Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The word is: YAMS

When my babies were small, even before they were born, I would sing to them:

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are gray.
You'll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don't take
My sunshine

After Steph was born, when she was just a day or so old, I sang this song to her in the hospital. When she heard my voice she lifted her head, turned her beautiful blue eyes toward me, and smiled. I think she remembered hearing that song before! That sacred moment has always stayed with me. And when David came to us two years later I sang it to him, and to the both of them for years to come. I don't know if they remember, as it's been awhile. So the reason for this post is to remind my two sweet angels how much they mean to me, and how much their mommy will always love them.

And I realized today that an acronym for the title of this song is YAMS. So, here's to you, my sweet Steph and my amazing David. YAMS.

"I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life." —Abraham Lincoln

So Very Thankful

I just love love LOVE the cool evenings and mornings this time of year! How refreshing they are. The world feels crisp and exciting, and I get to wear sweaters and jackets and scarves and other fun layers of clothing. And boots! Can't wait to wear my boots.

Here's a card that features two
of my stamp designs from this summer, "So Very Thankful" and "Pumpkin Pie Recipe" from THIS clear set (also available individually in cling or wood-mounted rubber HERE and HERE). And yes, it IS a real recipe that really works, as is its companion stamp, "Stuffing Recipe." These stamps make a great background or feature on a card or scrapbook page. And these cards would make great Thanksgiving invitations, don't you think? The papers used on this card include Hero Arts Kraft Note Card & Grenadine Layering Paper, as well as a great print from the Memory Box Blackbird 6x6 paper pack. Inks include Tim Holtz Distress Inks in Vintage Photo and Spiced Marmalade. The Stitched Pumpkin stamp used in the background is a retired Hero Arts goodie (SKU #F4031 if you can find it).

OK, time for work. Let's make it a great day! Be thankful!

"It isn't what you have in your pocket that makes you thankful, but what you have in your heart." —unknown

"If we fill our hours with regret over the failures of yesterday, and with worries over the problems of tomorrow, we have no today in which to be thankful." —unknown

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Ghost of Halloweens Past

Here's some more Halloween nostalgia for you. David as Darth Vader (note his missing front teeth - what a cutie!) and Steph as a witch (don't you love her green face and warts?). This pic was taken sometime around 1998 or so. What fun those days were leading up to Halloween when they were small. "What are you going to be?" was the big question. Oh, how they have grown... sigh... Still I wonder, "What are they going to be?" I have my dreams for my children, and my worries, and my fears, and my hopes, and my prayers...

Insect Update: Still in full anti-ant combat mode around here. I hate it! I want my house back! Get out, you tiny black creatures of nastiness!

Life is uncertain these days. I am longing and praying for stability and peace. I make lots of mistakes. I read of the trials others are going through and my heart hurts for them, and I pray for them. Trying to stay positive and optimistic is tough. Trying to forgive yourself when you've erred is tough. But the alternative is despair, and who wants that? Finding the joy in everyday things, that is the key, but it's sometimes easier said than done. I know. But I believe in the collective power of the human spirit. We can do anything if we put our full effort into it. I know it. I know it. I know.

"When the world says, "give up,"
Hope whispers, "try one more time." —unknown

"Fall seven times, stand up eight." —Japanese proverb

Monday, October 25, 2010

Yummm, Candy!

We made it home. Rough trip. Long story. For now I'll just say that Steph is all moved into her place, and she's making the adjustment to living with roommates she barely knows instead of the family she's been with all her life. She's in a new town, doing new stuff, and the transition is a bit of a rough road. But she's doing relatively well and I know it will be up from here. The time for her to fly on her own has come and I need to let her go. For you moms of younger kids, I can honestly say that you won't know how that truly feels until you go through it for yourself. Emotional chaos.

Anyhoo..... on to the holiday! Life goes on, right? Here's a handy CANDY CORN TEMPLATE (just right-click on the image to copy & paste it). The possibilities for this little guy are many: paper-pieced cards, banners, gift bags, T-shirt transfers, etc. I have plans to enlarge it and make a pillow. Fun! I did make a card using this template and I hope to get it posted soon. It turned out pretty cute if I do say so! However, before I can photograph it I need to get some things cleaned up — with the recent rains we've had here in Northern California, our house has been inundated with ANTS, and we've had to empty out several cupboards in our efforts to eradicate them. Oh how I despise those insidious little creatures! Until they start paying part of the mortgage they are OUT of here!

On a happier note, our son David started his new job today at Michael's craft store this morning. He looked so sharp in his black shirt, new shoes, apron and name tag! He is excited and I so hope this works out for him! They've given him some early morning shifts that work perfectly with his class schedule. Fingers crossed that this one takes!

OK, it's off to work for me. Have fun out there and try not to eat all of your candy before the 31st! Haha!

"Eat, drink and be scary!" —unknown

"Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen, Voices whisper in the trees: Tonight is Halloween!" —D. Kozen

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Ok, here's a quick one before I run, too funny not to share. I was in a store yesterday, and there was this mom pushing a shopping cart with her young daughter (maybe 3 years old) inside. The first thing I heard the mom say to her daughter was, "Don't you just love running errands with me?" And the daughter replied, "No, I don't!" Then a while later I saw them again. This time the daughter was being somewhat less pleasant. The mother said to the girl, "You need to shape up or I'm gonna knock you silly." To which the daughter said (in a loud voice), "Mom, Take a deep breath!" I had to walk away so they wouldn't hear me laughing! It was precious. Oh, the things our babies say to us.

So to all of you moms out there, just hang in there. Someday they grow up and say THANKS for all of the rules and the discipline. It's worth it!

"Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children. Now I have six children and no theories!" —John Wilmot

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Holy smokes, it's been a week since my last post, and it will be more than a week until my next, since Rich and I are leaving Friday for yet another trip across the lovely Nevada desert to see our girl Steph in Utah, and help get her moved into her new digs. Where does the time go? Work, work, work, and not very much play, although I do admit that I feel very blessed these days and life is really good.

Thought I'd share an OLD photo of my kid
dos, appropriate for the Halloween season. This was taken circa 1996 or 1997, the second or third year we were in our home. What cuties they were, am I right? David was going through a phase where he was ALWAYS shirtless! It was funny. Glad he's grown out of that habit... Yep, it was October (in California, but still it gets cool here!) Steph was in a turtleneck and David was in the all-together. What a pair they were. Oh how I loved them when they were small, but how I love them still, and maybe even more, now that they are so grown up. What a blessing it is to be a parent! Steph and David, I love you my sweets!

More in a couple of weeks. I love my family! Tempus fugit!

"Other things may change us, but we start and end with family." —Anthony Brandt

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The word is: HAPPY

Abraham Lincoln, a very wise man, one said, "People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. My sweetie, Rich Allred (who is one of the nicest people I know and I am so blessed to have married him), has often reminded me of this very same concept. We can choose to be happy, relaxed and pleasant if we want, or we can choose to be a mean bundle of grouchy nerves. The grouchy thing often comes naturally to me. I have to sometimes work on the nice & happy thing. I know it's better for me, and for the people around me, if I am nice, patient, and accommodating. I want to be this way all the time. I am working on it. It will add years to my life and remove wrinkles from my brow. It's a good thing!

Rich and I had a very pleasant and uplifting conversation with Steph on the phone last night. She's doing so well and is happy, which makes me so happy! I worry much less when my girl i
s contented. She has lots still to do, but she's on the path. And her "little" brother David is also doing well in school and elsewhere, and he's happy. He's trying hard to find a job, so far with little success (Great Harvest ended up being a no-go), but it will come with time, I know it. Life is just good! We are blessed!

So, for today's word I chose HAPPY. It's pretty easy sometimes to dwell on our problems. But it's oh-so-much better, physically and spiritually, to have a heart filled with gratitude & optimism, and to spread a little love and peace wherever you go.

"Be happy. It's one way of being wise." —Sidonie Gabrielle

"We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have; but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have." —Frederick Keonig

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Living in Thanksgiving

Ahhhh, Fall. I love the cooler weather! It is delightful. I love walking with my sweetie in the cool evenings, I love wearing sweaters and cuddly layers of clothing, and I love waking each morning to the crisp fresh way the air smells. It's simply a delightful time of year! Leaves are changing, pumpkins and large bags of candy are everywhere, and there is much talk of parties. And did I mention that I also love Fall because of Marching Band season? For those of you who don't yet love marching bands, check out a marching band competition at a high school near you this year. There is almost nothing better that the excitement, the precision, the pageantry, the colors, the music, and the amazing talent displayed at these shows. It also does much to restore one's faith in the coming generation. Those kids are sharp. It's awesome and I love it!

So, our Steph is safely settled in Utah. She'
s started her classes, and we found her a really cute house to live in. She'll have three room-mates and her own bedroom in a sweet little cottage. Things are working out! Steph is a little overwhelmed with the changes and the work of school, but she's doing great. I miss her but I am so proud of her! She's my girl.

I thought I'd share a Thanksgiving card today. This one uses my "Live in Thanksgiving Daily" stamp, along with the Hero Arts Friend Definition and Maple Leaf stamps. I used the super-fun technique of blending distress inks with Perfect-Pearl water to create the colorful and shimmery effect on the leaf. Let me know if you're not familiar with this method, and I can explain it in detail in a future post. The three distress inks I used are Vintage Photo, Peeled Paint (my favorite green!) and Spiced Marmalade. Papers and ribbon were from my stash.

So, do you love Thanksgiving and Fall as much as I do? I adore it, could you tell? It's exhilarating and it lightens my soul. Ahhhhhhh. Heavenly.

"Winter is an etching, Spring a watercolor, Summer an oil painting, and Autumn a mosaic of them all." —Stanley Horowitz

"Everyone should take time to sit and watch the leaves turn." —Elizabeth Lawrence