Tuesday, July 27, 2010

She Likes It....Hey Mikey!

Name the commercial product that was for (slightly modified).  Hee, hee!
No words necessary, right?
That smile says it all.

I didn't know Amy was going to try to hold Pam today, without gloves. I guess she was just anxious.
Thankfully, no nipping happened.

We had to run a few errands this morning and Amy bought Pam a package of wood sticks flavored with apple. Apparently Pam started gnawing on it right away.

I think the carrots we've been giving her through the cage and all the times the cage has been opened to put in a possible house, or a treat, or a toilet paper tube have sort of acclimated her to us. 

Right now Amy's got her in the ball in the great room.

Methinks someone is in heaven.

She is pretty soft. LOL


Monday, July 26, 2010

Amy's New Friend...

I may, or may not, have mentioned earlier this spring that Amy became enamored with a couple of frogs she saw in a toy store. They were in a medium sized cube that contained their own eco-system. She was completely sure that she WANTED these frogs. Knowing her 3rd grade teacher loved frogs might have had something to do with her desire. So, she started saving her money. 

A month or so later, her best friend got a hamster. Which somehow, someway led Amy away from wanting the frogs to wanting a guinea pig. I do not know how that connection came to be, all I know is for a month or more Amy talked almost daily about getting a guinea pig. She'd received some birthday money, so her savings was growing a bit. Then a week or so ago, she told Oma, our friend who lives across the street, that she wanted a guinea pig. 

Oma wrinkled her nose and said quite emphatically, oh no, you don't. Amy said, yes, I do, Oma. Then Oma proceeded to tell her how stinky they were and if Amy got a guinea pig, she wouldn't watch it when Amy was away. But, she would watch a hamster. Then she proceeded to tell us a story about a hamster her daughter had. One day unbeknownst to Oma, her daughter let the hamster out of the cage to wander the house. Oma was cleaning house...with the vacuum, and quite by accident sucked the hamster up the hose! Oh my, she was laughing and we were laughing so hard. Apparently the white hamster was quite dusty, but still alive after that adventure! Amy had no idea guinea pigs were stinky, and decided then she wanted a hamster!

I'd been talking to Hattie's mom, Susi about the hamster and she informed me that we should go to a particular pet store (not a chain) because they had a hamster population explosion and were selling them for $1.99 a piece! For that price we thought about getting one for Jessica, but she doesn't want one. Now, we needed a cage. Amy's been scouring the internet looking for cages that didn't cost an arm and a leg. 

When we were at the pool on Friday, she was telling one of the lifeguards how she was going to get a hamster as soon as she found a cage. It turned out that this lifeguard's family was having a garage sale this past weekend and they had a cage! So, we went to go take a look. For $10 Amy got the cage, which included a running wheel, a water bottle, a food bowl, plus a ball to put the hamster in outside of the cage AND a huge box full of bedding! Score! So, yesterday afternoon we headed to the pet store and came home with Pam.

Yes, the hamster's name is Pamela, or Pam or Pammie. Amy just likes that name. We are fairly certain it's a girl, but I guess it doesn't matter since there is only the one ( I'm just hoping to goodness the other hamsters in the cage were girls, too, or we'll soon have babies to deal with). Or, if it's a boy, it'll be like that Johnny Cash song about the boy named Sue. LOL

So, meet Pam. Who still needs to be tamed, which will start in a day or two, once she gets more settled. I just took these pictures a little bit ago.

And here's a shot of the cage. Pretty fancy, huh?
Don't you love that masking tape? Well, the top part doesn't latch and once Pam figures out how to get up to that hidey hole, I certainly don't think it would take much for her to lift the lid and get out! You can see the yellow exercise ball behind the cage.

You know, my kids sleep pretty soundly (which is good thing most of the time). And they didn't hear her at 11pm last night when she was awake and chewing on the wire bars and I think making some hamster chirping sounds. But, I sure heard it and went in to see what was up. I think she wanted more food, so I put some in, and didn't hear her after that. Whew! Thankfully that wheel doesn't squeak or I might not get a good night's sleep for a good long while. LOL

Today we went to the library to get a book on caring for hamsters. We also found a video on the subject, too. So, now Amy has a good idea on how to be a caring hamster owner. I have to admit, she's kind of cute and it may be fun handling her after she's tamed. I'm proud of Amy for wanting the responsibility of pet ownership.

Thanks for stopping by! Hope your week is off to a great start.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Another Fishing Layout...

When I first started working on this layout, I thought I might convert the photo to black and white, then highlight the fish by coloring it in. But after I tried it, I realized that fish is pretty darn small and the black from Jeremy's shoulder sling is pretty darn dark. So, I decided to zoom in on the fish instead. I like the color version much better.

Still using Cindy Schneider templates and Mary Fran's Gone Fishin' kit. In the interest of full disclosure (lest you think I am more talented than I really am) the circle with "Fish Come to Those Who Bait" is an element from the kit, I didn't put it together. *Ü*

Thanks for stopping by.
Hope your weekend is off to a great start!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kissed by a Butterfly...digital layout

Before I get to the layout I created today, I have to share this happy mail I received yesterday from my sweet blogging friend, Alanna. This lovely card sure brought a smile to my face and I thank you Alanna for thinking of me!

The girls decided to play with some friends this afternoon and after a little while of spinning my wheels, I decided to work on a layout. I have been trying to work on layouts from the Butterfly House in Sioux Falls. But, at first, I was not feeling in the groove. I was trying to fit too many unrelated photos onto one layout and I didn't like the results. So today, I decided to select one photo to scrap and see how it went. You can let me know if it worked...

I've used another wonderful Cindy Schneider template and the kit is Haute Spring by Zoe Pearn. Both designers are at Sweet Shoppe Designs. In all the times I have visited butterfly houses I don't think I've had a butterfly land on me that stayed put for so long! I had to ask a volunteer to take it off so I could leave. In all honesty, I would have loved to have stayed until it decided to flutter off, but with the cold I had at the time, the humidity in the room was getting to me and I really needed to get some less sticky air. LOL I believe Jessica took the picture and I think she did a pretty good job, too, even if the butterfly wasn't centered in the frame. *Ü*

In other news, yesterday ended up being a bit busier than I originally thought it would be. I had an appointment to get my teeth cleaned, which I'd been procrastinating on due to the cold and all the coughing I was doing. I'm happy to say, waiting was a good thing. In the afternoon, I decided to finally call to get an appointment to have my annual eye exam, seeing as I have been wearing my last set of contacts for almost a month. Lo and behold, they had an opening! Then I asked about setting up appointments for the girls, just to get baseline info on their eyesight. (Since both their parents are pretty nearsighted, it stands to reason they might end up that way, too). They had openings for the girls, too! Yay! Got it all done in a little over an hour. Both girls eyes are great, no nearsightedness at this point, maybe a smidge farsighted, but nothing that needs any correcting. And it turns out my eyesight is improving slightly. After a lifetime of increasing nearsightedness, it's strange to hear they want to lower the power on my lenses. Granted it's only a slight improvement, but that is better than no improvement. And, the eye doctor was surprised, yet again that I have no problems seeing without bifocals. LOL 

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope your week is going well.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Thank You, Kathi!!!

I received the sweetest of surprises in the mail today from my very dear friend, Kathi. It brought a tear to my eye and a huge smile to my face. Take a gander...
First up is the gorgeous box/drawer that she shared here. She did paint the wings on that butterfly with glitter and boy, is it ever pretty. My picture certainly doesn't do it justice. You'll just have to take my word for it. The stamp she thought I might like and I can't wait for my card-making mojo to return so I can use it effectively. And that charm bracelet! It has got to be one of THE most thoughtful gifts I've ever received.

Here's a close-up:
She told me that she started off with the I Love to Scrap, the special friend and knitting needles charms (she couldn't find one with a crochet hook). Those three thrill me to pieces, but then she added the cell phone (which opens, just so you know) to represent my busy life with the girls (no minivan charms out there, I guess) the baby booties with the girls' birthstones (sniff, sniff), the flower pot for my attempts at decorating the porch, the butterfly because I love them and the watering can for my backyard garden and nurturing spirit. 
How fabulous and special is this??!

Thank you SO very much, Kathi! I am humbled and honored by your generosity and thoughtfulness!

What a great way to start my week!
Hope yours started off wonderfully as well.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pool Fun...

The girls and I went to the pool today. It was pretty quiet when we first got there and the girls had the pool to themselves. They didn't know at first that I brought my camera along today and I caught the first few pictures without them realizing I was taking them.

They started out by jumping off the diving board. The orange construction mesh you see is keeping people out of a broken pipe area. It's not affecting use of the pool, thank goodness. I've felt bad for the city workers who have been trying to fix it in this heat. I'll just bet they wish they could take a quick dip to cool off.

I love this one of Amy.

Practicing her dives.
By the way, the suits they are wearing are the ones I found at the thrift store yesterday. They fit! *Ü*

Slide time.

Amy gives it two thumbs up!

Playing with the noodle. 
This ended up being super funny because they discovered you could blow water out of the tube. So, right after this, they started trying to "get" each other in the face with the water in the tube.

Then they wanted to get one of the guards. This is William. He was willing to stand there and get got. If you enlarge the picture you might be able to see the water droplets around his trunks. At first, Jessica was trying to blow out the water, but her lung power wasn't strong enough. So we suggested Amy do it. It worked much more effectively, then. LOL

Thanks for stopping by! 
We certainly didn't break any records with heat today, but it was in the mid 90s, which is still hot, if you ask me. 

Hope you have a great start to your week!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Jeremy's Amazing Catch-digital layout

(click on image to enlarge)

Mary Fran released her Gone Fishin' kit yesterday and I bought it right away! *cough* I might have also bought the other kits in the series, too. *cough* They are all so cute...I couldn't resist! Anyway, I was anxious to get started on this layout. But, oh boy, was it a challenge to create. Partially because making the choices was hard, but also because my PSE program kept locking up before I could save, so I'd have to reboot and start again! It happened again today...grrrr.  In the end, I changed the template I was using, deleted one picture that I ultimately felt was not necessary and saved after adding just about each element. LOL Jessica was looking over my shoulder part of the time and felt I needed to add the word turtle to the title. I got the bright (?) idea to add the fish hook upside down to mimic a question mark. I think it looks cute. Amy took a peek and really liked the worms peeking out. So, since the peanut gallery was pleased, I did a final save and called it good.

Hope you had a good day today. It was super hot here, 102, I'm told. The girls wanted to go to the pool, but since I don't get into the pool, I really wasn't keen on sweltering pool-side. (Since I color my hair, I'm afraid it will turn green, so I choose not to risk it). I may take them tomorrow, when it's only supposed to be in the 90s...LOL

I went to the thrift stores, but didn't find too much. I got a 300 piece puzzle, a couple of swim suits for the girls (because they swim so often theirs tend to start sagging) and a folding card table. The table is in almost new condition and was only $5, so I figure that is my deal of the day. I'll use it for larger puzzles that won't fit on the narrow table I have. Oh, and Jessica told me I couldn't start a new puzzle until tomorrow at least, so we could enjoy the one I completed. LOL I was tickled to read that so many of you also enjoy puzzles! Thanks for sharing that.

Okay, that's it from me for now. Thanks for stopping by!


Friday, July 16, 2010

Pastime From Childhood

When we were visiting Steve's mom's house in Sioux Falls a couple of weeks ago, she had a card table set up  with a puzzle she was working on. Jessica and I both spent some time adding pieces to the puzzle and ended up finishing it! It brought back a lot of memories for me from my childhood. My parents were avid puzzle put together-ers...LOL We had a bumper pool table and my dad put a large piece of plywood that covered it on top when there was a puzzle he wanted to work on. Now mind you, these were at least 1,000 piece nature scene puzzles! Meaning the pieces were small and there were lots of single color pieces. It would stay set out and whomever had the urge could work on it. If someone wanted to play bumper pool, the cover could easily be lifted and set aside. Anyway, finishing Mary's puzzle made me hanker to work on a puzzle when we got home. So, when I went thrift store shopping last weekend, I actually paid attention to the myriad of puzzles they have for sale. I really liked this one, it has 750 pieces (so it's not too overwhelming) and it was only $1. I had to find a spot to set it up and remembered this white table I used to display the Barbie Doll House (before kids). The dimensions were perfect. Since getting the puzzle I've spent a lot of my "spare" time working on it (and hoping all the pieces were in fact, in the box). This first picture was taken on Sunday, July 11th.
And this picture was taken this morning! Yep, I got her done with a teensy bit of help from the girls-they tried to find pieces from time to time. Actually, Amy put in the final piece because it had fallen off the table and was hiding under a Barbie car. I was thinking the puzzle was missing that single piece. She found it and completed the puzzle.

To hear her talk, she spent hours on it when she only put in that one piece...LOL

Now I'm trying to decide if I should keep it out on display or take it apart because I bought a second puzzle that day. A 350 piece one for 50 cents. LOL Decisions, decisions!
And as an FYI, in case you didn't know...The other morning when I got up, Steve told me that my cell phone had been "dinging" up a storm with text messages. To those around me, I've made it quite clear that I don't text, nor do I want to text. I was a bit perturbed to think I would get charged for 11 texts that were of the spam type. And they apparently started coming in at 4am-so you know it wasn't anyone who really wanted to text to me. I talked to my friend Becky, who told me that you can block texts from being sent to your phone (at least for my provider T-Mobile). So, I called them yesterday and talked to a really sweet customer service representative. She put the block on my phone and Steve's and included a block against downloads, too. Apparently there are some not so nice folks who will send you a message that has a download embedded somehow and if you don't respond, you can get charged $9.95 or thereabouts. Why people have to do this type of stuff is beyond me. Anyway, if you don't text and don't want to get pinged if one gets sent to you because you don't have a text plan, you might want to call your cell phone provider and see if you can get them blocked too. And from the photo downloading fiasco, I had bonus messages on my account, so those texts that I did get were covered by those. So, I don't have to pay anything for them. Whew.

I also went to www.donotcall.gov and registered our home and cell phone numbers. I had done the home number years ago, but it might have dropped off the list. You can register up to three numbers and now the list is PERMANENT, meaning your number won't drop off the list after x number of years.

I'm relieved to have found this out and wanted to pass along the information should you be interested.

Hope you are having a good start to your weekend. I am hoping to work on a digital layout or two...if my programs would quit acting up on me that is....

Thanks for stopping by! And for all the heartwarming and smile generating wonderful comments you've been leaving on the layouts I've been sharing. I sure appreciate them!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Perfect Thrift Store Find...

I don't have a scrapbook layout of this, but thought I'd share anyway. You just never know what you're going to find at the thrift store! I hadn't been thrifting for a couple of weeks due to our vacation. But I went this past Saturday and found this:
and we've been making this all week

(okay, so this one is mine...frozen lemonade...yummy)

Excuse the messy background in the pictures...the girls have rediscovered their love of Barbie and Polly. They've been playing almost non stop for days now. Their stuff is everywhere!

Wanna know how much this icy delight machine set me back?

Are you ready?


Yep, two whole dollars!
And the BEST part?
When I got it home and opened the box up...it was in its original packaging! 
No one had used it before. 
Whooo hoooo!
It cost me more to get the sugar free flavorings for the slushies/shaved ice than the machine.

Given how hot it's been this week, I'd call this a serendipitous find. hee, hee

Hope you are finding lovely ways to stay cool in your neck of the woods.
Thanks for stopping by.
I'd better finish my slushie before it melts....


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Peaceful Moment Digi Layout

Hi there!
I finished this layout yesterday, but didn't get a chance to post it until now. My internet connection is getting wonky again (don't know if it's the heat or what) which is a bit of a pain. I had to reset it again this afternoon just so I could get online. Sigh.

The temperature gauge in my car said 101 when we left the swimming pool this afternoon. Yep, we were there again. LOL Today is supposed to be the hottest day yet of the season and after a morning where the girls made some tough choices while decluttering their room with me, I figured they'd earned being able to go to cool off. We took at least 4 large bags (the dark garden kind) to the Goodwill on our way to lunch at the school. I think they are kind of relieved to have gotten rid of some of their excess, to be honest.

Back to the layout. This is one of my favorite photos from this trip. I chose to use a Kay Miller Designs kit called Peaceful Moments and another Cindy Schneider template. I like the "feel" I was able to achieve. And get this...on the NitwitCollections blog, Mary Fran shared that she has designed a kit that is fishing themed! Whoo hooo! I have more fishing pictures to scrap, so I'm going to hold off until she releases that kit. You can see her hybrid card sample here. I think it's gonna be a winner for sure!

That's it from me today. Hope you're having a good one!


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fish Watching Digi Layout

Here's another layout I just completed and I couldn't be happier with it. I was really struggling with getting the alpha colors I wanted and decided to email NitWitCollections to see if they had any tips to help me. I've got to say Little General (aka LG, aka Mary Fran's husband) was gracious enough to work with me (on a Sunday no less) and he passed along a tip I was thrilled to learn. This won't make sense if you aren't into digital scrapping, but you can clip a paper to the alpha image and if you go into the layers palette, click on Color, and it will change the color of the alpha image, without changing the attributes. I knew about some of the other options and how it could change an element, but not that one. I was trying to clip a paper to the letter, but it was losing all it's dimension and becoming just a flat image. LG's tip allowed me to change the color of the letters to ones I wanted and maintain the shiny, metallic attributes of the letter. AWESOME is all I can say about that little nugget of info.

I used Mary Fran's Summer Breeze kit again, this time with the alpha that coordinates with it (from NitwitCollections) And I also played with a fish image from her kit, Summer Splash. I changed the fish by clipping a paper to it, which helped it coordinate with the layout. I chose to keep it flat because those fish in that lake were there, and you could sort of see them, but they sure weren't biting. LOL All of the other elements are from Summer Breeze. The template I used is from Cindy Schneider, over at Sweet Shoppe Designs. (I sure wish I had a way to contact her so I could let her know how much I am enjoying her templates!)

The girls and I headed to the pool again today. LOL What can I say, they love going. Well, the third time's the charm as we were able to stay as long as we wanted despite a few ominous looking clouds the sauntered in. No lightning was detected. Yay! At first we were the only ones there and the life guards who weren't on duty decided to play pool football. Meaning, one would jump off the diving board and the other one would throw the football to him, from either the side of or across the pool, and he'd try to catch the ball in mid-air. They included Amy and she got mighty close a few times. I think she did catch the ball one time. Then they played a sort of a game in the shallow end where they had Amy be the quarterback and throw the ball to one of them while the other one tried to tackle the one who caught the ball. I sure wish I'd had my camera because it was pretty fun to watch. I was tickled that they included Amy and she had a blast. They tried to get Jessica to join, but she didn't want to play. Once more families showed up, they quit, but it was a fun time until then. You know we are regulars when they include us as much as they do in their antics. They are really great kids (well, young adults).

All in all, it's been a great weekend! Hope yours has been too.
Thanks for stopping by. 
Have a great start to your week.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer Joy~Digi Layout

I'm still scrapping our vacation pictures. Hope you don't get too tired of them. But, while I've got the itch to scrap, I'm taking full advantage of it. This layout took me a surprising amount of time to complete given I knew right away which pictures I wanted to use. I was having trouble selecting a template that fit the mood of the photos. I really wanted to use Mary Fran's Summer Breeze kit, too, but selecting the right combination of papers was a challenge. After fiddling and futzing with it the other day, I ended up closing it up, so I could let things "percolate" for a bit. A little more futzing with alphas today and I finally finished. I ended up not using the alpha that I got with the kit as the letters were multicolored and no matter what title I chose, letters of the same color were side by side and I wasn't able to recolor them to work better. The alpha I ended up using is by Flergs and is called Buttercup (of all names) from Scrapbook Graphics. The stitching is from Libby Weifenbach's Border Basics (Sweet Shoppe Designs). The template I chose is from Cindy Schneider. Can you tell I'm in love with her style? LOL I'm so glad she moved to Sweet Shoppe Designs and I can see what she's up to each Saturday morning when I get my newsletter.

The girls and I have tried to go to the pool the past two days and haven't had much luck. Yesterday, just after we got all settled and the girls jumped in, they had to clear the pool because someone pooped in it. Yuck! It's the second time this has happened. I suspect it's a child in the Base group that was there. The only other time it's happened (just before we left to go to Sioux Falls), the same Base group was at the pool. It would have been an hour and a half wait before the kids could get back into the pool and by then, it would have been time for us to leave. They gave us a raincheck, which was nice. So, we went back today only to be called out due to lightning strikes nearby. That happened twice while we were there and require at least 15 minutes out of the pool each time. The skies were looking pretty dark, so the girls opted to head home. This time though, they got almost 2 hours of swim time in, which isn't bad. The only thing was, a family showed up that the girls like to play with, right before we decided to leave. Oh well, what can you do, right? There's still plenty of summer left. It just has felt a little frustrating this week.

Well, I'm off to decide which pictures to scrap next! Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope your weekend is going great.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Never Too Old To Be Kidlike...

This will be the last water park layout. Whew, huh? I think I've just about had my fill of them, to be honest, but since I was on a roll I decided to get this one done. Hope you like. Same kit, same template designer.

I couldn't believe Sandy convinced Steve to do this. And he only did it the one time. 
Boy am I glad I caught it!
Gotta love sisters that will cajole brothers into doing stuff they wouldn't otherwise do.

I'm done for today.
Thanks for stopping by!


A Couple More Digi Layouts from the Water Park

Hope you aren't tired of seeing them yet! LOL I may have one more up my sleeve, but thought I'd share these with you. We are laying low at home today as my cold just keeps lingering and making me cough my lungs out. Darn. Well, the girls are having a blast playing with a train set they've not used for a long time. A neighbor boy is over and he and his brother come up with some terrific track designs. Since they are occupied with that and not on the computer, and I don't have much energy to do much else, I'm taking advantage of the urge to digi scrap.

Thanks so much for the compliments on my layouts. I'm not a super creative genius, I promise you. I just adore using templates, which gives you the basic design of the layout and I "clip" the papers and elements on the pre-designed layout. Sure I take a little creative license here and there, adding or taking away an element, but I don't change the basic design all that much. If I had to come up with layouts from scratch, I wouldn't get near as many layouts done, believe me! Still, I'm glad you like what I do with the templates and kits I use.

I didn't have as many lazy river photos that were usable as I thought, but I still am pretty happy with how this one came out. I'm currently in love with Cindy Schneider's templates (from Sweet Shoppe Designs) and I used Traci Reed's Splash Down kit(also from Sweet Shoppe Designs). 

Steve didn't pack his swimsuit either, but he was able to borrow a pair from his nephew and they fit! With his fair skin, he burns pretty easily, but he had fun floating along the lazy river shirtless this one time. The other times, he put his shirt back on, I noticed.

Funny thing, with as many summery/watery pictures as I take, I don't have many kits that I feel work well with those types of pictures. Hence, I keep using the same few I have. Sometimes the colors don't work well on the kits I do have and I don't always feel like playing around with changing the colors of an element or paper, or when I do try to change the colors, I don't like the results. Still, I do like what I've been able to create with the kits I've been using.

I absolutely love this photo I took of Amy. I know it is totally over exposed, but I adore the look on her face and I couldn't wait to scrap it. I tried to offset the over exposure just a bit with the water elements from the Splash Down kit, but the rest of the layout uses Mary Fran's Summer Splash kit from Nitwit Collections. Again, I used a Cindy Schneider template for the base of the layout. 

You can enlarge either picture to get a better look and/or read the journaling.

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet and encouraging comments. They put a big old grin on my face!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wonderfully Wet Playground~digi layout

Here's another layout, this time featuring the area that Jessica really liked. (click to enlarge if you like) She was 2 inches too short to go down the big slide in a tube and to jump off those high diving boards (not sure what height has to do with an ability to swim, but rules are rules). She didn't mope too long, this side of the water park was chock full of fun things to do to get and stay wet. She also enjoyed the lazy river feature, which will probably become the layout I create next. LOL 

It's been raining off and on all day. I don't think it has gotten much past 60 degrees, but as I finished the layout, I noticed the sun was trying to peek out, so maybe the storm is moving on.

Thanks for stopping by! I sure appreciate your visits.