. More stress --- more reality hitting us in the face. There are things I want for my kids --- sports being the most important. I need them to stay active, I need them to stay busy, I need them to want to excel in something they have control over. So, that expense stays in the budget --- but for how long? What is going to be cut next and why does it have to hurt so much? I'm not even talking about fun extra things like cable tv --- I'm talking about basics.

There, I vented. I got it all out. I put a face on my troubles and my anxiety and now I have to let them go. I'm giving them to the Lord ---- telling the world in this blog makes it real. I am not in control --- in fact, the world is spinning out of control and the only one who is in control is the LORD. He has a plan and I need to stop trying to control every situation that comes my way. I can't anyway. There is nothing about the world right now that I can control. Nothing.

I know the Lord wants me to find the joy and not to be concerned about tomorrow. That is HIS repsonsibility. He will protect me and get me through. He will always be there and not give me more than I can handle.

So, this is it ---- no more ignoring my blog. I need to blog even with a heavy heart. I need to find something happy to share every day. Something to bring a smile to someone's face. I need to identify the good things in life daily before I go to bed so that I can sleep and dream peacefully. This is my prescription for the crap that is happening in life right now. Let the LORD handle it and find something to smile about every day.

Do it with me --- blog everyday about something that made you smile that day. Find the joy --- pay it forward and tell us about it. I challenge you to get it all off your chest first and then give it to the LORD. It may not go away but the burden will be lighter. Thats my plan and I'm sticking to it.


the Middle of September...

....already! There is just about 100 days till Christmas. Aren't you glad I reminded you of that? Well --- it just seems like the days are flying by and I for one need to slow down. I find myself looking forward to crawling into bed every night and not enjoy those moments during the day that I should be. So, my goal for today --- and today only cause after all "one day at a time..." --- is to look at the leaves on the trees and enjoy the full green foliage because they will all be bare before I know it!. Find something today and focus on it --- then smile every time you think of it. Smiling makes the stress go away!

The 15th also means another fun sketch over at My Sketch World Challenge Blog & Forums. One of my favorite sketches so far! To check out the sketch - follow the link! Here is my layout based on the sketch this month:

miss america

Isn't she sweet?


Monday, Monday!

It's Monday and that means a new challenge is up at the Scrap Tiffany Blog! This week, it's all about using up our scrap! This challenge is easy for me because I am a scrap miser. I keep EVERYTHING! ALmost every layout I create is all scraps! It turns out that this layout was also about our little adventure on the SeaStar Crab Boat. Here you go:


In news around the house:

--Mom is doing great in her recovery and is heading home from rehab today! She is very happy and I know her kitty cat will be too!

--Coop is under the weather -- he has a knee injury and we are trying to keep him resting for a couple weeks. Hoping that it's just a sprain and not a ligament tear!

--Soccer & Baseball are in full swing -- school too! The house projects are on the back burner now --- we didn't get the front of the house painted --- ugh.

--Emma is growing so fast -- she is almost 3 months old and 12 pounds!


SeaStar Tour Video

Remember a couple of weeks ago when the boys and I went down to my Uncle's boat - the crab boat from season #1 of the Deadliest Catch? The video was on the news and I have it here too -- it's fun!


Yes, I know that it's already Sept. 9th

and I haven't posted since the 1st. What can I say? Just been a little crazy around here. My mom went in for knee replacement surgery on the 2nd and is still in recovery mode. Then we had to figure out the select baseball situation for Austin --- 4 different tryouts and we finally choose a team tonight. On top of that Chase's fall baseball team started training last week. Well, you get the idea. In case you still don't undertand ----- we have 4 soccer games, 1 baseball game, 1 practice, 2 parties, and one concert to attend to this weekend. Oh yeah --- our school year started today!

I am in Heaven! I love the crazy busy times of fall - it is actually a comforting routine and keeps the anxiety at bay. Besides there is nothing I love more than to see my kids on the soccer pitch or the baseball diamond. Pure joy for me. Go figure.

Okay -- so on the scrapbook front -- what do I have for you? Hmmmm..... not a whole lot but a few things.

We finished up our summer contest this week over at Dixie Pieces. The final challenge was about the sounds of summer -- this was my sample layout:

rain drops

Even though the contest is over, there are brand new challenges posted and ya'll should go on over and check them out! The prize this month is a past kit of your choice!

There is a new challenge up this week on the Scrap Tiffany Challenge Blog too! This week it is to scrap a layout about what means "HOME" to you. I have always lived in Seattle, and I can't imagine living anywhere else --- so the challenge was perfect for the pics of the kids at Gasworks Park. I was able to use the paper pack the GCD Studios sent me! Perfect colors for Seattle --- Sounders & Mariners!

explore seattle

Another layout made with the GCD Studios new releases:


Here is one of my little neighbor girl, Sophie, at Grandma's pool this summer:


And last but not least --- these 2 cards were created with products from Jillibean Soup!

how are you

whooo loves you



September 1st - already????

Yes, this year is whipping by, school is about to start and my life is in crazy mode.

The new kit is up at Dixie Pieces and you need to get your hands on it fast! Last month, the kit sold out in 8 days! Amazing!


Here are a couple of my designs from the kit:

snapshot in time


Head on over to the gallery and you can check out the rest of mine as well as all the other great designs by the DT members!

Yesterday was also Monday - which means another fun challenge over at the Scrap Tiffany Blog. This week's challenge was to scrap the ALL STAR in our lives. Well, I have tons of All-Stars around here --- but I wanted to use this new paper line from GCD Studios and Austin's goalie pics worked perfectly!

keeper copy

I also participated in a fun challenge over at Scrap-Diner. It called for a mix of kraft paper and white --- one of my favorite color combos!


and a few cards I made for fun:

congrats train

hi - owl card

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