Saturday, December 30, 2006

Call the fire department!! Cat in a tree!!

So, in my opinion, it's time for the Christmas decorations to come down. I have the time, and I want to get it done! So yesterday, I took down just about everything (and this year, we'll put it ALL in the same section of the attic so it doesn't take two weeks to find it all, get it down and put it up... and none of my kids will see any of their presents. LOL) Today, I got the Christmas Tree box and put my dh to work taking it all down. As he was removing the lights, our new kitty, Shadow, decided it would be fund to climb the tree!
As you can see, by the time I got the camera, he was halfway up the tree. Since my second son, the "owner" of the cat isn't here, I of course took some pics.
What a face. I love his green eyes. He is really adjusting to our group here. If I could only keep our almost 3-year-old from pulling his legs, his tail or kicking him (yes, it's a jealousy thing... doesn't like the attention the cat gets instead of him), we'll be in good shape.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I'm a sucker!

for sales on art supplies, that is!! LOL!! I'm probably a sucker for other things, too, but we won't go there, will we, KATHY!!

Okay, so yesterday I headed out to hit the Target after Christmas sales... picked up a ton of gift bags to use next year, and a cute classic Pooh light-up Christmas tree. I get one new decoration each year after Christmas. I wanted another snow globe (seem to be collecting Christmas snow globes somehow) but didn't think any were cute.

Afterward, headed over to the Scrapbook Junkie (yes, it's really named that!) and of course, picked up some stuff. Love all that stuff by 7gypsies. Tons of stuff on sale, but I was pressed for time, so just got a few things. Can't wait to finish my financial stuff I'm working on (gee, might get my taxes done BEFORE April 15 this coming year!), so I can create more stuff!!

Also want to head over to Hobby Lobby this week, as well as Michaels. I don't usually like M's, but they did mention a few good things in their ad this week. Overall, it's too messy and disorganized (and crowded with stuff, not people) for my taste, as well as having employees that are CLUELESS!

I also need to check out my other fave store, Novel Approach, as I have a $10 off coupon to spend...hehehe!

For those who care, or don't know, I have been doing rubber stamp art since 1989. As a college graduation gift, my friend Susan gave me some stamps, a couple of pads, and some glitter glue as a gift. Then I went to my first DOTS party, then a Stampin' Up party...then discovered this lovely place in Rice Village (in Houston) called "Iconography" that sold stamps... tons and tons of stamps! What a dream it was. I met some other local stampers online in 1995... which led to the formation of a stamping group, which met once a month for a "mom's night out" type meeting to do craft stuff. We even traveled to the Dallas area for stamp conventions once a year. That fell apart in about 1999 when several members moved away. I really miss those days.

When I create more, I'll post here!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Fear Not

I have four boys, the oldest two who are in Martial Arts. My oldest achieved 1st Degree Black Belt status this past August after 5-1/2 years of training. My second son will test this coming July for his 1st Degree Black Belt. After all he's been through, my oldest has suddenly decided that he's afraid to teach. He's afraid that he'll get something wrong. Why? He's excellent at what he does... God gives us all talents, and this is one area where my son is definitely talented. The preciseness, the intensity. It's incredible to me. Why the sudden fear? God tells us in his word that fear of Him is important... those that fear the Lord are blessed. We are to Fear the Lord our God. But fear of other things... there is a correlation between fear and trust. If we trust in God, then we should not fear other things. God will protect us. We are having a hard time convincing our son of this. His duty today is to study his scriptures and find some understanding. He must trust God, trust us as his parents, and trust his teachers (Master Garza and Master Falco) to lead him in the right direction. Ah, just my ponderings for the day.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Random Chatter

I was surfing around this evening, after all the bustle has finally died down. Our youngest would NOT take a nap...too much excitement going on, with Grandma and Grandpa here, and too many fun things to see. We finally got him and his brother down, my second son is playing a game on the computer, and my oldest and husband are watching football. So here I am, surfing around. I found this cool website "The Urban Homemaker". I found it so interesting. We have been working for many years to eliminate all artificial colors, preservatives, flavors, additives, etc. from our diet. We have a large food budget.. partially because of our four boys (read: BIG EATERS) but also because we eat so many organic/whole foods. It would be much cheaper to eat Kraft Mac and Cheese (less than $1.00 a box) instead of Annie's Mac and Cheese ($2.50 a box) but one is fake cheese and artificial color, the other is real cheese and organic pasta. Even better, I make mac and cheese homemade (I use Paula Deen's Recipe... check it out here. Yummo!! (as Rachael Ray would say!!).

Christmas Kitty!

What a busy Christmas day. Not a lot of sleep last night, and now just tons of fun with four kids!! My #2 son already broke the antenna off his new radio (very frustrating), so am hoping we can get that fixed. He got a cat as his "big" gift... named him Shadow. Shadow is a lovely grey kitten we got from a friend. Number one son got a golf bag and driver for his gift along with gloves, balls, tees, and tons of practice whiffle balls. Number three got a "flying turtle" as well as a new tool box with lots of tools to help build his new "work shed" (clubhouse or fort). He and Dad will spend the next two days building that in the backyard. Our littlest guy got a Radio Flyer Little Red Scooter, and a Thomas the Train. I got a new coffee mug, and a huge box of stamp/art stuff from "Fran the Frantic Stamper"!! Whooohooo!! Gotta run and get kiddos ready for bed.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Little Art...

This is a scripture art book I created for my pastor and his wife for Christmas. I was inspired by a sermon series he did on the Fruit of the Spirit, as well as some faith journals and other inspirational items I saw in a new book (I'll post about that another time.)
Here is an inside view of the first page. Each little envelope has a scripture verse inside which pertains to that particular fruit. There is an envelope for each fruit. I had a lot of fun making it, although it was quite a challenge!

Looking forward to Christmas tomorrow. May God rain his blessings down on all of you who read this.


Monday, December 04, 2006

busy days

this past few days have been busy. first we had the holidays, and spent a lovely dinner on turkey day with my friend and her husband and daughter. she cooked a yummy turkey and we had all my favorite fixin's. Then, on Friday, we went to Elm Mott, TX to attend the Homestead Heritage Craft and Children's Fair ( What a fun time we had. So much to do... check out the website.

Sunday, we drove down to Belton to visit our friends Toby and Missy and attend church with them. Toby is the preacher at the Belton church of Christ up there. We had a great time visiting with them and their children. We love just sitting around with friends, visiting. That in itself is a vacation!!

Then it was back home to get back to school before the onslaught of the Christmas holidays.

We did put up lights this year... the first time in a long time. Since Mom's death, Christmas has not been the happiest time for me. I know that's selfish. I should be focusing on our savior and his birth, and what all he has done for us. But that is so hard when I remember all the wonderful things we did with my Mom. It doesn't help that I never see my brother, who lives right here, or my sister, who doesn't talk to me at all. The boys are doing work, but having a hard time concentrating. And we have sooooo many activities, from homeschool parties, to lunches, to extra Martial arts stuff.

I have to go fix lunch now.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy Breakfast!

Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. Life has been busy!

After our walk this morning, my 3rd son announced he wanted pancakes! We had two large ones left from the other morning, and luckily I had saved them. I warmed them up and decorated them for #3 and #4, just like IHOP, so my 2nd son said!

We are having thanksgiving dinner with friends... my birthday is this weekend and we always celebrate my birthday on thanksgiving. I was born on T-day the year I was born... (196...?). Then, Friday, we'll leave to go camping in Waco, and attend the Homestead Heritage Children and craft Festival ( We'll be breaking in our "new" camper (new to us). We had a bear of an "old" one...huge thing, weighed in at 12,000 lbs. fully loaded! This one is 3500 lbs. empty, so should be about 5000 loaded. Much easier to pull. Well drive down to Belton, TX on Sunday to visit some old friends. He is a preacher at the Belton church of Christ.

For my birthday present, I am hoping to go to "Stamp Salado" in Salado, TX and shop. I love to shop in rubber stamp stores!

Time to go fold laundry.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pictures of....

my oldest son. He discovered that my mac laptop has a built in camera. Here's the result.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Homeschool Frustration

Homeschooling can be a frustrating experience. I have four kids, two of which are schooling full time, one of which is learning to read, and one that just is along for the ride. My oldest is barely on grade level, and because of his AS is slightly behind on some subjects. My second is ahead of his peers, doing 8th grade math, 9th grade science, and 9th grade spelling and vocabulary (he's 11, technically 6th grade). I say all this not to brag, but to point out how differently all kids learn and at what different rates they all move. I started both boys in the same science book at the same time. My oldest is just now finishing it (2 years later). My second one is two books beyond, three lessons into biology (also considered a 9th grade subject). He loves to read, and it has helped him excel in his studies.

Today proved to be a frustrating day for #2. He's stayed up LATE reading (without permission) several nights in a row, and now he's paying for it. He is sooooo tired, and very grumpy, and finding it hard to concentrate and decipher his math. Algebra is hard enough, but when your brain doesn't want to think, it's worse. I tell him, if *I* can do this, I KNOW you can (I'm not exactly a math genius, but I have definitely improved since I began homeschooling my kids!). He's so tired, he asked to go to bed at 7 pm! Lucky for him his lego robotics class got cancelled (there was a fire at the studio where it's held), so until another location is found, there isn't any class. So he has that option of going to bed early. Hopefully, he'll get a nap this afternoon, too.

Here's a picture of my 2nd son and his best friend. My son is the one on the left:

Just as a side note, when they were kids (we've known his friend's parents for nearly 20 years...long before any of us even thought of having kids!), everyone thought they were twins. They look alot alike except for one having blond, and one having reddish hair.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I wanted to add some more pictures... I think I am finally getting a handle on this! This first pic, the B&W one, was taken by a friend on a camping trip we took in May. This is my youngest son, who will be three in February.

The second pic is my 3rd son, who is now six. I love that shirt, but unfortunately, I think we left it at the campsite, because it hasn't been seen since! It was so befitting his personality.

I'm Not Shy

Can you tell by the picture below that I'm not shy? My 2nd son can't believe I'd post that pic, but my oldest says "what a great picture, Mom!" I think it's funny, and it reminds me not to be too vain. I'm not a pretty sight to wake up to!!

Now that I can put in pics:
here are some pics of my oldest son...

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He's such a fun chap, eh?

Monday, November 06, 2006

I Hate Being Sick

Woke up this morning with a sore throat, chest congestion, and a cough. Ugh. I hate being sick, and why do the children automatically assume that if Mom is sick, then it's a free-for-all for them? My son (14) asked "Why do I have to get dressed? Why do I have to quit reading Calvin and Hobbes?" I said because you still have school work to do!! Goodness!

On top of this, I have a library informational meeting to take care of this evening. It will be our first. I have a real passion for working with new homeschoolers, and did Smoothing The Way for two years, but the possibility of moving led me to turn my group over to another lady (hi Marci!). So now, since we're NOT moving north like orginally thought, I am going to stay here and work in another capacity. I'll be working with HSCN (Home School Communication Network) to do informational meetings here in the CL area.

Well now I"m feeling better... but not perfect. I think I still have a fever, though. Tomato soup helps a lot. I like the new Campbell soup labels (pink for breast cancer awareness). Am I just too Andy Warhol or what? I always notice strange things like that.

I've been thinking of taking the week of Thanksgiving off from school to organize my crafting/art space. I really want to organize my stamps and make some lists of what all I have. I'm starting to duplicate.

I also want to finish a cool tryptych I started YEARS ago...

Off to get my toddler back inside, it's raining and he's naked....we're potty training.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I got my new copy of Somerset Studio in the mail yesterday. Someday, I'll put myself to the task and actually make something to submit for that magazine. There is so much to admire in there. **SIGH**

Yesterday, I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased a new "scrapbook" (Photo album) to transplant my great-grandparents pictures into. When my grandmother died in 2000, I inherited a ton of pictures, many from the late 1800's (yes good for collage, but copied first), but specifically a photo album that begins with pics from 1917 and ends around 1924. It includes my grandmother's baby photos. I am simply removing them the rotting album and repasting them into the new album. I really don't want to alter it much from what my great-grandmother did... I am cutting out any writing and layering that on acid-free paper so as to not damage anyting any further. Unfortunately, my great-grandmother did not label much (some pictures have very vague identification written on the back) and others have nothing. Funny part is, I have NO idea what my great-grandmother's name is! She was dead before I was born, and my grandmother could not stand her mother, so never talked about her. By the time I was old enough to pay attention, my great-grandpa had remarried, so that was the lady I called "granny". How weird is that?

There are some hilarious pictures though... my great-grandmother in a bathing costume (no bikini's back then!!) frolicking at the beach. I would really like to find more about them. I had never been interested before, but now... I don't even know where to start.

I am finding some cool blogs to read. I'll add them to my blog list as I find them.

I'll take some pics of my art work too and add those here also.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

It's a beautiful day!

God has blessed us with a beautiful November day today. Clear, sunny skies, high in the mid-60's. I love these kind of days. They remind me of so many things in my childhood. On a day like today, my step-dad and my mom would have loaded us up and taking us fishing out on the Texas City Dike. We would fish and crab for hours, running up and down the dike and playing games. It was so much fun.

Today, my husband announced we were going to head off to H&H Music to look at keyboards. They are going out of business, due to some ridiculous law suit. Anyway, we have been wanting to get the kids a weighted-key keyboard, and Nathan (who already plays the violin) wants to learn the piano also. We got a great deal on a Roland HP-1. Under $500! and all their music was 60% off, so I got all the Bastien books I could get... Primer A and B for 5-7 year olds, Primer and Level 1 for 7-11 year olds, and the Level 1 for "Older Beginner Students" (ages 12 and up). I thought I might try to learn more myself. I took two years of piano as a child, but quit (of course) and regret it. problem is, my left pinkie is very weak, so it's hard!! The kids are very excited. This is a big part of their Christmas.

Anywhoo.... I'll snap some pics of the kids soon playing and post them here.

Black Belt training began today for Nathan. He will be testing for his 1st degree black belt next July. Tom got his this past August. Nathan will be going to a class of some kind almost every day. Today, they worked on their "P.R.'s"... their personal records. They ran a 3-mile run, and worked on their sit-ups, push-ups, and other physical fitness essentials. Nathan will be ahead of the other kids, because even though he wasn't getting his belt, he went through all the testing with Tom this past year, so he's ready for this!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Just another day

The past few days have been insane around here, as you can imagine with four boys. My third son is the challenge. He is very strong-willed, and wants everything his way. Lately, I've been battling him for first time obedience. That may seem a bit much, but I believe children should comply when asked to do something, the first time asked. My third son is six, and old enough to understand this. But if it doesn't suit his wants or needs, then he rebels, screaming and whining at the top of his lungs. Discipline of any kind just escalates the matter. Consequential discipline often impacts the whole family (such as him not going somewhere because he misbehaved. Often, it would end up in none of the family going if we did that).

Well, after much advice, we are trying something new, and so far, so good. I am doing everything not to yell. Yes, I am a yeller. We are also trying to phrase things in the positive. Instead of "Get out of here!" we say "Please go in the living room" (thus, instead of telling him what we don't want, telling him what we want). So far, not a fit has been thrown today, and no screaming or whining. We also praise the good behavior enthusiastically!

Off to play around with my blog some more.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Back to blogging

I am new to this blogspot... but have a blog elsewhere, which I cannot figure out! So I am going to try moving it here. Please stay tuned for more. I'll add my old blogs here too.