Sunday, December 7, 2008

What A View!

We visited this magnificent tower in Chicago on the way home from our Thanksgiving trip. All I have to say is...I love that city! It's awesomely goregous at night - the view from the tower is so spectacular. I guess because I grew up in Reno and lived in Las Vegas, I'm drawn to the big city and always will be. The most amazing thing about Sears is that on a clear day, you can four states, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. Amazing!
A first for this picture is that it's the only one where Kyra has EVER smiled while we were in a group pose. That took 6 long years!

Thanks for Thanksgiving

Well, it was the first Thanksgiving we traveled for...ever. We've always spend it at home, or at least in the same city. We spend our time with Aunt Ven, Uncle Tim, Nana, Grandma Joyce (Tim's mom), Jason, Ryan and Mindy in Effingham, IL. Thank goodness the gas prices agreed with our budget, we once filled up an empty tank for $27! It was a great blessing to have so much food, relaxation (they live in the woods) and most of all, to be surrounded by family. Besides eating our hearts out, we also visited Springfield, IL and went to the Abraham Lincoln Museum and learned more about that great President. The best part was on the way home, we were able to visit Chicago for a few hours and visited the Sears Tower; what a COOL place. I'll post a picture soon.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I did this LO while nursing (not literally) Kyra when was really sick with the flu last week; it was so awful, she even had to go to the hospital and get rehydrated. I felt so bad for her -in the middle of leaning over the bucket puking, Kyra said, "I WANNA LIVE!" I had to keep my laughter inside as I was right in the middle of the worst sickness in her life. It was also very sweet how she became so sentimental (while puking) and would tell me and Greg, "I love you, Mommy" and "I love you, Daddy." Kyra definitely has a sweet spirit and it certainly shone through - even in her darkest hour.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Momma Mia Inspired...

My first LO in most favorite movie in the whole world right now is Momma Mia and I just choreographed "Dancing Queen" for my classes. I decided to do something with my studio picture and thus this LO was born. Here's the journaling:

"This is the picture that hangs on the 'Instructor's Wall' at Dance Expressions. My dream of teaching at a dance studio came true on September, 2008. It has been a great blessing to bring others to joy of Zumba dancing."

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Little girls will be little girls...

Here are Kyra (ragdoll) and Nina (Gabriela from HSM) all decked out for the ward Chili Cook-Off/Halloween party and happy as little clams :-) Making happy memories with the girls (as well as my other children) is the best way for me to heal from my own sordid childhood and feel the sweetness of innocence and joy in truth the way a little girl has a divine right to feel. Blessings to all of you out there who have experienced this same enlightenment :-)

Side note: Adobe PhotoShop Elements ROCKS!! I was able to cut and paste Kyra's head in the side-by-side picture from another picture to get them both smiling. It took me all day to figure it out, but Scrapbook Memories TV show on the BYU channel has excellent instructions. Check it out!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Meatloaf Anyone?

For part of Nina's preschool program at the YMCA, she's been taking a Kids in the Kitchen class and has been cooking up a storm each Wednesday. I started to feel the pressure of "bad mom syndrome" since I realized I hadn't really let me the girls help my cook at all except for when cleaning up the brownie here's proof that I let down my hair and the girls helped create a tasty meatloaf that didn't have any leftovers :-)
The joy also here is that someday THEY will be cooking me food and I'll get to say "EWW, GROSS!"

My Raked-Up Cutie!

I stumbled on another "joy" moment on Friday when I caught the girls collecting leaves from the cul-de-sac and making a pile in our center common area. Just when I thought with my adult mind that leaves are just another plain annoying and bothersome thing to clean up in the yard - there is a 5 year-old who delightfully relishes in gathering and rolling around these little crumbs of nature and loving every minute of it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Daughters are a gift!

Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to have many daughters so I can give them these long, polysyllabical names (like the ones they have now...Alexandria Estella, Kyrstiana Rene', Josephina Marie) to make up for the fact I had a a short 4-letter name and no middle name (where's the love in that?). Each one of my daughters are a blessing to me and I am overwhelmed with the responsibility I have for my stewardship of them - there are so many things to teach over a span of 18+ years! But my last daughter (at least in this estate) is my precious Nina, who seems to have the best qualities of her older sisters along her own wrapped up in the little package that she is - teaches me so much about what I need to know in this life and about the quality of a smile - as she's full of them!

The challenge for this LO was to use chipboard, ribbon and metal. I also used the biggest felt flower ever made for scrapbooking!

Everyday Moments...

When the girls where younger, I often wondered, "Is there more to life than being a stay-at home mom??" I must preface this by saying that when Anthony was 2 years old, I wanted nothing more than to stay at home with him and watch him grow every second I could. However, as Kyra and Nina approached 3 and 4 years old, my mind began to wander away from mission to stay close to the coop. Looking back to this particular day while Kyra was getting ready for preschool, I realized that I was right where I needed to be - with my girls, at home. I know they could've survived without me at home, but would I have survived without them? Absolutely not! I needed to be at home for me as much as I did for them. There was nothing more healing for me than raising my children the way I would've wanted to have been raised. I re-lived my childhood (in a healthy, nurturing way) through each one of them! Being able to take pictures of the everyday happenings in life such as this moment, makes me eternally grateful for my calling as a stay-at-home mom.

The challenge for the this LO was to scraplift another person's LO from the DS2 group and I chose my Prima pal, Rhonnie :-)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Hanging on!

My favorite thing to do on my LO's right now is to sew or embroider on them. You'll probably see me doing this A LOT! The LO challenge here was to stay monochromatic, add some bling, buttons and another embellishment, which are always Primas, for me!
One a day in April 08, I decided to go with Greg to Wauseon, OH which is a little over an hour away. While Greg worked at his facility, I took the girls to a nearby park so I could get some homework done. Having been stressed out from school, I hadn't had much time to enjoy with the girls. But this day the girls were begging me to come play with them. Luckily, I had my camera so I hesitatingly agreed to come play.
I learned so much about myself as I watched as my girls laugh and frolic all over the place. During a particular part of our playtime, Kyra climbed up some monkey bars shaped in an arc. When Kyra froze right in the middle, she started to cry, feeling scared and stuck. As I guided her across the bars and to other side in safety, I understood that even as an adult, I still get myself into those type of positions. For example, I was SO excited about going back to school at first but when the semester progressed, I became extremely anxious that I made the wrong decision and I became frozen - paralyzed with fear and I wanted to quit. It was then that I humbly turned to Heavenly Father in prayer and He guided me "across the bars" and down the other side, safely. I had an epiphany at the playground that day that Heavenly Father would always guide me through my education and help me balance family and teaching on top of it all.
Isn't funny what you learn through your children?

Anthony's First Date!

Anthony is growing like a weed. Here he is on his first date with his very good friend, Stephanie Campbell, from Cranberry, PA. This was Seneca Valley's homecoming weekend, which Anthony attended from Thursday night (yeah, he missed school Friday) to Saturday night when they had the dance. The game was against North Allegheny, SV's rival and sadly, SV lost. I will post a few more pictures at if you want to see the whole Pittsburgh weekend.

The challege for this LO was to use 25 of one embellishment. Need you have to ask what mine was? I was tempted to do Primas since Heaven knows I have much to spare, but I opted not since they look so rad in my living room :-)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I am old enough to have a 16 year old...

"Do you remember...the 21st night of September..." blah blah blah...the song is called Dancing in September by Earth Wind and Fire and I love it so much I use it a Zumba warm-up song. Anyhow, instead of the old "sweet sixteen" SB title, I decided to go a little more creative. I still can't believe my boy is 16 years old. Where, oh where has my little boy gone??? Don't ya love Anthony's smile :-)

My first attempt at Hybrid scrappin'

This is one of my favorite shots of Nina! During one gorgeous summer morning the girls went outside on the backyard deck and started spraying each other with spray bottles...sadly it was the closest they came to water most of the summer! I guess you can get really creative when money's tight...anyhow, Nina got cold and put on her winter jacket - I thought it was definitely a "kodak moment"!

This is also my first digital LO (used Picasa 3)- which I didn't do much except add text to the picture and blew it up to 8 x 10. I noticed it didn't need much to complement it - so I used the challenge to use an old tool with a new tool; my new tool was my Bazzill In-Stitches templates and the old tool was my Dell printer (which I discovered it prints pretty dang good pictures after having it for 4 years now...).

Zumba anyone?

I saw this paper and I thought it'd be perfect for my picture from the Toledo Press article on Zumba. I'm just getting used to doing LO's on myself - it still feels kind of weird?

This challenge was to use one embellishment and mine was, of course, a couple of Primas :-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

This is a shot of my favorite flower, the Orange Lily...I know it's not much of a layout - but that's the joy of it all...simplicity. This picture was taken from the gardens at the Toledo Z0o (a favorite place of mine). The SB challenge was to create a layout of one of my favorite things...well, here's one of 'em!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Anthony and his "groupies"...

Here are the beautiful Campbell girls, Stephanie and Jessica, from Cranberry Township, PA. They are some of Anthony's greatest friends. Anthony had a wonderful opportunity to spend a lot of his summer with them at EFY (Especically For Youth) in Grandville, OH and then he went to their Youth Stake Conference in Pittsburgh. I used to visit teach the girls' mom, Susan - she is a wonderful, strong lady and a great mom to her girls. Stephanie and Jessica are close in age like my girls, Kyra and Nina and I hope they have a close relationship always just like the Campbell Girls.

The challenge for this was to scraplift a sketch that was posted on the gettinsketchy blog. The swirls in the upper left are a stamp and I cut them out. The titles I've used on my pages so far are mostly from my Cricut (thanks Arlene!) my most beloved scrapbooking possesion - right alongside my Prima's of course :-)

My Darling Little Baby, Nina!

This was Nina's first day of preschool at the YMCA. She loves it! Her classes are:
-Kids in the Kitchen
-Playtime Theater
-Preschool Picasso.
It helps that I get a 50% discount there so it's affordable. The joy in this is that I can study while she's in class. Bliss, I tell ya!
The scrap challenge for this was to have a border on all sides and embellish it. The paper came like it - it was an expensive, but worth it. I can't imagine messing with Stickles and a template for that look! I bought a Bazzill In-Stitches Alphabet sewing template at Archivers and used it for title Nina. I think that embroidery stuff on paper is just the coolest look! I 'm currently obsessing on getting some more my next visit to Archivers (love that store!).

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Aunt Ven

This is my sweet sister-in-law, Vanetta. Ven is busy renovating their new house...ugh, I can't imagine the work they're doing, but I know it'll look great when they're all done. These pictures are from 2005 when we lived in Pennsylvannia. We just love her and miss her, Uncle Tim and the boys.

*Side note: the background to my title was a coaster from my Marriot Hotel bathroom in Columbus, OH that we stayed at for our 14th anniversary...I will have a smile on my face every time I look at this layout :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Challenge 11

This is my big bro, Sam, who lives in Nevada. He's excellent with photography and is a great graphic artist. Right now he's into making solar energy gadgets and making that new bio-fuel.
To meet the challenge, I used 3 circle stickers and painted the frame and chipboard letters. I also used a stamp in back of the "S".

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Woman of Faith

This is Melanie, my beautiful and strong older sister. She has been a member of our church for almost 3 years and she has such incredible faith. Her favorite scripture is from the Book of Mormon, Alma 36:3. On a side note - I figure when I get the guts to part with all my hair after I turn 40, I'm going for this exact same haircut :-)

Challenge 5

Kyra had a fabulous first day of school! Luckily, I wasn't too lonely, since I had Greg and Nina there as we sent her off on the bus. Makes me wonder what I'll be like when Nina goes to Kindergarten next year...

I'm in a scrapbooking group called DedicatedSwappers on Yahoo! Groups and the challenge for this week was to use embellished brads in a design. Off to do the next challenge!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Joy is homework that is FINISHED!!

I have been in homework mode since 5am Monday and now it's time for a well-deserved break! Joy is also having eyeglasses and not contacts when I'm I thought I'd show ya'll my happy face!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My latest LO!

I've scheduled in doing a page a day now that school's in session - simply because it brings it me joy. I love this LO, it's simple and doesn't need a whole lot - which saved me a lot of time. She's just so darn gorgeous!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Found a great quote about joy...

"Joy comes from embracing the circumstances and season of life where God has put you and accepting the responsibilities that go with that season." -unknown

This is going in my talk tomorrow for church.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Beautiful Alexa!

This is Lexa's latest picture as of 8/21/08. Ain't she purdy??

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Best Friend!!!

Jacqueline and her husband Eddie in Italy...I travel spontaneously through her, my bestest and dearest, oldest friend in the world!!! She has brought me so much joy since I met her when we were 8. She is my sister from another mother. We come from the same mold. From riding me on her handlebars when we were kids, sharing her mom with me and being the most loyal and generous woman as we've grown, I love Jackie. Joy is having a best friend who knows you better than you know yourself.

My Eternal Companion

This was definitely a day of full of joy. My good friend Wendy was married in the Columbus temple to the man she's been waiting for all her life. As her escort, I was able to re-live the day I received my own intiatory blessing and endowment. We were in the temple from 9am to 3 pm. We even took a little nap in the Celestial Room! Anyhow...lots of joy here. I love my husband!


This is THE most adorable pic of Lex - it brings me happiness and joy to watch her smile as if nothing in the world mattered!

Papa Tony and Grandma Diann

Here are our beloved Papa and Grandma in Carson City. We miss them very much and wish we could be closer while the girls are young. At least Anthony and Alexa were able to grow up with them close by. We continue to pray for their health and strength.

Mila, Lexa and Jonathan

This is a picture of Lexa, Mila and Jonathan at Mila's baptism in 2005 - I miss them terribly...words cannot express how hard it is to live far away from loved ones...but we will reunite again soon!

A Garden that doesn't need water!

Here is my Prima started in 2006 after I threw away all of my cow collection. My living room is overrun by them but luckily Greg and the kids don't mind because it makes me happy! I have flowers that have come from all over the US - from CA to FL. Being surrounded by all the colors bring me joy - which is my current focus in life.

Anthony's little fluttery friend was called a "Scarlet Mormon" and stayed with him for like 10 minutes! It was Anth's highlight of the visit.

Spread your wings!

I've been playing with my camera's macro mode and am feeling like a pro...not! While at the Conservatory in Columbus, everything was a photo opp.


It's funny what you find in life that brings you joy. The smallest things and usually the things right in front of you.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Testing...1,2, 3

I will have something interesting to say very soon!