Wednesday, March 31

Happy Memories...

I know I posted photos of Rainee blowing dandelions before... but I found a few more I hadn't used yet... and I had to scrap them!!! I just love dandelions... hate that they're weeds... but I still make a wish every time I see one...

Anyway for this layout, I used the March Creative Imaginations Sketch and their Summer Fun Collection. When I saw this paper, I fell in love with it... it totally reminds me of summer... I love that it made it so easy to do a quick layout... with all those flags flowing in the background. Too too fun!!!

Tuesday, March 30

What's Your Favorite...

Our challenge at These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things is... What's your favorite TV Show??? I have too many too choose from so I thought I would do what Rainee's favorite show is right now. Months ago I did a Rainee-bear shows layout... It shows all the cartoon shows she has loved for so long... and at that time her then favorite was iCarly... we've seen every show... multiple times. But sometime last summer Rainee watched 'Camp Rock'.... and immediately fell in love with Joe Jonas... she swoons over him every chance she gets... (and of course daddy hates that). I have no idea how many times we've watched that movie, and now can't wait for the sequel this summer. Anyway... when Disney came out with the Jonas Brothers TV Show... Rainee went crazy... She would watch it every week... we use to DVR the show... but it got to the point she wouldn't let me delete any... but now that it's on Netflix... she can watch it whenever she wants to... which is great for the space on the DVR... can you say... yeah Netflix!!!!

I love watching her as she is engrossed in the show... she really gets into it... it's a kick! But, I have to say, my favorite part is when she goes around the house singing the songs from the show... it's sooooooo adorable. The song I love hearing her sing the most is... 'Pizza Girl'.... it's just so darn cute... Thought I'd share with you what I get to listen to most days... and imagine a cute little girl singing it along with them... too too sweet!!!

Now it's your turn.... to show us your favorite TV Show... and you'll have a chance to win one of two prizes this time from "Up the Street Scrapbooking" ! Looking forward to seeing what your favorite TV Show is....

Monday, March 29

Weekly Gratitude...


"It takes a long
time to grow an
old friend."
- by John Leonard

I am grateful for the friends I've had throughout my life... As a child my family moved a lot... but when we finally moved to Garden Grove when I was in the 5th grade, I met friends I still have today. The little group grew in numbers as we entered Jr. High and a few more as we went into High School. But it was our 'lunch bunch'. We ate lunch, shared our adolescent and teen years together. We shared birthdays and holidays... and although our lives took different turns throughout the years... some went off to college, others traveled, a few got married right away and others right into a career. Our 'lunch bunch' may have moved on into our lives from our little corner of High School... but there was always something special about our little group. When I think of those years together, they always bring a smile to my face.

Two here... three there... each of us have kept in contact with someone over the years... and we of course met up at our class reunions... and although it was nice seeing 'everyone' from high school... we didn't have our little 'lunch bunch' alone together to share all that life has brought us... Until last year when Joan's mother was very ill and passed away. Joan started us off with a lunch while she was down from Washington. Some of us were able to come... and some lived too far, some were unable to make it and some we still hadn't found... but it was such a delightful time together, we all wanted a repeat. So over the past year... Joan... our investigating friend... found all but one in our group... and the plan formed to have another lunch this year. As I mention in an earlier post... a few traveled some distance to come and still others were unable to make it... but those of us who were there... enjoyed the others company.

As we ate lunch, each shared the beauty of what life had brought to them. I loved hearing about all the places some had traveled and the careers others have had... or the honor of being a stay-at-home mom... or the beauty of still living in the same house you grew up in. We talked of children with some in college, high school and a few in grade school. We shared about our families, our parents and siblings... It was delightful to hear how life had unfolded for each life. None the same, each one different and beautiful.

The thing I found most interesting was how our lives together in school until were were 18, is less than all the years we've been away... it's been 32 years since we were in high school. We may not see each other every day, the way we did in our 'lunch bunch', but we still care about one another... we still have this thing in common... our friendship. Old friends sharing all the delightful memories of your past... and after lunch... we were all in agreement that we would like to keep this going... once a year. So I look forward to what the year may bring... and to be able to share it with my old friends.

I do believe friendship is a treasure... once shared it is never forgotten and although years may pass... that something which drew you together, is the something which makes it last no matter how many years go by.... or how long it is between visits.

Today I shared about my old friends... but I am grateful for all my friends. I am grateful for the friends who have touched my life throughout the years.... old, new and my online friends who I have yet to meet... I have been blessed with beautiful friendships... and I am grateful.

"The better part of one's life consists of his friendships." - Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, March 28

George Is In The House.... & He's Curious...

Rainee's teacher has a super-star student every day... and along with being a super-star, they get to take home Curious George....

Well, he came for a visit a few weeks ago... Rainee was the first to take him home... and boy did we have some tears when she had to give him back... She loves Curious George... it was just for an over night... and let me tell you... now I'm on the hunt for a Curious George just like him....

Anyway... this time she was the lucky person to have him for the whole weekend... how lucky are we to have him in our home for 3 days... pretty lucky!!! She takes such good care of him... and takes him everywhere... so I just had to share a couple of photos of his latest visit with us... I think his favorite thing is getting hugs from Rainee... I know it's my favorite too!!!

Have a lovely Sunday...

Friday, March 26

Happy Birthday...

Yesterday was Rainee's teacher, Mrs Baguyo's, birthday... and some of us moms got together with the kids and planned a little birthday party for her...

First you have to know... her favorite color is blue... and every time she sees anyone wearing it or sees anything that has to do with blue... she always says... "You know blue is my favorite color!"... So when it came to deciding what to do for her birthday... we decided to do it all about blue! We had the kids wear blue shirts... each kid got blue beads... there were blue napkins, plates & blue balloons... they had blue drinks & blue cupcakes... and we sent home a blue card for each kid to decorate and give to her! So everything... was her favorite color... blue!

She didn't know we were doing any of this... so when all the kids got in line to go to class... she saw the first shirt... and said... "You're wearing blue... you know that's my favorite color!"... then as she looked down the line... she saw that each kid was wearing blue... she said... "You are all wearing blue... My eyes are going to be so happy all day looking at all this blue... because you know.... blue is my favorite color!" And when she said 'blue' all the kids joined in... it was priceless!

As for the party... a couple of moms came and helped me get everything set up for their snack time... we had the table set, balloons behind each kids place... it looked like a kids birthday party... too cute!!! When it was snack time and she opened the door... she was surprised... and the look all the kids faces when they was all the balloons... it was so cute watching all their faces as they realize everything was blue!!! After they calmed down... they sang Happy Birthday... and I of course, had to have each kid take a picture with Mrs. Baguyo (bet you know what I'll be doing with all those pictures - - lol!)... it was a delightful little party... for a wonderful teacher!!!

Happy Birthday... Mrs. Baguyo!

Weekend? Mine? Filled up... Saturday, I'm having a scrap night at my home with friends from my old job... which I'm hoping to get lots of scrapping done... I have several pages I want done... so we'll see if that happens. Then on Sunday, I'm going to lunch with High School girlfriends... some are coming from Washington, Oregon, Las Vegas, Northern California... very excited... I haven't seen some of them in years. I'm very excited!!! It's going to be a very full weekend... but a fun one... hope yours is fabulous... Until next week... enjoy!!

Wednesday, March 24

Welcome To Grenville

More pictures from South Dakota. It was late spring, everything was blooming and green... and on one of our many little drives, seeing deer everywhere was0 one of Rainee's most favorite memories! She gets so excited when she sees our deer pictures... she starts talking about how many we saw... how some got scared and ran away... and there were others who just stood there looking at us to see what we were going to do. It's such a delight to hear her talk about our trip.

I have to tell you a little about Grenville... this is where my father was born and worked the farm with his 6 other siblings. He now lives 6 miles away, in a retirement home. Anyway... Grenville is very small, give or take about 50 people, I believe, it's about 100 people in all. They have a beautiful old church, a cemetery where my father's family rests. It has a bar and a couple of hunting/fishing lodges (one/two room places)... and that's it. A hand full of people live 'in town' and the rest live on the surrounding farmland. It has beautiful lakes with great fishing, rolling hills and miles of country roads just begging for you to take a walk. It's beautiful...

As for this layout... I used the Imaginisce fun Twitterpated Collection and their March sketch. Rainee fell in love with all those cute little animals... and so did I. They are so perfect for a springtime layout... and go so well with my South Dakota pictures! Too too fun!

Don't forget you still have time to enter you creations to possibly win a fabulous giveaway at... A Few Of My Favorite Things... at... Creative Imaginations Card and Layout Sketch... at Imaginisce March Sketch... can't wait to see what you come up with... you never know you might just win!!! Well, that's it for today... hoping yours is beautiful!

Monday, March 22

Weekly Gratitude...

Laughter. There isn't a day that goes by our home isn't filled with the wondrous sound of laughter... I love hearing it... when Rainee plays with her dad... trys to tickle mommy... when Rainee plays with Champ... or laughs at something funny on television. Whether you know what the other is laughing about or not, laughter makes another person smile... laughter can be contagious... if you let it.

Laughter shouldn't be contained... it's what I love about listening to Rainee's... it's spontaneous... joyful... full of life... intoxicating... it's pure happiness. There is always plenty of it every day around here... but this week... those blissful moments were caught in many different places... when Molly came over for breakfast and they laughed over doggie pancakes... on St. Patrick's Day, while her class looked for the mischievous leprechaun around school... to hear their laughter and excitement, was such a treat to watch... then there were the giggles she made while making her own little leprechaun trap... and when our potatoes turned green, it was priceless... what a mischievous little guy he is! And how can I leave out the roar of laughter as she played on the bouncer at a birthday party with her friends... All this delightful laughter... makes a heart happy!

So this week I'm thankful the little extraordinary moments that envelopes our home with laughter. They are bliss. I hope your day... your week... is filled with the joys and delightful sound of laughter...

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter. ~ E.E. Cummings

Thursday, March 18

Ready 2 Ride + More...

Rainee has been 'ready to ride' ever since her dad brought home his Harley.... me on the other hand... want her to be bigger, because she's so small I'm afraid she'll fall off... so for now the closest she gets to riding is sitting on it or wearing her dad's helmt and gloves. I love these photos of her... but just didn't know what I wanted to do, because I couldn't find any motorcycle stickers I liked. So instead of continueing to look, I scanned and printed a HD logo... and the motorcycle license plates - I found on the internet and did some fun artsy Photoshop work to it... all in all I like how both turned out. I'm happy I was able to finally do something with these adorable photos of Rainee... I love that she's the cutest Harley Chick I've every seen... all 'ready 2 ride'... too too sweet.

This next layout is from the sketch Sarah's Red Oak Lines posted for Imaginisce, and I loved it... so, I just had to scrap it. I looked everywhere in my stash of stuff and couldn't find one Imanginisce thing... you know what that means... shopping!!! But I haven't had much time... so this is what I ended up doing it with things I already had.. I love this sketch, I turned it on it's side... but I just love how it come out.

You know what is so nice about left overs??? Making cards... and here's what I turned some of mine into... this card is made the Creative Imaginations Card Sketch I created earlier this month. I would love to see your card... You still have time to upload your card onto the CI gallery and you never know you just might win their fabulous prize!!!

Well I guess that's it for today... I'll see you soon... have a lovely lovely day!!!

Wednesday, March 17

Happy St. Patty's Day...

Every year Steve tells me how wonderful the St. Patty's menu at the Yardhouse... and every year it passes me by. Well, this year I wasn't about to let it go by without getting to try something. So because I'm helping with Rainee's St. Patrick's Day party today, we celebrated with the Shepherds Pie.... and boy was it delicious. It was so large I just had to get a photo of! It was nice to finally savor what he's been talking about for all these years... yum!

Whatever you do today... be safe, wear your green and watch out for those leprechauns and that pot of gold...
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

P.S. Oh and one more thing I forgot to share... the waitress asked me for my I.D. when I ordered a green beer with my lunch... boy did that make my day...I haven't been carded in years... she got an extra large tip for making my day!!!

Monday, March 15

What's Your Favorite...

Our challenge at These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things is... What's your favorite drink? My favorite drink? Well if you read my Weekly Gratitude this week, you know, I'm grateful for coffee... so on that note my favorite drink must have something to do with coffee. And it does. On the first date with my husband we met for drinks. I don't drink often... and ordering is not something I know much about.... so Steve knowing I like coffee (remember we met at Starbucks), he ordered this for me... A Nutty Irishman! Silly name I know... but oh so delicious. And now, every winter we enjoy a cup, whenever we can, by the fire and remember our first date... and our first Nutty Irishman together.

So, what's your favorite drink? Coffee? Tea? Lemonade? Root beer? Whatever it is... show us your favorite on a card, a scrapbook layout or any kind of project you'd like... share it at These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things... and you have to see what the design team did with their favorite drinks... they really are something. Oh and now for a little bit of happiness... I'm giving away the prizes for this challenge... the winner will receive this from me...


Weekly Gratitude...

Coffee. When I was a child I loved the smell of coffee brewing in our home. It meant one of two things... My dad's, good morning coffee... or... it was my dad's coffee break. But even with that rich wondrous smell enveloping our home... I couldn't stand the taste.

So it's very odd to me now that it is liquid joy to me now. I don't even know when I started drinking it.... but somewhere along the way... I have come to adore not only the smell of it... but the pure pleasure it brings to my day.... is indescribable. I love coffee. I guess you could say... like father like daughter.

It may seem a bit odd to be grateful for this... lovely brown liquid... but, it is on some days, what gets me up in the morning... and what keeps me going when I've had a bad nights sleep... and it is by far, the perfect combination with homemade goodies... ummm... anything from zucchini bread to chocolate cookies! It's also one of three parts to my favorite coffee drink... A Nutty Irishman.... Coffee, Bailey's & Frangellico. Coffee, holds special childhood memories of my dad... and how could I forget... coffee is the reason I go to Starbucks... and Starbucks is where I met my husband... you could say coffee has played an intricate part in changing my life. Because if I didn't like coffee I wouldn't have gone to Starbucks... and wouldn't be living the life I have with Steve & Rainee...

Yes, to me, it has a delightful flavor, but it also is central to many wonderful memories in my life. So, thank you for the pleasure you bring... for the memories you've brought to my life... and for the times you've helped me get through a day!!! I think I'll go enjoy a cup...

Sunday, March 14

What's Cooking Sun{day}...

I'd bought too much zucchini for dinner the other night so I decided to make the best Zucchini Bread. It has got to be one of my all time favorite bread recipes with walnuts & chocolate chips... how could it not be wonderful. When I worked for the LA Times, every week I looked forward to the Food Section.... they always have such amazing recipes... as for this one is one, I'm always so happy I clipped it out...

BUT..... this time something happened. Still haven't figured it out, but after about 10 minutes of baking, I could smell something burning. I thought... it just can't be my Zucchini Bread, I just put it in... but I checked anyway. A few drops had overflowed and were burning on the bottom of my oven... so just on the off chance something might happen, I put a cookie sheet under the bread. I then left it alone to bake and when I went to take it out of the oven... this is what I found... LOL!!!

I just had to show you... Rainee and I couldn't stop laughing... Rainee said it looked like doggie food... which made us laugh even more. I still can't believe it... what a crack up!

I've made this hundreds of times & this has NEVER EVER happened. Weird. So if you dare to try this delicious recipe, you won't be disappointed. I promise you will love it! But after this last batch... I'd beware of overflowing batter! lol!!!

I Loaf Zucchini Bread
3 eggs
1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
3/4 Cup + 3 Tbsp. Applesauce
1 1/2Cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Zucchini - unpeeled & grated
2 Cups Flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 Cup chopped Walnuts
3/4 Cup Chocolate Chips

• Preheat oven at 375º
• Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and cloves in a separate bowl and set aside.
• Beat eggs, oil, apple sauce, sugar and vanilla until light and thick.
• FOLD in Zucchini.
• Gradually FOLD in flour mixture into the zucchini and egg mixture.
• FOLD in nuts and chocolate chips.
• Pour in a prepared 9x5 loaf pan. Bake at 375º until toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
• Cool on rack.

Thursday, March 11

Star Wars...

If you know Rainee at all you know she's a tom-boy... when Rainee was born, we didn't want her to be raised by a babysitter... we wanted her to have a parent home caring for her... so because my job was a day job.... Steve could work as a bartender on the evening shift... you can see how she became a tom-boy... always around daddy... doing guy things with him all day, every day... it was inevitable... as the years have gone on there are glimpses of her girly side... but not much...

So, when it came time for me to do a Star Wars mini book for Creative Imaginations... I had a wonderful collection to work with... but I also had pictures to go along with it... it was such a delight to put this together... and when it was finished, I decided I needed to make one just for her... because I want her to remember her tom-boy-ish times in her life... because they are special... and this is a wonderful way to make it special.

If you have a boy or a tom-boy like me... who loves Star Wars... Creative Imaginations has a wonderful collection you have to check out!!! Anyway... that's it for today... Be back tomorrow with something... I don't know about you but I'm... So Happy It's Thursday... have a great one!!!

Tuesday, March 9

You Make Me Laugh...

I was looking through some photos and realized I still have several Creative Imaginations CHA projects and layouts I haven't shown you... I just loved this one...

I used the Bare Elements, Jamie Ribbon Frame along with Helen Dardik's new - It's A Zoo Collection... I had such fun with this collection.. this was one of my favorite projects... I just love all those animals peeking over the edge of the paper... and those monkeys... well... it went perfect with this photo of Rainee from our trip to the Wild Animal Park... my little monkey!! She certainly does make me laugh!!! Anyway... that's it for today... I'll see what I can find for tomorrow...

Laughter is an instant vacation. ~Milton Berle

Monday, March 8

Weekly Gratitude...

Kindness. If you look for it, you can find kindness all around you... kindness can come in many forms... a note... help coming unexpectedly... a door being opened when your arms are full... dinner brought home when you didn't want to cook... it can even be as simple as a smile... it's something so easily passed on if we only take the time to do it.

For me the kindness I see in my daughter sometimes amazes me... it makes my heart happy... it can even make me cry. My little Rainee has always been a friendly, happy, kind child, who after meeting someone instantly says... this is my friend. Over the last several weeks it's her kindness I'm grateful for this week.

With Rainee's move into a different Kindergarten class, she again had to make friends... which by the end of the first day.... she had several. But it's been over the last several weeks... her kind heart has again reached out... it reached out to a boy who didn't have any friends, who played by himself and seems to be a very sad child. Since I've worked in the class I had only seen him slightly smile... once. He's always played by himself.... until one day Rainee complimented him on his jacket and he brightened up. Rainee started playing with him and she would tell me what a nice time they had together... and what a nice boy he is. Then one day, she told me she wanted to play with her other friends too, but she didn't want to leave the boy alone... so I told her to try to include him, bring him over with the others, show him he can have more than one friend. Since doing that, his whole world has change. He really enjoys playing with Rainee (he's her favorite), but he now has other friends and plays with them when Rainee is off playing with other friends. With this change in his life... because of Rainee's kindness and all of his new friends... he is smiling more and participating in class.

His father pulled me aside the other day to tell me how thankful he is for Rainee's kindness... for her helping his son to be included with all the other kids... and what a change he's seen in his son. I was touched by the compliment he gave my daughter.

It's wonderful to see change in someone life, when kindness is handed to them. She brings such happiness to our lives, but this... this is one very precious act... by being kind, she changed a life. So kindness is what I'm grateful for today... I am deeply blessed by her simple act of kindness... and reminded how, by showing kindness to others... change happens.

Saturday, March 6

Exciting CI Sketch News...

I'm very excited to announce... starting this month, I will be the featured designer for Creative Imaginations Monthly Card Sketch. I am really delighted for this lucky happening!! Plus... each month a lucky winner will receive a generous prize package!!! Yeah prizes!!!

So start by going over to the Creative Imaginations blog, for the details on how you can enter
either (or both) the Card Sketch or the Layout Sketch! Now you have 2 two chances to win!! Gotta love that!!!

Also... here's the Layout Challenge Lori created for this month:

I love the horizontal strips going through the page drawing you into the photos... I can't wait to get creative with this one! You've got 'til the end of the month.... hopefully, you'll get a chance to play along with us with these sketch challenges!! Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!!!

Friday, March 5

Lazy Days Together...

When we bought this house, last April, we were so excited about having a pool. It's such a refreshing treat, on a hot hot hot summer day... to take a dip and cool off. Steve complains about how much work it is... but when push comes to shove... he love it... we all do!

In this layout, it's one of those lovely lazy days spent by the pool... Rainee splashing Champ to cool him off... and Champ loving every drop. It's fun to watch them... it's delightful to hear her giggles and Champ barking for more... it's such a kick to view their goings-on... gotta love it... and of course... gotta scrap it... lol!

Thursday, March 4

Skipping Rocks...

There were so many moments on our trip to South Dakota that were special... I can't believe how many photos I still have to scrap... I need to get cracking...

Anyway... few posts ago, I shared in the Break Time layout we skipped rocks on the Missouri River... well, here is a layout doing just that.... skipping rocks...

While at the park, we saw some awe-inspiring trees... and when you looked up at them you couldn't help but take a pictures of their beauty. Originally, I took the picture to remember its greatness... but when I was doing this layout I was inspired to use it as part of my background... so I printed an 8x10 and cut it to a size that would work for my layout. It's a different technique using a photo... I'll have to see if there are any other photos I can use for backgrounds in my layouts.... I kinda like how it turned out...

Wednesday, March 3


Rainee is 17 years younger than her brother... Austin. When she was born... he was so excited to have a sister... and one thing he worried about was, if they would have a relationship??? And is mom said... You can have any kind of relationship you want... it's up to you... you're the big brother...

And over the years it's been so nice to see how their relationship has grown. No matter how long it's been since they've seen each other... days, a week or even a month... Rainee runs to him... and their time begins. She adores her brother... she can't wait to see him. And well, Austin... he dotes on her... they have a remarkable relationship... and there many more years ahead for it to bloom... It's pleasing to see them together...

Anyway... in this photo, Austin came out from Orange County to see us for the day... Rainee was so excited to spend time with her brother... we could barely eat lunch, cuz she wanted to play with him in the pool... and they did... they played... boy did they play... and if you know a 5 year old, you know they have energy to spare... so when Austin was in serious need of a break... Rainee wasn't all that thrilled, but got out too and then... the two of them layed in the sun... telling secrets... it was such an amazing moment... This layout isn't just about the moment, it's about how a relationship can bloom at any age... if you decide you want it... and it's beauty.

Tuesday, March 2

Enjoying Time Together...

I've been going through some photos I've printed but haven't done anything with... and when I saw this one I was reminded of what a beautiful October day it was... I was getting ready to go see my dad in South Dakota, for the first time since he moved there... and it was going to be my first time away from my family for longer than a few hours... so it was a big deal, us doing something together.

Steve decided since it was such a bright sunny day, we should go to the beach... it wasn't warm enough for swim suits, but it was warm enough to build a sand castle. This is something Rainee and I do every time we go to the beach... it's our thing to do... we get full of sand and of course we can't help but get wet... our sand castles don't last for long... but the memory is so fresh, full of laughter and fun... together.

So when I saw this picture I wanted to remember, not just this moment but also all the other times we've made our sand castles together... it really is my favorite part about going to the beach, plus I know once she gets older, she'll be spending time with her friends and not making sand castles... so I had to make this as a reminder of how very special those times together are, to me.

Monday, March 1

Weekly Gratitude...

Thankful for this man. Today is a very appropriate day to be grateful for him, today is our 7th wedding anniversary!

I'm thankful God put him in my life. I'm grateful that he is a loving and devoted, husband and father. Being a bartender, he is constantly faced with temptation by the people he interacts with daily. Yet he is determined to be faithful, committed to not let the nonsense around him, cloud or distract him from what really matters... our marriage and family. I think in society today, it's a personal choice and I know it takes great heart to be those things. He tells others of how happily married he is and reminds them of what he has waiting for him at home. I love how he can't wait to get home to see us... be with us... how we are his joy, his priority. Being loving and devoted to our marriage and family is something he puts first. Thank you for all you do and for loving us so much... it overwhelms me.

Happy Anniversary, Steve... I love you & I look forward to what lies ahead...

Yet in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Rom 8:27