Saturday, April 5, 2014

Around Here

Here's what's been happening around here lately:

I've been watching videos on my computer, which I rarely do. Here are three I've really enjoyed.

Have you viewed this adorable dancing baby video?
It made me laugh out loud. 

My mom recently reminded me of the "Happy" song from Despicable Me 2. I found the video on YouTube (or should I say one of the many videos) and have played it over and over on my iPhone. Just listening to it puts me in a good mood. I still need to see the movie.

I've also been watching several Jud Wilhite videos. I first learned about Pastor Jud Wilhite on KLOVE. I listened to a few of his teaching segments and thought, Wow, I like what he has to say. His videos have been spiritually encouraging during this Lenten season.

This book, Slow Family Living, is one of my favorite reads recently.  I borrowed it from the library, but I'm planning to buy it on Amazon, so I can refer to it during the next few years.

Brian, Noah and I viewed Frozen as a family.  We watched half of it on Monday night, and the other half on Tuesday night. Noah loved his first ever Disney movie!

This soft taco recipe from Picky Palate is awesome! I made the yummy special sauce--combining homemade Ranch dressing and salsa verde--and drizzled it over the beef. Simply delicious!

I'm writing the final article for my children's writing class.  This piece is all about a very unique career: brick artist. As in a LEGO brick artist.  Pretty cool job, eh? 

I'm currently cleaning out my office--donating, purging, and boxing items up--and it feels really good.  

Brian and I are running this 12K tomorrow with friends!

What's happening with you?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spring Cleaning...Stamps For Sale!

For the past week, I've been doing some spring cleaning, particularly in my office, and I need to find new homes for these Stampin' Up! rubber stamp sets.

All of the used stamp sets are for sale in my Etsy shop.

The Simply Circles set (pictured above) is $5.99 + shipping.

 The Just Celebrate set is $6.99 + shipping.

This Friendship Blooms set is $6.99 + shipping.

This Big Blossom stamp is $3.99 + shipping.

This Botanical Blooms set is $4.99 + shipping.

This So Many Scallops set is $4.99 + shipping.

This For a Friend set is $4.99 + shipping.

This Remembering You set is $3.99 + shipping.

This Happy Harmony set is $5.99 + shipping.

Shipping is $3.99 per set, but if you're interested in buying three or more stamp sets, I'd be happy to give you a combined shipping discount.  Click on "Contact Shop Owner" on Etsy to send me a message or when you purchase the stamps, request combined shipping in the "Notes to Seller."

Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Saying Grace


I'm back to share another scrapbook layout.

You might notice that this layout is almost identical to the layout I posted last week.

This "Saying Grace" page is all about the prayer we say before dinner (and occasionally before lunch) as a family.

It's a common Catholic prayer that both my mom and dad recited with their parents and siblings growing up, and Brian and I said as children with our parents and sisters.

As Catholics, Brian and I feel it is important to model how to say grace with Noah, teaching him both the words and the hand gestures.

Maybe "hand gestures" is not the right phrase. Ha!

We are teaching him to touch his forehead when he says "Father" and his chest when he says "Son" and his left and right shoulders when he says "Holy Spirit."

In fact, that's what he was doing when I snapped this picture with my iPhone. I told Noah, "Chest for son," and he reached inside his shirt to touch--what else?--his chest. Kids are so literal. 

I chuckled and thought, Well, I did say touch your chest.

Right now, Noah holds our hands during the prayer (sometimes reluctantly), and joins us in saying "Amen" at the end of grace. He studies us as we say the words (he is usually grinning), and I know one day soon, he'll be saying grace right along with us: 

Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

Carolina in My Mind

At lunch time today, I went to North Carolina.

Those of you who know I live in California might be thinking, What?!

Let me explain.

When my 2-year-old son has a tantrum, complete with crying and screaming and laying on the floor and more crying, I "go" to Carolina--North Carolina, that is--in my mind.

The James Taylor song, "Carolina in My Mind," starts playing in my head. (I grew up listening to tons of James Taylor music.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!) 

If you're not a JT fan (James Taylor, not Justin Timberlake), the refrain goes something like this...

In my mind I'm going to Carolina.
Can't you see the sunshine, can't you just feel the moonshine?
Ain't it just like a friend of mine to hit me from behind?
Yes, I'm going to Carolina in my mind.

If you haven't heard the song or want to time travel back to 1979 to hear it again, check out this YouTube video.

Don't worry, I'll be waiting here for you while you listen and watch and chuckle at his hairdo and clothing.

Now, back to lunch today. While the "Carolina" song played in my head, images of my time in North Carolina last October at the Click retreat appeared in my mind's eye.

I was back in the Outer Banks, walking the beach, breathing deeply and inhaling the ocean air.

With the wind in my hair and the sand between my toes, my Nikon camera and I shot images of shells and birds and the surf--including the shot above.  

Granted, I couldn't see the sunshine or feel the moonshine as the song goes, but I was there in Carolina--beautiful North Carolina--if only for a minute or two. 

Do you have a "place" you go for a short spell when life gets tough?


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sweet Memories Layout

Lately, I've been giving some thought to "happy" things that our family does--activities that have become rituals and traditions-- that are not already represented in stories here on my blog, in scrapbook layouts, or on Instagram or Facebook.

Singing with Noah is one of the first things that came to mind since it's difficult to capture with my camera, and we don't shoot a ton of video. I've been singing to Noah for the past two years, and sometimes now, he sings right along with me.

This layout is all about capturing the words to those songs, as well as documenting the titles of songs that Noah currently loves.

I had difficulty finding a "singing" photo, so I opted to include a photo of Noah and me reading. At night, after Noah and I read a book or two, I'll turn out the light and sing a few songs as we rock in the glider.

Here is the journaling:

Noah baby, you’re the one
You make our lives so much fun
Noah baby, I’m awfully fond of you…
(Tune: The Rubber Ducky theme song)

Noah baby, you're so sweet
You make our lives oh-so-complete
Noah baby, I’m awfully fond
of you…Dobadabubadideedoo.
(You laugh when I sing that last line.)

Good Morning to you,
Good Morning to you,
We’re all in our places,
With sunshiny faces,
And this is the way
to start a new day.

(My mom sang this song to me when
I was little, and her mom sang it
to her when she was little, and now
I sing it to you--even though you’re
not so little anymore.)
Other songs you love to sing (and I love to sing with you!):
“The Wheels on the Bus”
“Down by the Bay”
“Kumbaya My Lord”
“Take Me Out to the Ballgame”
“The ABC song”
“Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”
“Row, Row, Row Your Boat”

I used the free font, Mom's Typewriter, for the text, and most of the paper and embellishments are from past Scrapbook Circle kits.  

I've used this layout before for a scrapbook page. Back in July 2011, I created a digital layout (below) about my dad and me using this Ali Edwards' digital template.

Journaling reads:

My dad and I are alike in many ways. We love to "blend" in the car. We are night owls. We love country music. We enjoy reading. We are introverted. We like to watch episodes of The Office. We love taking pictures with our DSLRs. We are thinkers and worriers. We love spending time in the great outdoors. We enjoy helping others. Photo taken in Ocean Shores, Washington. July 1984

This simple and versatile design makes it easy to document stories and share photographs. I have a feeling I'll be using it again.

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