Sunday, August 31, 2008

Saturday post on Sunday

This weekend I would like to share about my new position with the school district. I have been working in the elementary schools here for about 6 years now.......... first as an autism para-educator and then in the title One Program.

At the end of last year I was approached by my building principal and asked to consider applying for a brand new program that was going to start up this year. I was hesitant and not wanting to leave a position I knew I loved for something "unknown".

On inservice day this year he approached me again and said the position was still mine if I wanted it and people in the district office felt my experience as a nurse, writing training programs for people with developmental disabilities, and what they had seen me able to accomplish when working in the autism program all led them to believe I needed to be a part of this new program. I am not a person who embraces change........... I tend to try to avoid it as much as possible. But, after praying on it for a night, I decided if this was where God thought I could best serve this year I would go there and I emailed my building principal to tell him I would take the position if they still wanted me to.

So I spent what would have been the last 2 days of my summer vacation doing some specialized training, helping set up the classroom and meeting the other 3 members of the team for the new ILC (Intensive Learning Center) . The head teacher is new to me but I think I will like her. the other 2 staff are woman I know already and I think we will work well together. and I am excited to be part of the ground level of building a new program designed to teach students at the level they need rather than trying to make them fit into a place where they really don't

School starts Tuesday................... wish me luck! :-)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

back to school

I wanted to make a little something for my boys teachers, to start the year off. This is our small art journal. I added calendar pages to it and stamped the pages to match the front papers. I love these little books and the teachers did too. These little journals will make all kinds of cute things. I have seen them as recipe books, mini scrap books, you name it.

Here is Jonathan giving his to his teacher, he wanted to take her an apple, but was glad to have this. I am sure she'd rather have this as well! ;) Can't believe I have a second grader!

And here is Jeremiah after he gave his kindergarten teacher hers. She loved it too. My mom says I will have to make her something each week! But Jeremiah plans to not get in trouble at all this year. I hope he can do it!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Photos from the weekend

NOTE: It is very difficult to post the day after Beth does. I am literally bawling over the death of her friend(see yesterday's post). How can anything I say be of any use after that? She has such a way of writing that clenches the depths of your heart and soul. And she says she "can't blog". You are mistaken, my friend! You have a gift and even though you say you are not mushy and emotional, it's in that soul of yours. Keep it open and keep on writing!

I wanted to add to the Scrapper's Dream Vacation thought that Beth spoke of yesterday. Words cannot truly express the depth of what happens at an SDV event, but I think Beth captured it quite thoroughly. I always come back after vending at an SDV event(this was my third) with a new love for women as we share our hearts and souls during the weekend. It's a scrapping weekend...yes, but as Beth is so much more.

So on to the photos!
Here's most of our 10'x20' booth. Beth and I each have quite an extensive inventory!
Our Xyron adhesive display. It was nearly empty after the event was over. We love us some Xyron!
Here's the great Suzanne Mulet manning the Make & Take table. We had a new project each day and everyone loved what they got to make.

Beth is at the cash register and Suzanne is in the background in black. They both have really cool hair!

Looking out into the sea of scrappers. This only shows maybe half of the room. The vendors line the walls. It is amazing how much stuff these women bring!! The poor bellmen!

So if SDV ever comes your way, you've gotta get your girlfriends and head on over for a scrappin' good time!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

celebration and sadness

I had the incredible opportunity to spend last weekend in rain-drenched Orlando as a vendor at SDV - Scrapper's Dream Vacation. For those of you who have never heard of it - it is everything the name implies. An entire weekend of non-stop scrapping, shopping, food, fellowship, music, dancing, laughing, crying – and…as an added surprise – we even had Mickey Mouse! Along with my fellow S4I-er Shirley Pando and our friend Suzanne Mulet we had a WONDERFUL time at our I Remember When booth – and thanks to Suzanne’s freaky ability to stay up until the wee hours – we actually manned the booth AROUND THE CLOCK!!

But SDV is also something else. In December 2006, SDV’s Founder Nancy Bohrer was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer. Throughout 2007 she shared her story with attendees at SDVs around the country – encouraging women to get mammograms and do their monthly breast self-exams. In December 2007 she was declared cancer free – and last weekend (and SDVs held earlier this year) was a celebration of her victory and of her life and of her strength. This was my first SDV so I did not know Nancy personally, but her story and the inspiration she gave to others around her was evident in every face and every hug and every moment. It is a powerful feeling to be in a room full of women of every age, background, ethnicity and circumstance - all lifting one another up in celebration and fellowship. Truly something to behold.

After such an invigorating weekend I returned home energized and inspired and motivated…until I opened an email from the sister of a dear, dear friend in Anchorage.

When my husband and I moved to Alaska I immediately went on the lookout for friends. I began teaching scrapbooking classes at a community school and in my home – and one night this firecracker of a woman – Joy Riggs – arrived on my doorstep and my life was never to be the same. Joy was from South Africa and had moved to Alaska as a single mom, found and married her soul mate, and just went about living life to its utmost. She was old enough to be my mother, was funny and sarcastic, felt deeply and loved openly, adored my husband and my dogs, and she and her family took me in as one of their own – inviting me for meals, checking on me when Don was gone – she just had a way of making you feel like you were the most important person in the room whenever you were with her. She was larger than life.

When Don and I left Alaska in February she and her husband Max attended our going away party and something just didn’t seem right. She seemed tired, didn’t really interact with anyone – I selfishly attributed it to her being sad that I was leaving, but I would later find out that she had just been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor – but didn’t say anything because she didn’t want to “ruin my party”. So – for the first few months we emailed back and forth…her always with an upbeat attitude and jokes about her treatment, me telling her how wonderful I thought she was and how much I missed her. Eventually her sister Theresa started writing for her because typing was too difficult – and on Sunday Theresa sent her final email. Felicity (Joy) Riggs died on August 24th – a little more than six months after her diagnosis. She was a mother, a wife, a sister, a friend, a grandmother, a life force, a blessing to everyone who knew her, and an absolute joy in my life – in everyone’s life. She will be missed beyond measure.

So this weekend was truly one of celebration and sadness – and a profound reminder to celebrate the victories, be inspired by the miraculous, and cherish the everyday moments you share with those you love.

To Nancy – thank you for being such a brave and boisterous voice for women – for teaching them to value their bodies, their health, their friendships, their stories, and themselves.

To Joy – your friendship and generosity, the lessons you taught me about love and living, your coming in to my life was a gift I will never be able to repay. Thank you for sharing yourself with those around you so freely and fully…we miss you.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

A day late again

As I was doing my morning emails I realized I missed my Saturday blogpost. We are gearing up for back to school here and these last days of summer are just seeming to fly by.

I wanted to share an update on my friends who took their son back East for some specialized therapy.

They had bad news and good news. The bad news was because Nick had recently had hip surgery they could not do the full therapy routine. The good news is there was dramatic results from the therapy they did do. His family is already planning for how to get him back there again next summer.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A little bit of this and a little bit of that !

Well I couldn’t decide what to blog about today so I’ll talk about a few things.

Today was the last day of work for my very good friend at our office. We’ve been friends since I moved to Calgary almost 15 years ago. Actually I met her about 6 months after we moved here. In the last 14 or so years we have both been through quite a bit. She got married and then divorced. I had another baby, we both lost our fathers a couple years apart and I have lost my mom. As friends go, we’ve seen it all. Also during the last 14 years we have spent a few of them working in the same company on two different occasions and two different companies. In this current company she was on the 9th floor and I was on the 12th floor so we really only saw each other for lunch but it was still nice to work in the same place. With her leaving today it really only means we wont’ take the elevator together when we meet for lunch, we’ll have to each walk a couple of blocks now to meet. That’s the only real difference but it’s still one of those changes in life that brings excitement and challenge and I’m very happy for her.

Now on another totally different subject - Social Networking. I always thought I was a people person and a great socializer. Why am I having such difficulty figuring out just what to do with our Facebook group. I have no idea how to build it yet I see silly, totally useless groups reach 10,000 members in a matter of weeks. Something is truly wrong with this picture. Oh well, I am certainly not the type of person to give up so I will plug away with trying to find ways to build the group. I am very happy though with being able to showcase the Xyron videos on our site. The first one is up there now so go check it out.

Then of course we have the actual events and the background work that goes into them. We have 7 events coming up

St. Louis MO - Sept 20
Columbia MO - Sept 27
Tucson AZ - Sept 27
Las Vegas – Oct 25
DesMoine Iowa - Nov 2

McKean, PA – Nov 14
Union City, PA – Nov 15

This is exciting of course but there are still over 30 organizers out there who don’t have a date yet and I have to wonder just what I can do to help them out. I feel like I should do something but what…… so in chatting with an organizer last night I have decided that one thing I can do is try to get more corporate support, more prize donations, more discounts for the event attendees. Maybe if I do that then things will start to take hold and move ahead. I know people are out there doing stuff but sometimes when you don’t see it happening it’s hard to actually accept it as reality. I’m not making sense, am I? Well to me I make perfect sense lol.

If anyone knows of any companies out there who like to support fundraising events please share the info with me. More specifically if anyone has a direct contact that might make this process easier I’d love to have that info as well. For now I’m going to go back to my corporate list and then I’m going to add some other ones, more specifically sites like Shutterfly and Snapfish that focus on photo gifts, photo books and other great stuff. I never thought of having them become sponsors, thanks Val for the suggestion.

Well that’s enough business for now. Tonight is scrap night and my regular scrap buddy comes home at midnight so I’ll go pick her up at the airport. I am scrapping with another friend tonight who is trying to scrap with us more regularly. Then tomorrow it’s time for a short garage sale to unload a few unwanted items and then a pool party at the neighbours place as summer is quickly coming to an end.

Oh and some other really cool news. I shared with you that my daughter started a job at West Jet airlines a couple of weeks ago. Well last night I finally got the chance to check out her flight benefits and the flying benefits with other ‘partners’ with West Jet. I can fly just about anywhere in the US for likely around $200 return which is awesome. Now I need to just figure a few other little things out (like vacation time) and then I’m really hoping to make my way out to one or two Scrapping 4 Inclusion events next year. That makes me very very happy.

Well have a great weekend everyone. I know I will.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

cutting hair doesn't change the boy

Back to school photos are perfect for scrapbooking!
My little guys go to a school that has a strict dress code in regards to hair. So they spend the entire summer growing out their hair, and it gets just long enough to do something fun with, and it is time to cut it all off for school!

It is funny to me, we went for hair cuts yesterday, that is the first set of pictures and then I took the final picture today (bc she puts colored gel in their hair and they spike it up) and Jonathan has on a guitar shirt and Jeremiah has on a camo shirt in both pictures! Which just goes to show, cutting off their long and treasured hair doesn't change their style at all! ;)

I am excited about these pages bc the idea came from Liz, one of my scrap clubbers. Stampin' Up! has new card kits and she ordered one for a scrap page, so I just got in my card kit and thought I would use it as a scrap layout too! Thanks liz for the idea!!!
Here are the cards that the kit makes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

S4I and I Remember When join up to get your creative juices flowing!!

I am so, so, so excited about this!! As many of you know, I Remember When is owned by Xyron, and as part of my job for Xyron I do all of their product/project videos. Many of you also know that Laurie has started an S4I page on Facebook. Well...thanks to Laurie's GENIUS-ness and her amazing ability to think outside the box - I am THRILLED to report that the S4I page is going to be the Facebook home for all upcoming Xyron videos!!! What a great way to spread the message about S4I and reach a HUGE community - not only of crafters but of those raising and teaching and loving a child with special needs. YAY Laurie!!

The first video in the series has been posted to YouTube and should be on the S4I page soon:

And if you haven't already joined S4I on Facebook - come on over!! See you there!!


Anyone interested in a FREE online class?

Yep, I said FREE!

Two great online instructors are team teaching at My Creative Classroom. Kylie Hopkins and Shirley Pando combine their scrapbook experience and teaching talents to bring you Scrapbooking 101. This FREE class will run for two weeks beginning September 1, 2008. Stop by daily to learn techniques, tips, play games, participate in challenges, win prizes and more! Did I mention PRIZES???

CLICK HERE to register and join the fun!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday share

today's share is a gift idea..........thinking ahead for Christmas. This makes a great teacher's gift
altered cd
This is an altered CD. I covered both side with papers, added some stamping, a cute snowman stamped embellishment, some glitter, and some ribbon for hanging on the Christmas tree

Thursday, August 14, 2008

a fast way to scrap

I love this idea of taking a manila file folder and making it into a scrap book.
One of our simply scrapping kits is more than enough to cover the folder, and make the inside pages and embellishments. This was a lot of fun to make, fast and easy too.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My day...

I am sitting at the Orlando airport this morning as I wait for my plane. I am flying out to Charlotte, NC to work for Scrap-Mart at the Creating Keepsakes Convention in Charlotte.

I can't help but listen in to the conversation of two women sitting behind me. They talk about domestic abuse and the Safe House that is just north of where I live. They speak of the security and the fence that protects its inhabitants and the different needs of the women and children in the house.

The young man sitting in front of me is writing in the last page of his leather-bound journal. He is totally focused on his writing. I see in his belongings a travel book littered with Post-it arrows peeking out of the pages.

People are coming and going...talking, sitting quietly, working on laptops, in mouse ears...remember this IS Orlando!!

I meet a 24 year old woman in a wheel chair. She tells me she has lyme disease and describes the havoc it has brought to her life. She comes to Charlotte from Florida for treatments every month.

Now I sit in my bed at the hotel blogging to you. My coworkers are in the next room(it's a suite!) and discuss work and family.

Just had to share my day before it ends. Even those seemingly small things that are happening all around you are important, too.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My Saturday share a day late :-)

This was completed as a guest Creative Team Member assignment for one of my favorite websites. I love how you can build in layers on the acrylic page frames and there is a ton of altering of items that went on here. This was my first time playing with the Tim Holtz Grungeboard and I had a blast inking it and applying stickles to it

Friday, August 8, 2008


There are many people who think that today being 08-08-08 is very lucky. I heard that a lot today from many sources, general chit chat, news, local papers, radio etc.

I wasn’t really sure what I would blog about today when it dawned on me on the way home from work that I should blog about the date. It’s not like it comes around all that often.

With all the talk about ‘luck’ it made me think about whether or not I actually believe in the concept of luck. I personally tend to believe more in fate then luck. I think we are all faced with choices in life and we certainly have some control of what direction we take in life but we don’t have full control. I don’t attend church and I wouldn't consider myself a religious person but I do believe in God and I believe that we are all here on earth for a purpose. I don’t really believe that some people are lucky over any others. I think that their lives are just different, that’s all.

I think we all make our own luck. It’s in how we perceive the things that happen in our day to day lives.

What do you think? Do you think some people are luckier than others?

In a word I feel that I am BLESSED, not lucky or unlucky…..but BLESSED!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

take it with you

These little mini scrapbooks have been hugely popular here, so that means, they have probably been around for a while... but someone might enjoy talking about them.
I got little ID badges at Wal Mart (12 for $1.50) and with 4 you have the perfect mini book. I love adding the ring to clip it onto my bag. A friend has a two page one attached to her work ID. These are big enough to express your creativity, yet small enough to have with you everywhere you go!
Looking at these pictures that were taken just last summer when we went to Glorietta, New Mexico (Sunday School training week) I can't believe how much my boys have changed and grown, it seems like more than a year has past. There is pictures of their back to school hair cuts, which we are getting ready to do again. Time really does get away from you. Yet some things change very little. My youngest still loves Texas Tech (we aren't sure why, he just does, my theory is bc we like Baylor and University of Texas) and only wears Camo. My oldest still likes to "rock out" (which is what he is doing in one of his pictures). That is interesting, a year later we are a lot the same, yet very different. Even a mini scrapbook can bring forth all this emotion. Thus supporting the reason we scrap.
Enjoy your Thursday, I am still anxiously waiting my new catalogs from Stampin' Up! I know there is going to be really cool stuff in there. Like the Sizzix Big Shot! woo hoo come on brown truck!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I am so excited! But keep it hush, hush!!

I have some exclusive info, but you can't tell's not been announced yet!

At My Creative Classroom we are beginning to bring in new teachers to the pack of existing ones. They have been going though a 6-week training to learn how to teach online classes. Teaching online classes is WAAAYYY different than teaching face-to-face classes. So much more to consider and much more prep work.

The New Instructor's class is the same type of class that I went through to become an instructor there last year, only we were the guinea pigs, as we were the first teachers through the course. OMG! It was so hard! I kept telling myself, "Don't quit, it will all be good once you get through"! Everything techie I know I learned at MCC!!! Really! And now I almost feel like a pro! LOL!

At My Creative Classroom we will be having our Fall Kick-Off event the week of September 8th. ('Yours Truly' is in charge of it!!) We will be introducing the new instructors, having a New Instructors chat, and having a few games and PRIZES(!).

Mark your calendar so you will be there. And if you haven't already done so, head on over to the MCC website and sign up for the FREE newsletter so you know when all the new courses and events will be posted.

There's lots coming up at MCC!!! It's gonna be a good year! :D

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

six words

I sometimes think Skype is the work of the devil. It can turn a well-meaning, productive day in to a three-hour chat with your brother on the pros and cons of Facebook, or a four-way insult fest with the people sitting at the cubicles next to you, or…like today…an afternoon long quest for the meaning of the universe in the form of life slogans.

My friend Amy (not IRW Amie…but another Amy who is equally as fabulous) owns her own company and was “interviewing” with another company for a project. In one of the emails, along with some innocuous questions, was this:

Can you summarize your life mission in six words?

Amy was fascinated – as was I. So we spent the rest of the afternoon working hard at our jobs (and by that I mean searching out fellow Skype-friends and asking them the same question). Can six words define you? In a life full of responsibilities and priorities and hopes and dreams – how do you choose? As Amy so eloquently put it “how you've lived until today, how you want to live, what you want to see in others, what you want for your friends/family, as a role model, how you want to be remembered, personal or professional or spiritual… then to take the whole thing down to 6 words for it ALL...” – it was quite daunting! Interestingly enough – some people were able to come up with a mission or two in just a few minutes, while some people are still pondering. What pops in to YOUR mind when you read this question?

So I’m going to post some of the responses here (including my own – with the *). These come from people of different genders, ages, careers…and when I put them all together in a list I felt uplifted, if that makes any sense. As if maybe by spending a few minutes (or all afternoon) thinking about this we might each be inspired to inch towards our mission a little each day. Please share yours if you are willing…and thanks Amy for turning my plain ol’ ordinary work day in to a quest for something better. Maybe Skype isn’t so bad after all! :)


Be proud of how I’ve lived

Don’t work more than you play

Success and happiness for all involved

Financial growth and a happy life

Live with honor, respect and loyalty

Serve others, live fully, be loved*

Set goals and do my best

Sunday, August 3, 2008

where do you get your inspiration?

I spent this weekend and a good part of the week attending and teaching for the Close To My Heart virtual convention. This is held each year in conjunction with the in real life one for those unable to attend. There were amazing classes featuring projects, business tips, website how to's and so much more. My creativity is now on fire and I am hoping for some play time in my scrap studio after church today.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Oh look there’s a butterfly……..

Distracted……. that’s how I’ve been feeling lately. Lots to do, keeping very busy yet feeling like I’m just not getting enough done. I feel like I’m off chasing butterflies. Do you ever feel like that?

I know that there are only 24 hours in a day and seven days a week yet most weeks I feel like I could use more time.

It’s frustrating for me because I’m a very organized person and usually I’m quite productive. I’m the “List Queen” for sure. The one good thing about all of these distractions is that they are all GOOD things. Like my new found love for digital scrapping. I keep reading more and trying more things and that just pushes me to want to do more but then there’s that time thing and the fact that I keep running out of it.

There’s also my new little project which seems to be on my mind a lot lately and it’s just beginning yet it’s driving me to try to do more things.

Then of course I’m trying to build up Scrapping 4 Inclusion and our networking to help build the program and most days I feel like there is more that I could be doing to help this along.

I do absolutely LOVE everything I do and these distractions seem to take me to some really wonderful places. If only I could focus just a little bit longer before chasing that butterfly. I guess that’s part of the characteristics of being on the creative side of life.

Most days I have to admit that I feel guilty in following all the little whims that come up. I feel like I’m not finishing things. When I stop to think about it I do realize that it is the butterflies in life that make us who we are.

I would love to hear from others on how the creative distractions of life have altered your path and if anyone has any suggestions on how to stay just a little more focused I would love to hear it.

Oh and to finish off I want to share with everyone that this week my daughter was offered a full time job at West Jet Airlines. It’s a fantastic company and tons of people apply their regularly so it’s not that easy to get in there but she did. I’m so proud of her.

Have a great weekend!


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