Thursday, November 30, 2006

Long post- but worth the read.

I am posting today, a story I read last night, that hit me pretty hard. Mostly because I could have written it, and secondly because it mentions almost getting hit in the head with a can of soup. (tee, hee) It is a little long, but please book mark it, and give it a read when you get a minute.

It is not very often that I share my serious side, but after reading this, I hope maybe we can all be more aware this holiday season.

Smile more. Be a little more patient. Slow our steps down to match our child. Brake and let someone in front of you in traffic. Small things, that might make our holiday seem that much better.

Hero at the Grocery Store
By Stephenie Meyer

Christmas stories happen in the most everyday places. I was part of one not long ago at the grocery store. I hope I never forget it, though the memory is bittersweet.

I had been shopping for almost an hour by the time I got to the checkout lines. My two youngest sons were with me, the four-year-old refusing to hold onto the cart, the two-year-old trying to climb out of the basket and jump down to play with his brother. Both got progressively whinier and louder as I tried to keep them under control, so I was looking for the fastest lane possible. I had two choices. In the first line were three customers, and they all had just a few purchases. In the second line was only one man, a harried young father with his own crying baby, but his cart was overflowing with groceries.

I quickly looked over the three-person line again. The woman in the front was very elderly, white haired and rail thin, and her hands were shaking as she tried unsuccessfully to unlatch her big purse. In the other line, the young father was throwing his food onto the conveyor belt with superhuman speed. I got in line behind him.

It was the right choice. I was able to start unloading my groceries before the elderly woman was even finished paying. My four-year-old was pulling candy from the shelf, and my little one was trying to help by lobbing cans of soup at me. I felt I couldn’t get out of the store fast enough.
And then, over the sound of the store’s cheery holiday music, I heard the checker in the other line talking loudly, too loudly. I glanced over as my hands kept working.

“No, I’m sorry,” the checker was almost shouting at the old woman, who didn’t seem to understand. “That card won’t work. You are past your limit. Do you have another way to pay?” The tiny old woman blinked at the checker with a confused expression. Not only were her hands shaking now, but her shoulders too. The teenage bagger rolled her eyes and sighed.
As I caught a soup can just before it hit my face, I thought to myself: “Boy, did I choose the right line! Those three are going to be there forever.” My mood was positively smug as my checker began scanning my food.

But the smiling woman directly in line behind the elderly lady had a different reaction. Quietly, with no fanfare, she moved to the older woman’s side and ran her own credit card through the reader.

“Merry Christmas,” she said softly, still smiling.

And then everyone was quiet. Even my rowdy children paused, feeling the change in the atmosphere.

It took a minute for the older woman to understand what had happened. The checker, her face thoughtful, hesitated with the receipt in her hand, not sure whom to give it to. The smiling woman took it and tucked it into the elderly woman’s bag.

“I can’t accept …” the older woman began to protest, with tears forming in her eyes.
The smiling woman interrupted her. “I can afford to do it. What I can’t afford is not to do it.”
“Let me help you out,” the suddenly respectful bagger insisted, taking the basket and also taking the old woman’s arm, the way she might have helped her own grandmother.
I watched the checker in my line pause before she pressed the total key to dab at the corner of her eyes with a tissue.

Paying for my groceries and gathering my children, I made it out of the store before the smiling woman. I had made the right choice of lanes, it seemed.

But as I walked out into the bright December sunshine, I was not thinking about my luck but about what I could not afford.

I could not afford my current, self-absorbed frame of mind.
I could not afford to have my children learn lessons of compassion only from strangers.
I could not afford to be so distant from the spirit of Christ at any time of the year—especially during this great season of giving.
I could not afford to let another stranger, another brother or sister, cross my path in need of help without doing something about it.

And that is why I hope never to forget the Christmas hero in the grocery store. The next time I have a chance to be that kind of a hero, I can’t afford to miss it.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I have a secret.

I just got some awesome news, that I can't share yet, but I am pretty excited. (!!!!!!!!!!) and a little... :0

No--I am not pregnant. That wouldn't be awesome news at this stage in my life. In fact, that would be horrible, weepy, "please, no" news.

Back to your regularly scheduled blog surfing.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I shouldn't laugh

I need to preface this post with an embarrassing nugget of personal information.

I will always ALWAYS laugh if someone gets hit in the head, or otherwise hurt in a funny way. I will feel bad too...oh yes, and help if I can, but most likely I will have to turn away for just a minute or two to compose myself.

It is so embarrassing, you know, for instance to watch your uncle hit your grandma in the head with a basketball during a family Sunday afternoon game...and laugh, hysterically. It is almost as though time slows down for me, as part of this impairment. I see everything in detail...her big boofy hair driven back from the force of the ball...the incredulous look...the glasses askew...
In spite of the withering looks from other family members...I can't help myself.

Most of my sisters have this same problem as well. Growing up, when one of us crash landed on a bike, or caught a snowball to the head, at least we knew it was worth a laugh.

So I went to the gym the other day.

I have mentioned before that my gym has a cardio theater. Large, dark, almost cold...with a huge screen, and they play pretty recent movies that rotate. The room is chock full of cardio equipment. For the past few weeks, I swear, they have played without fail "The Rookie" when I go in to do my cardio. Any show would be tolerable...except that one. I don't know why, but it really bugs me.

So I turned around and walked out. Big mistake.

Put my iPod back on, and did the cardio out in the gym while half-heartedly watching "Good Things Utah."

All of a sudden, all the personal trainers go running back to the cardio-theater. They come out, swarming around this girl in a rumpled purple suit, hair flying everywhere, sort-of half-carrying her. I am wondering what the H happened? So I finish my workout, and ask the girls working the daycare when I pick up Mikayla.

Apparently, another girl was running on the treadmill--full bore. Left it running to go get a drink.

Unsuspecting purple suit girl comes in, sees the open treadmill, and steps on it.

It FLUNG her three feet.

I missed that!!!?

That would have been worth suffering through "The Rookie" yet again.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Keep moving...nothing to see here....

Wow. I haven't been over here for a while...I just switched to the Beta version of Blogger--does it look prettier?

I wish I had something worthy to report, but sadly, I have nothing to say.

I finished up some layouts for my future rejection for the We R Memory Keepers design team search. I really liked the layouts though, so I guess motivation to scrap is good no matter what, eh?
The siding guys finished up today. The outside looks pretty good, the house looks a little boxy, but good. I should get off my butt and take some photos. Tomorrow for sure.

Inside...we are ready to paint. Then...finish carpentry, carpet and tile and pergo. I wonder if it will all be ready for Christmas? I would love to have our tree in the new addition. I don't dare to hope.

Did some Christmas shopping.
Bought all the Thanksgiving food stuff.
Did some cards for submission--I have never had a card published, going to give it a whirl.
Cleaned a little.
Cut my own bangs.
Made a new iPod playlist.
Bought some new Making Memories glitter--which is making my inner-squirrel happy with its sparkliness.

I told you I had nothing to report.

I will leave you with my layouts, so at least your stop here wasn't a total bust.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Throwing you a bone--gift idea...

I just wanted to share a quick project. And a cheap one to boot... I thought it would make a great Christmas gift for non-scrappers even, like maybe a Grandma Brag book. I taught this for a group of young women 12-18 years old and we completed the project in about an hour and a half.

The best part about it is the paper comes pre-cut to the exact size of the chipboard book. And the book and the paper are $1.50 each. You could use one pad of paper and it would be plenty for three books, maybe four.

The girls loved it!

I am going to be giving the kits out for gifts this year to my neices.

Here is the link for purchasing the mini-albums and paper. They are running a whole lot of great deals on holiday stuff. Click on the Nifty $1.50 link.
The albums:
The paper:
The holiday sale stuff:

And here are the instructions for the album, e-mail me if you have any questions.
You and Me Mini Album
Supplies needed (30 books):
30 loopy brads
60 green tags
60 white tags
30 5.5 by 2.5 inch white papers
120 circle punches
30 daisy punches
60 heart punches
30 hole punches
30 folder tabs
30 folder tab centers
30 yards ribbon cut into 4 inch pieces
Stuff to bring
Hole punches
Sanding discs
Credit cards (for glue) Q-tips for glue.
Misc punches
Slightly sand cover, to bring out the debossed words. Circle dot paper, trim to 2.5 inches.
Purple strip ½ inch, adhere to bottom of circle dot paper.
Adhere white circle punch, and heart punch.
Page one:
Four square paper, adhere, round corners.
Zig-zag stripe, stripes going vertically.
Trim solid aqua paper to 2.5 x 2.5. Adhere, add daisy and center.
Page Two:
Couch floral, adhere, round corners
Shirt stripe, cut in half stripes running vertically. Glue outer three perimeters ONLY adhere, makes a pocket. Add ribbon to triangle tag, place in pocket.
Page Three:
Polka dot paper, adhere.
Paper tag trimmed 5.5 by 2.5, corners rounded. Fold in half, place flap side down and adhere. Adhere file tab, and center.
Trim pin stripe to ½ inch stripes run vertically. Stripes running horizontally. Add to opposite page, add circle and heart.
Page Four:
Retro flower, adhere.
Retro blocks, cut in half on the diagonal. Tear. Adhere outer edges only (to make pocket) insert tag.
Poke hole in the center of white circle. Add ribbon to loopy brad. Add brad to circle. Glue to page. *
Page Five:
Circle dot paper adhere.
Trim green paper to 2.5 by 2.5 adhere.
Glue circle on top of facing page circle. Sandwich in brad.
Four square paper, adhere.
Adhere white tag.

Monday, November 13, 2006

I don't know her, but I don't like her.

I share the same gym time with Perky Girl.

She checks her kid in at the same time that I do. She usually attends the classes, while I prefer to do my own thing. This mostly because I lack sufficient coordination to pull off a whole class. Especially ones that would require me to move my arms while moving my legs at the same time. I think I could keep up with most of the classes I have seen for the first five minutes, and then after that I would be the one in the back, jogging in place.

The classes at the gym are enclosed with glass walls. I am not sure if it is because humiliation is a great motivator, or for those silicone gals in the class who actually want the whole world to watch things bounce. The glass walls are right in front of the girly weight machines. I say girly because it seems like most of the men who attend the gym during mini-van hour are usually pumping free-weights in the back. It seems that hydraulics are for sissies--that the pulleys and pins are not as manly as rough-hewn plates of metal that make a satisfying clang on the floor of the gym when dropped.

Anyway, perky girl was in class today. She is always on the front row, up by the teacher. Kicking higher than the teacher. Doing more push-ups than the teacher. At a faster rate than the teacher. Boing, boing boing....her piggy-tails flying.... She runs to get a drink of water. Really. She ran. Across the gym to the drinking fountain...runs back, not wanting to miss a minute of that class.

Okay, I am a little jealous. Perky girl weighs as much as my third grader. And she sweats in perfect symmetrical patterns. She smiles while she works out. She loves the gym. It creeps me out.

Why do these people come to my gym? Honestly, if I get to the weight I am shooting for, I never want to go back to the gym. Ever. I think that it would be my reward. Congratulations! You graduated from the gym!

I can guarantee one thing. When I look at Perky girl--I know, I ain't never going to be that.

I would however, like to be able to fit into last years' winter attire. So I am still plugging along, basting in my own sweat. With the secret satisfaction that I have invested more into my work-out career than Perky girl....I have my own water bottle.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Every day this week....the gym...YAY ME!

You know what I really love about the gym?

Leaving it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I have been spending some time thumbing through decorating books and magazines for ideas on paint colors and accessories to use in our new addition. I was hesitant to share this with you, my blogging friends, because although we have shared a lot of personal life-moments together, I am still a tad afraid that you all will go out and buy this for yourselves, and leave me in the dust...On a waiting list, unable to scrape the cash together in time.

But the suspense is killing me. And so....With great pleasure I bring you, my upstairs guest bathroom decor:

Who can resist the festive poinsettia fabric, festooned with battenburg lace? And pray tell, how did they know that a dust-ruffle for the TUB was *just* what I never knew I always wanted.

Genius. Sheer decorative genius. And all 23 pieces for the low, low price of $39.99.

Get your credit cards ready....

Edited to add: You know I am being sarcastic, right? That this selection of ruffle-vomit is not really my style. And I am thinking also of all the gross molded crap my kids would have stuck and hidden in all the crevices of these velcro beauties the first 20 minutes they were hung up, if indeed they were attached. Pottery Barn e-mailed me this morning and threatened to pull my catalog subscription if I was serious, hence the clarification.

Monday, November 06, 2006

And another.

Sent via cell-phone camera from my friend Bryce. I am wondering if he felt a little strange firing the old camera up in a public restroom.

I am so making a mini-album out of these pictures. Do you think one of the magazines will pick it up? Hahahahahaha!

Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Mmmmm Bacon.

This could very well be the funniest thing I have seen.
Sometimes people are pretty funny, even if by all intents and purposes it is vandalism.
Thanks to my friend Wendy and my *new* friend Wendy's husband Bob--this picture (and a few other less-tasteful ones) pulled me out of my latest funk.

Happy Sunday! I am sluffing church, and trying to catch up on laundry.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pity Party.

I just need to vent a little. So bow out now if you aren't in a listening mood....

I woke up, unable to roll out of bed. I went to the gym yesterday and lifted all these stupid weights, and my whole body feels like it was hit by a mack truck. So much for exercise making you feel all healthy and crap.

My computer crashed. The guy who fixed it, got 'er back up. Came and installed it. Everything looked great. Saved all my old stuff on another drive.

Well, now my computer will not recognize my scanner. Re-installed everything, and it won't work, and I lost the stitching program that went with it.

Plus, a lot of my saved scrapbook pages that I scanned are corrupted. I lost all of my word documents, and had to get a new word processing program---not Word, which will require me to re-learn the whole new program. Can I just mention how long it has taken me to get all my programs learned?!

My iPod wasn't recognized either. Re-installed that. Apparently that wiped my iPod clean. I had to go into the old drive and click and drag every stinking individual song into my current iTunes. I know there is probably an easier way...but I am an old dog, hard for me to "get" a lot of computer things. Needless to say...that took a while.

And I get to the end of the playlists, and it freezes up with an error code, and erases again. I am ready to pack all my CD'd into a box with my iPod and mail it to Apple. "These are the songs I want on this POS...load it." Grrrrr. I think I have it figured, but truly it sucked up my whole morning. I just want things back the way they were.

The mud and tape part of the sheet rock crew came today, two trucks worth of guys. They came in, took a look around, and left. Never came back. WTH?

I thought, geez, maybe a nap will fix things...I lay down, and there is a mother-frickin' FLY, that kept landing on my face.

It's like today....the world hates me.

Then Sam came home from work, and told me how he passed two pretty nasty car wrecks on the way home, and how he was so glad that we were so blessed and healthy.

I threw a wooden spoon at him.

Now I know, there are a lot of bad situations, and I need to just get a grip and be grateful for my life. I need to be more positive like my glass-half-full husband, who...oh wait, SPENT THE WHOLE DAY GOLFING!

I just hope tomorrow is less frusterating or I am hitting a bar.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I'm Back!!!

After a week with no computer or internet..I am back!!

I have felt so lost!

I am still in the process of hooking up and re-installing everything. It stinks, but knock on wood, I didn't lose anything!

The sheet rockers finished up today too. For a minute, I felt something well up inside of me...I think it was excitement, but I quickly squelched it. Given the run of luck I have had lately I am afraid to be excited for fear that something will go wrong or be delayed yet again.

We had the nicest hispanic boys working on the sheet rock. I am truly going to miss them! Each morning Mikayla looked forward to opening the door and saying "Hola!" (Just like Dora the Explorer taught her.) It made her just giggle, and they were so nice to answer her and tell her she spoke very good Spanish. They played Latino music (KD, are you reading this?) and I really like most of it, although I can't understand more than a handful of words. They were very polite and hard working. I am a little sad they are finished.

But, the house looks awesome! The rooms are *rooms*, and aside from the inch of white dust covering every square inch of the house....I am excited!?? Oooo, better squelch that.

In to get kacked in the head with those car-stopper arm thingies.