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December 2013
Next month:
February 2014

eagle scout project.


I'm hoping to have enough photos and stories to have enough for an entire event album just for their Eagle Scout - Eagle Scout project. If I make them in 12 x 12 pages, keeping a nice white border I'll be able to upload them to Blurb or Artifact Uprising and make individual books.

Journaling meetings and events will be important for both the boys during their Eagle Scout projects and for me documenting their road to Eagle Scout.

friday finds | 01


Make this. Oh my! How fun is this???

Eat this. I love finding new recipe blogs to follow. Especially with yummy foods like this Philly Cheesesteak Soup that I'm dying to try.

Wear this. Beautiful. Please, may I. Pretty please.

Scraplift this. Studio Calico has some seriously talented designers.

Live this. Always on the lookout for amazing words to apply to my life.

Read this. Definitely, on my list of new books to read this year. The author is coming to Savannah in March - just might have to go see her.

Document this. Pink Ronnie has an amazing series, along with Paislee Press, called Documenting the Hour. And I so want to jump on board - say once a month - to keep it doable. It's such a creative way to document life.

Honey Do this. A Mason Jar chandelier is high on my list of something I'd love Jeff to make for me. Stagecture is an all-around drooling sight to find a plethora of - finds.

Tote this. And travel with this. My daughter Elizabeth got me this camera bag from the amazing company Jo Totes and I can't wait to take it with me on my trip to San Antonio in less than two weeks.

Want this. This would make scrapbooking life super easy: 52 Gratitudes - done and printed if I had this baby. Kids' Recipe Book - up-to-date in a snap if I had this baby. Make a traditional scrapbook page - maybe - if I had this baby.

Friday Finds is a new series on my blog.







looking back | top ten


< one >

From Week 8, 2013: I loved the photos, the stories, and the simple colors of the pages - black and white with few embellishments; just the way I like it.

< two >

From Week 10, 2013: I loved that I changed up templates. I adore the big photo divided among the smaller photos. Great way to complete a week of few photos yet still capture some of that week.

< three >

From Week 14, 2013: Gotta say my favorite part of this week was the center 3 x 4 journal cards I created using various raw textured papers: bricks, woods, and kraft.

< four >

From Week 13, 2013: Definitely my favorite part of Week 13 is the uniform journal cards across the middle, and the repetitive, color-coordinated embellishments.

< five >

From Week 4, 2013: I love this color combination and the various ways I added journaling (along with those colors).

< six >

From a week in September, 2013: I loved working with one digital kit and the bright colors was a nice change. Of course, my favorite part of this page was the matching journaling cards for each day of the week across the center.

< seven >

From Week 17, 2013: I love the vintage feel of these pages, the burnished gold, and woods. Just love it!

< eight >

From Week 24, 2013: My favorite part of this page set is definitely the titles across the photos along with a smaller- sized journaling for each photo, and the use of black and white.

< nine >

From Week 31, 2013: Journaling for every photo + lots of photos; I also love the repetition of the left side and then the repetition of the right side and how they both go together so well.

< ten >

From Week 33, 2013: BIG TITLES! Love them still. I'll definitely repeat this process in 2014.

It was so much fun flipping through 52 Weeks of Project Life 2013 and picking out my favorite 10 pages. When I was saving the weeks I hadn't planned necessarily on just a top ten but when I was done I'd hit 10 favorites. There are tons of pieces of these pages that I'll be repeating in 2014 because they are classic, clean and simple ways to bring wow to my pages.










52 gratitudes | 5

Probably one of my most favorite projects of 2013 that I'm carrying into 2014. It is such a wonderful exercise to find a photo, pick a story, and just be grateful to God. It really keeps me FOCUSED on gratitude.

We all met with the operator of Hoofs 4 Healing, a non-profit Equestrian service for the handicap and wounded warrior community, to discuss John and Jarrod's impending Eagle Scout projects and solidify a couple of things. It was a really productive, fruitful meeting, but opened up a list of more questions, and to-dos also.


a day in the life.


For my first, a day in the life, I did horribly. I didn't journal like I wanted to and I certainly didn't get everyday photos like I wanted to. I was inspired by Lee to complete a monthly a day in the life this year which, for me, will be added into my Project Life 2014 album, and I will not be deterred by my poor showing this first month. I will prevail. I will overcome. I will journal. I will take pictures. (Imagine me pumping my arm in the air with each alliteration).

My intention was not to journal routine but our day for that day but, that is where my journaling failed. I'll do much better next month. I used, for this month, two different Cathy Zielske 6 x 12 templates. I'll use 6 x 12 templates and insert the left side in front and the right side in back. I'll add it to my Project Life album in the middle of that week that holds our day. I'm pretty pleased with how the pages turned out, but still might do some tweaking for next month - along with journaling and more, many more, photos.

During the week, not matter what day in the life I do, my day begins and ends with work.

project life 2014 | week 4



Week 4 was just this past week so I'm caught up - and it's only Tuesday. Go, me! Bunch of photos didn't even go into this week because I'm going to put together a Day in the Life that I did last week - taking tons of photos - and documenting the day. That will go into this PL album too.

My plan is to complete 12 Day in the Lifes this year, once a month, and include each into our Project LIfe album. Not sure if I'll stick with the same time of each month or just pick a day.

Super simple page using Cathy Zielske's digital templates, and Ali Edwards' brushes. Done and done.

My he-men are toting big logs on their shoulders, taking them to a pile of logs stacked in the back yard for firewood. And that is my new hairdo - and I love it!

Love the black and white still and when I change it up with some color I'll probably be shocked at my boldness - hee hee.



project life 2014 | week 3


Between major computer issues --, like purchasing a new computer and out of the starting gate we get a virus when trying to install microsoft - this makes no sense to me and my somewhat computer illiterate self. Thankfully, we loaded nothing onto it yet. Dell will be hearing from us pronto - well, just as soon as my not-so-computer-illiterate husband calls and dis-cuss-es the situation,-- I was able to put together week 3 of Project Life which wasn't this past week, but the week before. I've already got photos chosen for Week 4 and I still hope to get to it this week also to remain caught up.

Week 3 was all about the boys and Jeff going on a Father-Son campout with the boy scouts. It was a Freeze-out event and is usually the most fun camp of the year. And, it was! To top it off it was freezing, so it lived up to the name of the campout.

I used all Cathy Zielske digital products from Designer Digitals + one Ali Edwards digital brush. Lovin' the simplicity of my pages and the ease with which they are going together when I leave off a bunch of embellishments (except word brushes or such)

A bit of a scrapbooking life update here too:

I'm tackling those scrapbooking albums, pulling all the pages out of their document protectors, putting them in piles by year. I have several albums to go. Once that chore is done, I'll chronological pile the pages, place them in document protectors, and load them into new, We R Memories, 12 x 12, 3-Ring, Teal, faux leather albums - my favorite color. I have an album in Red, of the same brand that I decided to use/reuse for all my Christmas pages and as I accumulate Christmas pages stay with the Red color.

I'm super pleased with my progress even though it is slow going, but watching those piles of scrapbooking pages increase in height, and the walk down memory lane, and seeing when I went from traditional paper scrapbooking to primarily digital, has been interesting. The chronological albums are going to look SWEET that is for sure.

Putting my albums into chronological order is one of my FOCUS items on my 50 in my 50th year list.



homeschool | a look ahead

I know you are wondering why in the world am I writing a post on John and Jarrod's 2014-2015, 11th grade year when they just crossed the halfway hump of their 2013-2014, 10th grade year.

The first reason is because our homeschool co-op leadership team sent out an email the other day asking what, if anything, we wanted to teach this coming school year (beginning August 2014). I immediately fired back my response. I am hoping to teach Meteorology with a LAB again for 10th-12th grades. While our homeschool co-op has a plethora of sciences, and the mom's willing to teach them, our co-op seems to really appreciate my willingness for something different to choose from, like when a mom steps up to teach Forensics. My meteorology class has a LAB with it which is important for students because our state requires 3 sciences with a LAB plus another science without. It gives students options.

So, anyways, that was the first reason I began looking at the boys' next school year.

Another reason is I am regularly assessing and reassessing their projected high school path. I've created the following spreadsheet with their already-completed year, this year, and their projected classes for the remaining two years all against state requirements.

High school credits

With this in mind, our plan, and I use that term loosely, because the best laid plans so often change, is shaping up to look something like this:

British Literature

Literary Lessons from The Lord of the Rings.

I'm really excited about this curriculum. Even more excited, we'll be reading the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy for school credit. You can't beat that!

Advanced Math

791273_w185Saxon Advanced Math. We have had such success with the Saxon Math curriculum each year that I cannot in good conscious, for the benefit of my sons, switch to another curriculum. I think I would be doing them a disservice. Advanced Math covers trigonometry, pre-calculus, logarithms, analytic geometry, and advanced algebraic concepts and will prepare them for Calculus which is the plan for their 12th grade year. We will also use the DIVE DVD for this level math. The DIVE DVDs have been a saving grace.


Notgrass' Exploring Government. The boys have been using the U.S. History curriculum of the same company and it is really thorough and well-written curriculum, plus the lady at our homeschool co-op that will be teaching government next year recommends this curriculum and she is phenomenal in government.

U.S. Presidents. I am also creating a curriculum for .5 credit (but, I'll reassess at the end of the year) of U.S. Presidents. While they have had a bit of presidents in their U.S. History course I want them to have a more thorough look at our presidents, their lives, and their impact on our nation.


Meteorology with a LAB. The boys will be taking my Meteorology class with a LAB and all three of us are excited about the possibilities. I use a college-level textbook (an older edition to keep cost down) for the class, mostly because I found no year-long high school meteorology curriculum, while there are several good college-level, introduction to meteorology textbooks. I used this same textbook for my own college, introduction to meteorology class. I created the LABs for the class also.


Total Health + Physical Education class at co-op. This is a tentative curriculum. I am not sure which direction I want to go for their Health and Physical Education credits.


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Beth Moore's bible study Daniel, James, Mercy Triumphs, The Beloved Disciple, and Jesus, the One and Only. I have done all of these studies and I already have the CDs for a couple. We will spend time together going through these studies. If we get done with these we'll pick another of Beth's to finish out the year.


The boys will be done with the Eagle project and should be pretty close to Eagle Scout so we'll begin Drivers Education, which will take an entire years worth of lessons according to our states requirements.

All this to say this is what we are looking ahead at completing for their 11th grade year.

30 new books in my 50th year.


As part of my 50 in my 50th year project, I am reading through 30 new books in my 50th year. I've already made quite a dent toward my goal in just over two months. I have been finding a mix of non-fiction, historical fiction, historical non-fiction, spirtual growth, and fiction all to be a part of my reading habits over these last months. Of the latest three books I've read, I really enjoyed two of them.

1) The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp was an ok read. I finished it in one sitting but it just didn't catch me like I'd hoped. I think if I was of a more creative spirit, a creative soul it probably would have. But, that said I did come away with some usable habits.

2) Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer. Fantastic read. It only took me a couple days but it was definitely a book to savor and chew on and think about and ponder and meditate on. And, I'll go back to it again and again. Loved it immensely and highly recommend it for spiritual growth.

3) George Washington, Spymaster by Thomas Allen and National Geographic. A riveting historical tale of little known accounts of George Washingtons' surprising role as a spymaster. This book is fraught with compelling, lively, intriguing tales of how George Washington and others in the spy community helped America win their war on independence. I read this out loud to the boys and they had as much fun with the stories as I did. It is a gripping read.

Such a wide array of genre, each with their own worth. I'm enjoying this project immensely and it has opened a world of books to me. If I get to 30 before the half-way point I think I'm going to half to double my goal for the project because I'll have sorely underestimated myself.