Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gratitude Dance

Gotta love it! Can you watch this and not feel giddy? Somehow this came to me while reading someone's blog. I did NOT search for "gratitude" because I was considering it for my "one little word" for this year. Is this a sign??? What do you think?

A Little Miracle and November

A little miracle happened today. Dave decided to go ahead and change to the 2009 calendar and asked if I wanted 2008 (he doesn't know I have calendars from the last 20 years or more!). This has been a rough year for me and I looked back on the September page. The only item written for the entire month was "funeral" on September 2. But as I looked at the calendar page, something caught my eye. The picture from that month was a small country church not unlike ours, where we went after Mother's funeral. Behind the church was a rainbow-a symbol of God's promise. I do not remember this being the picture for the month and I can't believe I would not have noticed. I've been feeling kind of down lately and have been watching for a little sign of God's love. As many of you know, I definitely do get messages from God, although usually through the car radio. I think this calendar page was my sign, a prayer answered, a little miracle just for me. Some of you may also know that my "one little word" for this year was HOPE. I think it quite fitting that God gives me this huge message of HOPE on the last day of the year. I've needed it. My key verse, Jeremiah 29:11 reads:
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

To all of you/us: Don't give up. I think my little word for 2009 may be GRATITUDE. Not sure yet, but seems like a good one. There are some great verses to go with that one.

So December is almost over, as is 2008. I like the idea of choosing photos that depict the month. I plan to go back and do the other months as well. I just finished November. I've got to get better at taking pictures when I have company! I've missed a lot of photo ops lately.

Photo notes (left to right)
1. Mikayla's new computer obsession. Dress-up doll sites.
2. Mikayla and our neighbor friend, Samantha, playing with ice balls for my sabbatical video project.
3. Daddy on Shelly's old, totally rusted bicycle-the one she taught me to ride on. Can you believe he still has it? And he brought it from Florida to Illinois in about 1969! Isn't that 40 years ago!
4. Mik and a friend at school.
5. Place card Mik made for the Thanksgiving table.
6. Our snowy street. WTF-this much snow, cold and ice in November?
7. Christmas planner book. Do you think I was more organized? Maybe, but I didn't think so on December 23.
8. Santa with a giraffe statue I had sent to Mother one year and is now part of my Santa collection. When Mother opened it, everyone HATED it and it was a big joke from then on! I used it to decorate for Christmas the week after Thanksgiving.
9. Our shoebox of goodies sent to "a child with no toys".

Note to Susan and Val: Aren't you glad I posted Santa with the giraffe? He looks great at my house, no matter what you all think of him!!!!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

JYC Layouts

These two layouts are for my Journal Your Christmas project. You can click on them to see them better (I think). Karen, do you know which one's about you? I made a pocket out of Barbie doll packages for the napkin and the description cut from Karen's Christmas card. I put another line from the Christmas card that was special to me in the pocket as well. I wanted Karen's handwriting on the layout for others to see, so I cut out what you see from the card as well. I need to fix where I screwed up the date. Val and Susan called me on Christmas at 3:30 and said they were choosing a time in between Florida and Illinois time. So nutty. The tea bag in the layout is empty. I DID drink the tea! And don't you love how the cup I had matches the napkin?

Friday, December 26, 2008

What I've Always Wanted!

We heard "It's what I always wanted!" so many times on Christmas morning. Had to share this little video. Mik asked Santa for a "Dancing with the Stars Barbie", but it did not exist in the real world. We told her that we didn't think Santa would be able to find one. Dave had the idea to find a doll with a lovely dancing-style dress and download a logo from the internet. When Mikayla opened the box, she exclaimed "See I told you Santa could make one!"

To my favorite sisters...

"To love someone deeply gives you strength. Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage." Lao Tzu

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Digital Scrapbooking

I did these two layouts last night. I think I'll go back and do a page for each month in 2008. This was a free template. Jena, how do you like these? I like doing paper scrapbooking better, but I seem to finish more this way.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Doll House

I was asked about the dollhouse at the Lincoln Museum shown in a previous post. It is a replica of Lincoln's home in Springfield and the dolls inside are the Lincoln family. The picture I have here is not very good, but you get the idea. Mikayla loves doll houses and she made a beeline right to it as soon as she entered the playroom. They actually had one of these doll houses in the gift shop. Of course, when Mik saw it she said "Oh, My, Gosh! I want it!" We admired it along with her but told her that we couldn't afford it because it was $300. She said "I don't care! I WANT it!" She was very disappointed that we couldn't get it. If I'd have been rich, I think I would have taken one home. It was so cool and what a great way to learn about history.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Snowflakes Can Be Fun

We've had so much fun with the "Make-a-Flake" website. It takes a few tries to figure out how to work the scissors, but it's worth it. Enjoy!

Cookin' Like Lincoln

This is a video that was taken at the Lincoln Museum.

Visiting Santa

Do I need to write anything here??? MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Visiting "our guy" Lincoln

Yesterday we visited the Abraham Lincoln Museum ( in Springfield. It was totally interesting to all of us. Some of you know that Mikayla has a "thing" for Lincoln and this was evident in our trip. We spent four hours going through exhibits, watching video, and playing in "Mrs. Lincoln's Attic", a hands-on 1860's playroom for children. All of it was extremely moving. When asked what she learned about Lincoln, Mikayla said that "he was sad". One display showed his son, Willie, on his deathbed in the White House and then another nearby showed his mother, Mary Todd Lincoln, sitting alone in a rocking chair, dressed in black and holding a handkerchief. She commented on the handkerchief noting that it was for her tears. While watching the video on "Lincoln's Eyes", she exclaimed "I wanna kick his butt!" when a segment on John (Wilkes) Booth was shown, complete with the vibration of gun fire. She did well with all the graphic artwork on the Civil War and enjoyed finding photos (not graphic) on a computer touchscreen.

The final leg of our visit was spent (of course) in the gift shop, where we purchased what we call a "Lincoln Barbie Doll". Don't you think she needs an inspiring doll to play with and not just "da Prince" or good old Kenn (or "Kem" as she calls him)? I'm not so sure how we'll deal with it when she takes off all of Lincoln's clothes like she does all her other dolls!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Advent Calendar

Every year we get the same kind of Advent Calendar. It's so fun and so cheap-only about two bucks! Each day you open a little door and inside is a tiny piece of chocolate in a Christmas shape-a bell, a gift, Santa, etc. Mikayla looks up the next date when she opens the current door, so she'll be able to get her chocolate quickly! It's not a great photo of her, but you can see that she got her chocolate for today. It's one of those special little traditions that her dad and uncle loved when they were little.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas Past

Today's prompt for Journal Your Christmas is "Christmas Past". I haven't blogged for a long time and thought I'd try again for awhile to see if the girls and Daddy would enjoy reading about themselves . It's also a way to get down my thoughts until I get to doing actual scrapbook pages!

Daddy took the photo above about 1962. I was about 8, Jane 6, Valerie 4, and Susan 2. This is the only still photo I have of all four of us girls around the Christmas tree. Christmas growing up for us was wonderful. We always had a large live tree. Most of the time it was in front of the picture window, but a few times it was in a different place. In this picture, I think the tree is actually in the corner of the dining room that we were then using as a playroom. I remember always having garland and the icicles that come in a box. You can clearly see them in this photo. We only had them a few times in my own home because our cats always ate them and threw them up-yuck! But I do think they are so pretty! I remember going to Grandma and Pepaw's house on Christmas Eve with all our cousins. We got to open a present from them and Gram and Peep opened theirs from us. I don't remember ever choosing gifts for my sisters or my parents until much later-at least high school. For some reason, I do remember getting Susan an umbrella while we were living in Florida, I think. Funny that I remember that! Gram always had a small table top tree. One year it was white with pink balls. I thought it just was not a real Christmas tree.

One thing I remember most from Christmases like the one here is that I hated trying to sleep on Christmas Eve. I felt like I would never go to sleep I was so excited. The more I tried to sleep, the more I tossed and turned. When I had my own kids, we let them stay up to watch A Christmas Carol starting at 10:30 just so they wouldn't be as miserable as I was. Dave never complained because I think he had the same problem. I remember our parents telling us we had to wait until it was light to wake them up. As a parent, I could hardly wait for the boys to wake up. I don't think they ever had to beg us to get up-we were always lying awake wishing they'd hurry and wake up.

I clearly remember walking down the stairs on Christmas morning. I also remember trying to peak to make sure Santa had been there. We couldn't go down the stairs until Daddy turned on the tree lights. We always got plenty of gifts! Gifts from Santa were not wrapped, but presents from Mother and Daddy were. I remember the dolls in the picture here. We all had a new doll. My doll, I think, is Thumbelina. She actually moved like a real live baby. It 's funny, but when I think of her, I can still feel how she moved. We actually got two of those toy shelves in the picture, one for Jane and one for me. We had those for a long time. I also remember that every year, our Uncle Lloyd gave every niece and nephew $5. We thought this was the coolest thing and looked forward to it. Uncle Lloyd wasn't married and didn't have children of his own, so he celebrated by giving every one of the cousins a gift. Mostly we spent Christmas playing with our new toys. I don't remember ever going anywhere.

One time, when visiting Mother in Florida, she told us about her Christmases growing up. She said that her mother loved Christmas and she always got tons on gifts. It was a real celebration. This was all later confirmed by her cousin Karen, who also told us that Mother often got two of each gift, just so a friend coming over (more often Karen herself) would have something to play with. Karen also told us that our Grandmother was an excellent cook. Mother was too, and we always had a big Christmas dinner. Often Gram and Peep would come and usually Uncle Lloyd and our old Uncle Charles as well. I remember getting an Avon soap in the shape of a peach from Uncle Charles one year. It may have even been the year in this photo.

That's all I remember about this picture, so I'll try to write more tomorrow. Until then, don't forget to write down your memories.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Observational Drawing 2

Observation drawing lesson

Today we did our first observation drawing using a lesson posted by Lori on the Camp Creek Press Blog. Lori suggested that we use plain white paper and only a pencil (no eraser) to start. We chose a common object that had interesting detail. The first thing I noticed was Nemo, who was waiting to go back to school with Mikayla. Above is a photo of Nemo and a scan of Mikayla's first observation drawing. She put more detail into the drawing than I ever thought she would. We both noticed so many things about the toy that we had not before. I drew along with her and she pointed out aspects of Nemo that I had not noticed. We then pointed out various other aspects for each other as we drew. She did, however, use the eraser on her pencil once or twice. She also added a spider drawing which you can see on the top left of the page (not from observation, thankfully!), and made sure to count the legs to make sure there were eight. Her next drawing was of my Croc shoe. She was very interested in the detail of the flower jibbit on the shoe as she is very into drawing flowers. She was not particular about showing the holes. I actually think she was tired of drawing at this point. I will post pictures of this later.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Happy 2008!

The last leaf standing. Mikayla looked out the front window one day and exclaimed, "Grammy, there's only one more leaf!" Don't you love how children are so observant and see the small things that we no longer notice?