Sunday, August 26, 2007

Toadally LOVIN' It!

This is my boy...doing what he loves best - playing with the critters outside. This toad, for one day, had a lot of love. Not sure if it is just me, but this toad seemed more cute than others. There was something about the expressions of its face, but maybe it was because of love. On this day this toad was crooned at, held, stroked, given a bath with fresh warm water. Logs and rocks were placed in the back of the pick up truck and Kyle used it as a play area for himself and Toad. In the photo where toad is perched on the log, he seems to have quite an "all about himself" attitude, perhaps because he had just been bathed and was feeling more handsome than the coolest frog prince.

I had fun creating this layout, using Piggy Tales papers which perfectly coordinated with the colors in the photos. The circle designs allowed me to layer and create movement throughout the page. The pictures made me smile as I created...which I needed, for when I made this layout the calls were going out for the next celebrated group of Memory Makers Masters. Scrap therapy - that's what I love about creating. I had so much fun making this, that as I got into my mojo zone, I did not even think about the calls, and the next thing I knew it was midnight. This simple layout was created for pleasure, and to preserve the memories of a little boy who one day wants to be a veternarian. It is not one of, what I would consider, my best layouts. I wasn't even sure if it was worthy to sumbit to Piggy Tales for their design team call. But as I shared it in on line galleries I was surprised by the reaction. People love this layout, and they want to scraplift it. WOW! It makes me take another look to see what people are seeing that I do not see in in my own work. I see details that, although I put them there, did not think much about as I created. All I can do is give God the credit. I think that night, when He knew I was feeling disappointment inside, He was at the helm, giving me peace and joy using a gift that He has given me. As my son toadally loves all thing amphibian, I totally love all that there is about creating - we are both doing what God has made us to do.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Counting Down!

Whew...summer seems to have flown past! It seems I am counting down for a lot of things right now. Counting the days I have left to do fun summer activities with my family, yet also counting the days that we return to a routine and less hectic schedule (yes, the school year will bring some normalcy for us), and counting down the days that Memory Makers will be making calls to the next ten Masters. Perhaps they have already started the calls for the contest, but I am hoping that is not the I am really praying for my phone to ring. I would love the opportunity to create for a magazine for year - I love the challenge of deadlines.
On that note, August has been a busy scrapping month for me. I was laid up for about two weeks since end of July with a back sprain, but that did not make my design team deadlines go away. In addition I had receieved several private invitations to submit work for upcoming publications - no guarantees that my work will be published, but I felt very honored to be included with an exclusive list of designers for the various publications. Once my back was healed so that I could return to a normal life, I set a priority list by deadline date and began scrapping furiously. Unfortunately I am not able to share most of these projects, but I created some wonderful treasures in the process. And that, is really, what scrapping does for me. Not only is it my creative outlet, but it has definitely made me more aware of life around me, not to take things for granted, and scrap that which is most important to me. I almost lost a very dear friend in July, and prayed fervently that God would keep her here on earth so that I might visit with her again and take a picture of us together. He heard my prayer, granted it, and I was able to scrap a layout that means the world to me.
Up until recent rains, and my back sprain, the kids and I have really been enjoying the summer in our EasySet pool. I created this layout using Cherry Arte papers for the Scrapbook Playground - Kyle is sporting his bright green swim goggles. It is his favorite color, and what strikes me as funny is that Kyle wishes to remain an unnoticed "wall flower", yet his goggles are very loud and he is easy to find in the pool. (LOL)

Yesterday we were finally able to take Kyle and Abby to Lil' Amerika. We have taken the kids to this amusement park every year since Kyle was four. It was a perfect sunny day in the 70s - the weather could not be any better for us.
When I saw the chiropractor Tuesday I asked for permission to ride the TiltAWhirl with Kyle. Jesse won't ride it, and I am the only one game enough to do so with Kyle. Dr. Joe was not too thrilled that I was going to push it so soon, but told me to wear my support belt. My confession - I did not. I wasn't going to spend the day wearing this huge black belt, which is not that comfortable, and it is warm. But I did really well. The force of gravity plasters my body against the back of the car as the Tilt-A-Whirl spins - I think the only repurcussions I suffered was a bit of a headache and upset stomach from all the spinning. And yes, I went back and rode it a second time, even though I told Kyle I wouldn't do it again.
Abigail is the daredevil in the family - no one else would ride the Ferris Wheel with me, which easily towered over all other rides in the park. Abby asked to go on it, however, and she and I did. I fully expected her to start crying and that they would have to stop the ride to let us off...but she proceeded to count the cars and give a play by play as to when we were going backward, up, forward and down. When we got to the top I was actually the one who had a lurching stomach...I learned the only way to get through it was to keep my eyes focused on her. And yes, we did that more than once as well - she loved it. The park also had a new wooden roller coaster...and it seemed to run so much more smoothly than the others. On that note, near the end of the day I decided to ride it. It was a blast - and my body (neck, spine, etc) was not jarred at all - I give the Meteor 2 thumbs up for being a chiropractor approved ride. (LOL) Abby rode beside Jesse - he kept his protective arm around her while she raised her hands up in the air like all the kids in front of her. Yes...that is our fearless 4 year old. I always suspected she might be a daredevil from the moment she first began swinging and kept telling me to push her higher and higher.
Abby also learned to play mini golf. I needed to create one more Junkitz product layout for the SBPG, so when we got home I printed some photos right away. I created a layout telling the story of how Abby mastered the art of mini-golf in about 10 minutes.

The miniature golf course is a tough one, and Kyle and Jesse had some frustrations getting through the obstacles. By the third hole Abby declared, "I know how to play this game!" She picked up her ball, strutted over to the hole, set it a few inches from the target, and push-putted the ball in. "See, this game is easy!" she said with a big, proud grin. She proceeded to play the game much faster than Kyle or Jesse, having mastered the game with her own set of rules. It was too funny - and of course she was quite proud of herself the whole while.
I hope as you count down the final days of summer all who read this blog are finding themselves in good health. And while we are counting down...don't forget to count your blessings one by one...God gives us many as we enjoy the journey!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Weeks After CHA

CHA has been over for several weeks now, and I had all these things I wanted to accomplish with the rest of my summer. As luck would have it, I sprained my back which has put me in ultra slow mode, when not immobile.
A week ago it was awful - I am pretty sure the pain was worse than when I had had ruptured discs. Monday morning I stood up, got dizzy, nauseous and was not so sure I wasn't going to pass out. I had not felt that bad in all my life. Thank the Lord for Dr. Joe Teff, my chiropractor. He came in on weekends and even saw me more than once a day. I know he is "all natural" and probably cringed when I asked if he could provide a prescription.
My MD was out for the week. She had always said we should keep Rx on hand in case I ever had my back go out when she was gone. We never followed through on the idea and I was desperate. Fortunately her nurse had another doctor prescribe pain meds, but I was disappointed to get no noticeable relief.
On Tuesday Dr. Teff used "light therapy" on me, which is supposed to help alleviate the pain. He treated me late in the day, but it really did not seem to help. (often requires multiple treatments)
By Weds. morning my leg muscles were so tight I could barely walk. For lack of knowing what to call the thing, he used a "jack hammer" on my tight muscles - pressing it against my thighs, pounding hard- surely thought I was going to be black and blue. The thing sure hurt, but it did wonders for going deep into the muscle to relieve the tension. Thursday I felt better, and went to work - but I didn't last an hour sitting at the computer and I just had to lie down. Friday I just behaved and laid around all day, and by Saturday I felt pretty good. My legs are almost pain free (the stairs can still be a problem), and the only pained area is the lower part of my back where the sprained ligaments are.

Thanks to Dr. Joe I managed to get some layouts done for some call deadlines that I really wanted to scrap for. I worked on them Saturday with my husband reminding me to stretch and take breaks. I did push it a bit, but that is how I am when I have deadlines.

August is full of deadlins for me. With two deadlines met my next is working with Tinkering Ink's Noir Blanc collection for Scrapfriends Review in mid-August. I know Wendi at the Scrapbook Playground has a box enroute to me as well for uploads on the 20th, and there a couple of DT calls that I am considering, if I can manage to find time to scrap for them.

It is amazing how one week out of commission can really make me feel behind. On the up side, I discovered just how compassionate my 9 yr old boy is. All of last week he played mom, dad, and nurse while Jesse worked. He took care of me and Abby - made us lunch (sandwiches all week - but they were good!), cleaned the living room, organized kitchen cupboards (a bit of that "OCD" showing up), used the massager on my legs, and was the best boy a mom could have. Jesse had a hard week, too. By the time he got home the kids were tired of sitting around all day watching television and video gaming - so he would get them in the pool as soon as we were done eating the supper he had made.

It is times like these where God reminds me just how wonderfully blessed I am. I have the best family, and even little Abby could think about someone besides herself for a bit. Although Kyle declares he is never going to get married (he is at the "girls have cooties" stage), I dare say I think he has the makings for a wonderful husband some day. I see how he has learned to be caring and compassionate, just like his dad. I would love to scrap this, but I guess I will have to stage some photos as I couldn't possibly do it last week while he made lunch and cleaned the house for me. He is one very special boy.

So that is a summary of our family's past two weeks - and now, back to the last baby layout for the Memory Makers book call. I have started this layout topic no less than three times since I began scrapping, and this time I am going to get it done!