{ Adornit Beginner Basics }

Happy New Year's Eve - a good day for cleaning up and looking back. Here's my December post that was on the Adornit blog. If you want to make a 'year in review' layout for your family, go to the Adornit Gallery here for complete step-by-step instructions.



Since 2009 is almost over, I decided to do a scrapbook layout that reviews the past year. What a trip down memory lane! I enjoyed every minute of looking at photos, reading my journal, and writing up a monthly digest of 2009. I made a double-page layout with my journaling on one side and the photo grid on the other. Using Adornit’s recently released Lapreal Collection made my project a success. I used only two patterned papers - but they were easy to use and so pretty; I think I’ll use them again and again in other layouts. The paper on both sides is Plum Daisies. The accent paper is Lapreal Motif.

Being a beginner (of four years lol), I like to keep my layouts simple and quick! So I always reach for Adornit’s nicely-designed cardstock stickers. For this project, I used the sticker set called Family Heritage from Adornit’s new Family Heritage collection.

I also used a variety of sticker/journaling spots from two different sets: Family Moments and Together.

I spelled the words Raymond Family with Adornit’s Flirtatious Tiny Alphabet Stickers.

All of these stickers are so nicely designed that the layouts came together easily. And there are lots of stickers left that I can use on more projects-which I plan to do.

Looks like 2010 will be a good scrapping year!



{ collecting joy }

Joy to the Grandma...
Baby Emmett has come (to visit)!

This little guy - he can steal my heart in a minute. At ten weeks old, he's smiling and cooing and spreading love wherever he goes. I collect JOY and he's my best addition.
(Another special NEW item in my Joy Collection is the pillow that says, "Take Joy." Someone left that on my porch, and if you read my blog, I'd like to say a sincere thanks. It brought tears to my eyes. (There's a back story.)


what, I have a blog???

I guess one of the ways I "cut the crazy" was by not going near the computer for several days before and after Christmas. Now there's time to record some memories and indulge in writing my thoughts.

Ahhhh - I love the week after Christmas. The knot in my stomach is mostly gone and the unread Christmas letters are finally read and relished. I enjoy getting Christmas letters from family and friends and read through them quickly when they come, then set them aside so I can re-read them later when I have time to study the words and pictures. Even though I like Facebook, and I enjoy e-cards, I appreciate the luxury of sitting down with a letter in hand - smiling at the pictures of my friends, their kids and grandkids.

Today I was cleaning my kitchen and thinking of the many times in the past month that I cleaned that kitchen in a HUGE HURRY. I mean if there had been a video of me literally running from the kitchen to my bedroom to the laundry room, it would have been quite comical. Max (our dog) would get so excited because he thought that I was playing with him, and he'd chase after me...which drove me crazy.

I had three parties here - my sewing friends on Dec. 2, Scott's office employees the week before Christmas, and then dinner (with a big crowd) on Christmas Day. Mike had a few informal gatherings too. There's always that unavoidable rush right before the guests arrive. You know, when you dump the sink full of dirty dishes right over the top of the clean dishes in the dishwasher and deal with it later. I'm not complaining - since I have room in my house for lots of people, I like to have events here and hopefully treat them to a nice time.

My gratitude is deep after a wonderful Christmas celebration. We loved having Suzie and Winston here for a whole week. We loved having the grandkids here and so appreciate that Santa finds them at our house and their parents go to the effort of hauling gifts back and forth. We gathered all my extended family together for a party at my sister's house on the Sunday before Christmas...including my brother Gary & Lesa from Japan. We had Scott's family here on Christmas Day and it was so fun to play games with aunts, uncles, cousins.

I just want to give credit to my kids for being so great - getting along beautifully, taking such good care of each other and their kids (my precious grandkids), and jumping in to help when they saw a need. And Scott - I love him beyond words. He goes with the flow, cares about everything I care about, and works extra hard to make it all possible.


Mike-ie likes it!

I found these Cadbury candies at the grocery store and bought a bag for Mike - he's always loved the Cadbury Mini Eggs and these are the same thing only for Christmas. He likes them. (He's hoarding the bag.) He doesn't have to worry about me stealing them; I call them Cadbury Ickies. I never liked the Easter candy either. I'm just an M & M's girl.

I quickly Googled to find an image for my blog and found this cute "candy review blog" and laughed as I read what the blogger wrote about the candy. I knew I liked her when she called them Cadbury Thingies. She made some good points...

"Irritatingly enough they couldn’t be bothered to name them. The package says Cadbury Solid Milk Chocolates with a Crisp Sugar Shell. What the? You call that a name? How about Christmas Cadberries?"

I was hoping they’d be just like the Mini Eggs. I opened the package and they smelled similarly inviting, like sugar and cocoa. But the colors, oh, they colors are just off. I don’t know if the photo above conveys it. They look like pencil erasers. Kind of chalky, not quite pastel, not quite vivid. Inconsistent, bumpy and just weird.

On the tongue they’re familiar. Soft and slightly cool, the shell is crisp and crunchy. The milk chocolate inside is a little tangier than the last time I had these. I was terribly disappointed to see that they have PGPR in them as well (bad transfat).

It’s odd how quickly my feelings can change, I have a hard time believing this is a bad bag. It might be the different colors or the PGPR (that could be in the Easter version for all I know) but they’re just not the same. I can’t give these more than a 6 out of 10 (the taste is okay but they sure don’t look tempting).

I gave you her whole review because I think it's so entertaining what people are "into" and how they sincerely pursue their interest.


Derek's graduation & my mom's 80th birthday

This snowy Saturday started with a wonderful event - my nephew's graduation from USU. The cold didn't even matter - our hearts were warm because of Derek's (and Nikki's) happiness.

At the beginning of the graduation, the basketball arena was filled with the sounds of a complete bagpipe band.

This is Nikki and her Dad - waiting for the ceremony to begin.

The day continued with a birthday dinner for my mom's 80th birthday. It was lovely - we had it at the Beehive Grill in Logan - good food and great venue.

My mom and my sister Merilee wearing the colors we love to wear. Mer took lots of mom's old scrapbook photos, scanned them, printed them as 8x10s, framed them, and placed them on the tables and around the room. (Mom has a fabulous scrapbook with 60-year old-photos that look perfect - a testament to good old-fashioned film.)

Tyler Stevenson, mom's youngest grandchild - with Mer's son and husband Zach and Val.
My mom and her sister Nadine Woodhead. They came from Salt Lake City - almost didn't make it because of the HUGE snowstorm. We were so glad they could come!

The three new great-grandkids. Derek and Avrie, Becky and Emmett and Craig and Sophie.
These two granddaughters of Mom, Michelle and Arika, were great helpers setting up and taking care of things. Michelle and Arika. Just so cute and pleasant. Michelle and her hubby Matt are awesome with Mom and Dad - helping them with things around their house and other stuff constantly. We all appreciate them.

We decorated with red, white and gold - it was beautiful.
I'm including this picture because it's so good of mom - and it's a rare (I mean very rare) view of the back of my head with my hair looking good. I'm very serious about this. This photo makes me happy.

Two cute little cousins - Avrie and Sophie - actually their parents are cousins.

Mom gave a very nice little thank-you speech. We sure missed those who couldn't be with us...Gary, Lesa and Kyle in Japan, Elder Brett in Japan and all the other cousins.


+ favorite book +

Today was one of my favorite days of the month - Book Club day. It's a pleasure to gather with women I admire and discuss a book each month. Today was not such a pleasure because I had to give the review - but I love the book - and so it was a time of reading favorite passages and sharing impressions.

If you haven't read Sue Bender's books, just stop what you're doing and click here for Everyday Sacred and here for Plain and Simple. When you finish, there is a third book called Stretching Lessons. I can wholeheartedly recommended these books for any woman - especially "older women" (although I LOVED Plain and Simple when it was published in about 1990 and I was young - twenty years younger). If you're thinking gifts, you can order from Amazon and get these books in time for Christmas! The books are beautiful outside too - the covers are appealing and there are drawings inside that go with the text to add a bit of delight.

Everyday Sacred, A Woman's Journey Home was the book I reviewed today. It's full of wisdom and life-learning examples from Sue Bender's life. She is a writer and a maker of pottery. She tells of her personal journey to find joy in everyday tasks. She shares examples of people around her who taught her valuable lessons.

She uses the image of an empty bowl as a symbol to illustrate what she is seeking. She tells how she learns to go forward each morning with a (metaphoric) empty bowl which is then filled throughout the day with whatever is given her - and she is grateful for it. The bowl reminds her to be generous, both to others and to herself. The bowl reminds her to not try to be perfect. It reminds her to start each day afresh and find, at the end of the day, that commonplace people and tasks have made the day sacred. Everyday Sacred.

Some things that rang true to me:

A quote by Helen Keller. "I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble."

"Begin a generosity practice. Including being generous with yourself."

"Expectations become definitions."

"To really listen you need a certain amount of relaxation and ease. Don't be so busy asking questions and getting ready to speak that you can't hear what is being said."

"Good deeds have echoes."

The book also suggested that SMALL THINGS can mean the most. I hope to remember that as I go through the next couple of weeks. There are people I need to visit, who don't need a gift, except the gift of attention and love.



Yesterday we were HERE - in St. George, Utah. (It's a city about 330 miles to the south of where we live in Logan; it's in the southern part of Utah, near Zion National Park.) It was warm enough for us to take a short hike and for Pitt, Becky and Scott to do a little rock climbing.

Suzie and Winston came from Las Vegas - about a 1.5 hour drive. It was so fun to have our two daughters and their husbands with us. This photo while we were wandering on a trail through a gorgeous red rock area. Suz and Winston are goofing off for Scott's ever-present camera.

Pitt (Becky's hubby) had more serious business on his mind - he's a rock climber and those red cliffs were calling. Pitt is ready to go up the face of this rock while Becky holds the rope. I don't know the technical terminology - I just call it amazing!

Pitt on his way up. Look at that blue sky!

And for some real excitement, Pitt helped Scott rock climb - his first time! Scott loved it. This is Scott climbing.


Suzie and Debbie waiting.

It was also a special weekend because it was Suzie's first time to see her new nephew, Becky's baby Emmett. My parents, who have been there for the past month, also got to meet the new baby.

And then we came home. A seven hour drive yielded this reward: Snow on the ground. Winds blowing 40 mph. Temperature 20 degrees - with the wind chill...minus 14. What a contrast. Almost makes me cry.


Yule Moon

I have been rushing around getting my house decorated and other things done, but fortunately I've been forced to pause (by Scott who notices things I don't and always has his eye on the sky) and look at the moon. Have you noticed how full it is, and beautiful?

There are various names for the moon in December. It's called the Yule Moon, the Cold Moon or the Long Nights Moon.

The Farmers Almanac says, "
During the month of December the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun."

To see the moon at its most amazing, see it in the early morning. Get up early - at dawn - when the sky is starting to get blue, but the sun is not yet up. (Because of the long night, it's not that early.) At 6:45 this morning the sky and moon were magnificent!

(This post is on my Cut the Crazy blog too. Painting by Tasha Tudor - one of my favorites!)