Friday, December 28, 2007

Help me choose!

I'm making a gift for my babysitter as a thank you and a good-bye present from us. Our last day at her house will be next Friday. We will miss her terribly. Let me first share with you how we found this wonderful woman:

I had my daughter in a national child care facility. It was nice, the people were nice, etc., however, she was sick ALL the time and I was missing a ton of work. It was way too stressful for all of us. She was 8 months old.

I was looking through the classified ads, and one came up who was looking for 1-2 children. I called her; she was calm, quiet and "motherly" sounding, unlike many of the "flaky" people I had called from other ads. I arranged to meet her. My husband and I sat in her driveway and I prayed, "God, make this obvious, because I can't take much more." We went in, met her, and within 5 minutes, she had told us the reason she moved to the city was because God planned to save her here. That was it. Sold! I didn't even call to check references. The kids have been there now for just over 2 years -- she has been a blessing to us many times over. We will miss her terribly.

So this gift is for her. The little girl in purple is my daughter, the little girl in red is her daughter. They are running ahead of us at the zoo. The words around the edge and on the path are adapted from "An Irish Blessing" -- the one that goes "May the road rise up to meet you..."

My question to you -- which one is your favorite!?!?!?

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Layered Template #41 - 9 Photo

As promised -- but much delayed -- Here is template #41. (link removed) There's ONE left to release. :) Stay tuned!

Layered Template #42 - 11 Photo

Here is the LAST of this series of templates. I really didn't intend to take this long to get them all out to you -- my apologies for that!

I have to say -- I'm itching to get back into scrapping. Painting walls in my house is definitely NOT going to take scrapping's place as my hobby of choice! LOL! My "fun" computer will be joining me at our new home exactly one week from today. Yay! Unfortunately, that means that painting will probably come to a screeching halt -- so perhaps I need to devise a system where I "reward" myself with scrapping time for each room I get painted.

At any rate, I hope you've enjoyed this series of templates. They are the set that were inspired by the screensaver I saw at Cincinnati Children's Hospital when my daughter broke her collar bone -- and that was way back in September! (At least I think that's when it was -- it was SO long ago it seems). She's all healed now, with not even a bump to show where it broke. Resilient little miracles, aren't they? God is good.

So feel free to download this last installment here. (link removed) Once I get my computer back, I'll see what else I can't come up with in the way of templates.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Layered Template #40 - 7 Photo

Here I thought I was being all smart and posting the templates en-masse about a month ago, but not activating the links. Instead, they're still posting on the day that I originally sent them, instead of the day I "went live." So if you understood that garbledy-gook, my apologies for the out-of-order posts! :)
Here is this new template (link removed), which isn't showing up on my computer right now. I'll try to fix it later -- but it "matches" the others in the recent series. :)
Can you tell I'm short on time and taking a little break? :) I don't have time for silly glitches! :)

Layered Template #39 - 6 Photo

I had someone ask me to share with you my family's Christmas card. Sorry it's so late, but here it is. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas; I know we did. Thanks so much for all the private messages you sent me wishing us a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. This digi-community is just so caring, and I feel blessed to be a part of it!

Also, thanks for all the votes on the pages I made for our babysitter. I ended up printing both 2 and 4 to see which looked better in print. I think originally I was leaning toward 2, thinking that the words would be more readable on paper than on screen. I was wrong -- even at an 18 point font, that choice was just too small for reading. And number 4, I ended up taking down the opacity a bit more on the words, so that they're still legible, but not taking too much away from the girls. I'm happy with the printed product -- if I think of it, I'll take a photograph of it before I give it to our sitter.

I've forgotten that I had some more templates to upload! Sorry! And HERE is the latest (link removed)...

Layered Template #38 - 7 Photo

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas..... and the gifts are NEARLY done!

I want to give two quick plugs. I used two "new" (to me) printing services this year, and was really quite happy with both of them.

1) -- I used this for printing planners and calendars as gifts for family. Amazingly good price! I printed a paperback book instead of a photobook for the planner, and it cost me just $14.95 (if I remember right) for one (plus shipping). And that was without any discounts! I was very happy with the print and book quality -- the only complaints I have are my own doing (I didn't read the trim specifications -- actually, I did, but decided I didn't care enough to go redo it!)

2) -- I had my Christmas cards printed her. LOVE them! They have a cool feature where they can print the front AND the back of the card -- so the front has our normal greeting on it, and the back has the kids with a little extra blurb. Free envelopes came with the order. My only complaint about them was that the quantities went from 100 to 200, and I needed 150. There was no way to add just 50 more. However, I called their customer service, and they were very helpful and got the order just right. They arrived yesterday, so now I'm off to the PO to buy stamps!

Enough of my plugs -- HERE is the next template! (link removed)

Layered Template #37 - 7 Photo

For Christmas, my husband and his siblings bought an iPod for his parents. It's what they asked for -- fully loaded with songs. Somehow, loading it with songs became my responsibility. We do have an iPod... but we haven't used it in probably a year! I've been fighting with the stupid install/upgrade for about 2 hours now! I'm about to retire and give the job to someone else. I'm feeling very technically challenged today! AND the kids are nearly done with their naps and I need to shower for dinner! LOL!

Anyway, HERE is the template for today. (link removed) I hope you enjoy it! ;)

Layered Template #36 - 7 Photo

So I got home last night.... WONDERFUL to hug my family again.

Since we're moving right after the new year and spending Christmas at my brother's, I decided to forego a Christmas tree this year. I figured the kids were young enough that they wouldn't realize what they're missing.

On the way home from the airport last night, my daughter said to me, "Santa's coming! He's going to bring us a Christmas tree!"

Guess I was wrong... :)

Thought you'd get a kick out of that. And also, HERE is the template. (link removed)

Happy FRIDAY!!!

Layered Template #35 - 7 Photo

Have another template! :) I'm sitting in my hotel room watching Project Runway, and thought it was a good filler!
So today... had the house inspection. One major snaffu, but the seller is taking care of it tomorrow, without even seeing the inspector's report! It's amazing how things fall into place when they're right. We have certainly felt and been aware of God's presence each step of the way in this process. He is good!
Another cute story that I'm SO bummed I missed. Last night my husband had his work Christmas party for the kids. Because I wasn't home, he took our kids. The party was at a roller skating rink. My daughter, age 3, is very cautious and a bit of a chicken. She ASKED to roller skate. Not only did she ask, but she loved it. My husband had to actually make her take them off! She wasn't any good, but that's not the point -- she tried it! :) And of course.... he didn't have a camera. Nor did anyone else. Bummer!
OK, so the template: HERE it is! (link removed)

Layered Template #34 - 7 Photo

Alrighty.... I meant to continue with these a MONTH ago when I made them. Oops! Guess we've got other things on our mind. :)

Anyway, here I am in a hotel far, far away from my family, so I'll do some uploading so you can play with more templates.

Per usual, my templates are done at 300dpi in an 8x8 size. They can easily be resized up to 12x12 if you do it prior to adding photos.

So besides my template, here's the other update: we found a house! It's a perfect "dream" house for us. We're very excited. Now pray that my husband finds a good job.

And now for the template, find it HERE. (link removed) I didn't take the time to add pictures to it for an example, because I didn't bring any photos with me on this trip! Oops!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Answering Some Questions

I get lots of questions in the comments pages that I'm not always so good at answering. Sometimes I try to answer, but there's no email to respond to because of blogger defaults. So, I'm going to take a few quick minutes to answer a couple questions. Feel free to ask more, and I'll answer what/when I can!

From Stay-at-home Mom: I am really anxious to get into digital scrapbooking myself, but I have such a hard time sitting down to get started. Any suggestions? When do you typically work on your digital scrapbooking and how long does it take you per page?

The great thing about digital scrapping is there are no “messy” supplies. It’s as versatile as you can allow it to be. You can spend 5 minutes or 5 hours and the preparation and clean up take the same amount of time. I love that I can just shut my laptop to clean up my mess! That’s essential with two small kids. Sure you can’t “touch” it like you can with paper… but for me personally, I don’t care! I didn’t like touching it! J

I typically do my scrapping after 8pm when the kids go to sleep. Right now, I have very little scrapping time, because of preparing to move. But evenings are when I do it. Or naptimes. A favorite is to bring my computer with me on road trips (while my husband drives, of course), plane trips, or even car service waiting rooms!

The length of time spent on a page varies. Sometimes a LO just flows and goes together quite easily. I’m not very good at the “paper scrap” approach, and therefore those LO’s take me longer. It usually takes me just as long to pick the perfect font as it does to create the LO. I’m a “font snob” – it has to be just right!

I have two pieces of advice:
1) Start a “blog” or a journal of the daily things you want to remember, or you want your kids to know and/or remember. I’m about 4 months behind in my scrapping, but the blog I’ve created with their little stories will jog my memory when it comes to scrapping the pictures associated with that time. For me, journaling is the most important part of scrapbooking (because they are my kids’ baby books) – and the blogs help the journaling to be more timely. Sadly, I’ve already forgotten the stories from a month ago, but the blog helps to jog my memory.
2) Use templates. This isn’t a plug for my design, but they really help you “catch up” – especially with those every day events that need to be documented, but perhaps don’t justify a “super-special” design. Especially as a beginning digi-scrapper, templates help you get a feel for your program and get the designs started. They’re great jumping off points!

From Tom From Georgia: Hope you are moving to a warmer climate, but do not know where you live now.

While I won’t disclose exactly where I live now or where I’m moving to, we’re moving in the southern direction and will be exactly smack dab between my parents (South Dakota) and my husband’s parents (Texas). As it’s snowing today, a warmer climate sounds wonderful! We’ve only lived here (Ohio) for 2 years and have no family here. We’ll miss our friends, certainly, but we’re excited about the change.

From Anonymous: Regarding the video you have on your site. I would like to send it to a friend but I am not that computer savvy. Would I be able to do that?

You know, that's a good question! I have really no idea either!I think you could probably click on the video and go to the site thathosts it. (

In looking at it, I don't think you can email the video, but you cansend her/him the link to it.

Hey.... here's another one:

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Christmas Gifts

I was asked to share my Christmas gifts. As you've seen, I'm doing the calendar/planner. But I'm also continuing a gift that I started last year. I purchased 4x6 Photo Albums that had two holes on each page. Amara, being my oldest, got the "top" slot; Dominic got the "bottom" slot. The opening page holds each of their birth announcements (which I created at 4x6 when they were born). Then each consecutive page has a LO from their first month, second month, third month, etc. Again being older, Amara has more pages than Dominic. However, it's neat to see each child next to the other at the same/similar ages.

So these are the "filler" pages to add to the book which I started last year. I have just been digging out old LOs and "cropping" them down to 4x6 for simplicity sake. Unfortunately, I'm only caught up w/ scrapping through May, so I won't be able to "cheat" on the last ones. I still have a few months (5) to go to get current, but this is what I've got so far.....

Actually.... let me change that. This show includes both what I've got so far this year as well as what I gave them last year (minus the birth announcements).

I'm still here!

Don't worry about me, but thanks for asking about me! :)

I'm just checking in to say hi -- nothing new created though. I'm trying to get Christmas presents done, so designing is on the backburner. Why I feel the need to do homemade gifts at a crazy hectic time like this is beyond me! LOL!

House was listed on the market on Thursday, so we're on the move here. Unfortunately with a slow market, no one has looked at it yet. We do have a "realtor tour" on Tuesday and an open house next weekend.

We're heading to our new city on Thursday through Sunday to look at houses and put in a bid. Every house we've had, we buy in a weekend, and we have every intention of doing that again this time. The speed with which we're moving is a bit stressful, but it's much easier to just push through quickly so we can return to normal just as quickly. (That's, of course, assuming we were normal in the first place!)

The kids are both doing well. They had colds, but they have made it through to the other side for the most part. Amara definitely understands that something is going on, but can't quite wrap her head around what. She's sure that something must be wrong with this house if we're going to buy another one -- so she's decided that this house isn't "long enough!" The minds of children... :) Dominic's just his crazy lovable self.

Amara's big thing is she's really struggling with Mommy being gone. Thankfully, it hasn't been a lot, but enough to throw her sleep schedule off. While I'm gone, she'll wake in the middle of the night. When Jon gets her, it takes her 3 hours to get back to sleep. If she wakes when I'm home, she goes back to sleep in minutes. Routine has been broken. She'll wake up and yell, "Mommy.... I mean, Daddy!" because she realizes I'm gone. She's a resilient kid though, and I know things will be fine on the other end.... but doesn't make going through it any easier.

A friend suggested giving her a picture of me to keep with her at all times -- to show her that "Mommy's always with you." So I'm going to do that this time while we're gone. Hopefully it will work!

And besides that, nothing is new! :) Just keepin' on keepin' on! And really looking forward to Christmas! :)