Stories 2017 | Samuel at 6 months


A 6 x 8 2-page spread of my grandson Samuel. Ashley posted a couple photos on Facebook with a good long tell it like it is about Samuel so I was able to put together this smaller sized page set. I used almost all of Ali Edwards' NUMBERS Story kit with a piece here or there from a couple others.

The journaling for this little guy is his 6 months statistics plus his happy life goings' on! I love that he loves his bubba's - his brothers, Ian and Wyatt and that his face lights up whenever he sees them. He's his momma's littlest angel and his daddy's dude. Samuel tries to sit up by himself but can't quite make it. He eats all kinds of fruit, sweet potatoes and squash. Guess that means he doesn't much care for peas - you go Samuel! Way to take after grammy. 

Stories from the Files | Build


The other day Jarrod got a box in the mail. He had ordered (I still can't wrap my ahead around my sons placing orders on-line) a Lego set. Of any activity he and his brother still participate in, Lego's are my favorite. I think because they are not just for kids. Lego's have found their way into the hearts of adults for the very first time as adults. They are a classic toy. Much like putting puzzles together. Classic!

I was perusing older photos in a folder on my computer and I came across these photos of Jarrod from 2010. Seven years ago! Going back in time, Jarrod was putting a couple Lego sets together he'd recently received as gifts.

Or fast forward to the other day, Jarrod was putting a couple Lego sets together he'd recently received in the mail that he'd ordered. I need to do a companion scrapbooking page of Jarrod building the two 'new' Lego sets.

Digitally speaking: Almost every digital piece is from Ali Edwards Design Story kit BUILD, with a couple Sahlin Studio embellishments added in. I did use a Yin Digs template, modified.

Project Life 2017 | Week 6


I'm not sure I can describe the happy feeling I experienced when I completed this past week of Project Life. The clean and simplistic style made me smile. I used six photos from our week and six templates from either Sahlin Studio or Cathy Zielske , included a bit of documentation directly onto the photo [as part of the templates] and I'm calling this week so good!

I have such good intentions of journaling our day plus taking photos and then, bam, the next week rounds around and I've capture just a little of our week. But, I'm finding I am forgiving myself and moving on. I'm calling those bits and pieces of life documented as good enough. Because it is better than not recording anything.

It offers at a minimum a peek at our life.

And, this is good.

Project Life® is an ultra-simple, über-stylish solution for getting your photos off your phone and computer, out of boxes, and into albums

what I've been reading lately | february


My reading goals for 2017: Modern Mrs. Darcy's 2017 Reading Challenge and read 100 New Books in 2017. I'm also linking up, monthly with Modern Mrs. Darcy's What I've Been Reading Lately. The following list are the books I've been reading from 15 January - 15 February 2017.

41DNuJfahyLThe Martian by Andy Weir. I will admit I watched the movie first. And, I'm glad I did. Truly, I am not sure I would have made it through the fictional journals of fictional astronaut Mark Watney while stranded on Mars without having the visual representation the movie offered. Granted, this is a hugely entertaining novel, funny in fact in many places, gripping, on-the-edge-of-your-seat-what-is-he-going-to-have-to-deal-with-next suspenseful intensity, but the scientific lingo would have been tough to swallow without having 'seen' it for myself. This is one time I am so glad I watched the movie first. While I couldn't be certain, I believe it made the book better. Some of my favorite lines when I laughed out loud: "Everything went great right up to the explosion!" "Damn it Jim, I'm a botanist not a chemist!" This one was in the movie too, " It's awesome to have a bunch of dipsh*ts on Earth telling me, a botanist, how to grow plants. I mostly ignore them. I don't want to come off as arrogant here, but I'm the best botanist on the planet." The Martian also earned favorite of the month.

51TkHNogRMLBeautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren. Ah - no! I should have known by the title but I was sent to a blog raved about by another reading blogger I love. I went through the bloggers favorite books of 2016 and this one was on the list along with some really good books. There was way, way to much s*x. I suppose the writing was okay but honestly it was hard to tell from all the steamy scenes I had to skim by. There was little story and read like a steamy harlequin romance. Definitely will not be buying anymore of these types of books. Not my cup of tea.




51+fIKU-U2LZero Day by David Baldacci. This is the first in the John Puller series. I am a brand new reader of Baldacci and after reading The Memory Man I hoped I would like more of his books. I absolutely do! This was an intricately woven criminal-investigator suspense thriller. I love the main character, an Army Criminal Investigator who handles specialty cases, who has done multiple combat tours and is a Ranger. I'm positive I'll pick up many more of his books in this series and anything else he has written. Since this is my Mom's favorite author [I think] - all the better.




41vD932YKVLA Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman. I loved Emily's Simply Tuesday. One of my favorite books in 2016 even. I struggled to connect with this one though. I think books, even some non-fiction books, are meant for us for seasons, or at a particular time. I'm not sure this one is for me at this time. Although, I find myself desiring something more in my life. Hoping I'll find in me what it is God has designed - for this season. Yes, the book was somewhat endearing and yes, I took notes and marked up pages and dog-earred others. But, I didn't come away from it feeling like it meant something for me.



51UsUob-5ULVeronica Mars and The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham. Amazon says, "Ten years after graduating from high school in Neptune, California, Veronica Mars is back in the land of sun, sand, crime, and corruption. She’s traded in her law degree for her old private investigating license, struggling to keep Mars Investigations afloat on the scant cash earned by catching cheating spouses until she can score her first big case. Now it’s spring break, and college students descend on Neptune, transforming the beaches and boardwalks into a frenzied, week-long rave. When a girl disappears from a party, Veronica is called in to investigate. But this is no simple missing person’s case; the house the girl vanished from belongs to a man with serious criminal ties, and soon Veronica is plunged into a dangerous underworld of drugs and organized crime. And when a major break in the investigation has a shocking connection to Veronica’s past, the case hits closer to home than she ever imagined. In Veronica Mars, Rob Thomas has created a groundbreaking female detective who’s part Phillip Marlowe, part Nancy Drew, and all snark, with sharp plots and clever twists.  Yep, I agree. I like it! Extremely easy to read while at the same time cunning and piercing. It's not a literary masterpiece but lots of fun.

517I2RO8x+LWatership Down by Richard Adams. Wonderful! I listened to this after reading Modern Mrs. Darcy's post on Audible. My Kindle Fire already had the Audible app loaded so that is how I listened to the free gift. I loved this book (audio). The author used to make up stories for his daughters during long car rides in the English countryside and this tale is one of those stories. True, it is about rabbits but these rabbits have thoughts and can speak, yet their actions and behaviors, how they live are solely - rabbit. There is death, and fear, and love within the story, Watership Down.




51eYqSeYwdLIsaac's Storm by Erik Larson. I read this for the 2017 Reading Challenge: a book about a topic you already love. It's is meteorology at it's barest, earliest, and roughest forms. The investigative techniques and narrative in which Larson crafted from thousands of sources of the killing hurricane in 1900 that besieged the thriving, busting gulf city of Galveston, Texas, and translates them into a gripping story, is truly inspiring. It is a ripping account of the United States Weather Bureau in it's infancy, with a wondering, "how did we (meteorologists and me) finally gain ground?" But, the telling of the storm from the accounts of a ships log, to the description of the storm as it set its sights on Galveston was detailed and exciting reading. Although not my favorite book of the month it was definitely in the top five.


51GesqDmCBLThe Last Mile by David BaldacciConvicted murderer Melvin Mars is counting down the last hours before his execution--for the violent killing of his parents twenty years earlier--when he's granted an unexpected reprieve. Another man has confessed to the crime.
Amos Decker, newly hired on an FBI special task force, takes an interest in Mars's case after discovering the striking similarities to his own life: Both men were talented football players with promising careers cut short by tragedy. Both men's families were brutally murdered. And in both cases, another suspect came forward, years after the killing, to confess to the crime. A suspect who may or may not have been telling the truth.
The confession has the potential to make Melvin Mars--guilty or not--a free man. Who wants Mars out of prison? And why now? But when a member of Decker's team disappears, it becomes clear that something much larger--and more sinister--than just one convicted criminal's life hangs in the balance. Decker will need all of his extraordinary brainpower [he has hyperthymesia] to stop an innocent man from being executed - Amazon. So, so good. When I can use the words, "I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!" at least once in a book - yes! Baldacci's books are rapidly becoming favorites and I can't wait to read more! 

41o7yXZPwfLCold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist.
I think this is Shauna's first book. It's, to me, a collection of stories, a spiritual memoir of sorts about everyday life, but, that everyday life and God woven in...and out...and in. I was most encouraged by Shauna's real life personal experience with God, not Shauna on a pedestal but the Shauna that makes mistakes, sometimes for a long time, and then gets it right. It is honesty and hope and redemption. It is really good reading.

Project Life 2017 | Week 5


I'm keeping up.

Can you believe it?

Surprised me, too.

Now, that I've said it I'll probably get behind (insert snarky chuckle). But, let's hope not. I kinda' like having a record of our year so far.

Biggest thing for me right now: don't stress over a 2-page versus 1-page.

If I only have enough for a 1-page than that's what I'm doing.

So, this week is 1-page only. That is so okay! I love the 'blues' I used for cohesiveness. Utilized a Paislee Press 12 x 12 template plus smaller templates and brushes, and pieces from various Ali Edwards' Story kits and a Sahlin Studio Design journal card.

Feelings shared, books read, food we devoured, and surgery. Tough week but we came through it.

right now | the page


A few days ago I posted a RIGHT NOW post about what was saving my life. Those things giving life rather than those things that are killing me. Sure, I could do a post ranting about what is killing me but it is about a mind change, turning away from discontentment to contentment, moving from ungratefulness to a heart of gratitude; instead of the woes, worries, and pains get down to the nuts and bolts of what's saving me. It was an exercise in happy, contentment, gratitude, joy, - all positives of life - the little things and the big things.

It's not unlike journaling your gratitudes or writing out one thousand gifts.

After that post, I knew I wanted to make a scrapbook page of that blog post. I wanted a record of the RIGHT NOW. And too, because this is part of my story. I will be the first to admit I can get into a funk and if I do not actively engage a heart of gratitude, what is saving my life, writing down gifts, blessings back to God, speak positive truth - I can spiral out of control until all I can see is what's killing me. Great lessons, regularly, re-shape our mind and hearts and thus, our actions.

Digitally: This is a 12 x 12 page. I began with an Ali Edwards' template but I ended up having to modify it somewhat; but the general layout design has been unaltered. Then I used One Little Bird Designs papers and embellishments plus from the  Ali Edwards' ME Story kit I used the RIGHT NOW stamp. I originally thought I would use more photos of 'what is saving my life' but, then thought it was more the words versus the photos telling the story.

Project Life 2017 | Week 4


Project Life 2017 Week 4. Yes! I was able to put together a two-page spread because I was purposeful about getting a few more photos - although not great, just a teensy bit better. I also fell back on some around here, watching, reading, eating and what's in my bag prompts. All of those are still apart of our everyday life and I do not mind telling those stories too.

Jeff and I finished the last season of The West Wing. We'd never seen the show before. Amazing!

We watched Hidden Figures on a date night - wonderful story, awesome movie!

I made some new dishes: a Chili Lime Chicken Fajita Salad (yummy) and an Angel Hair pasta with Roasted Red Pepper sauce (plus andouille sausage).

Included some books I read this week. 

Family Pizza night. We watched Jason Bourne, an okay movie.

Jeff and John worked on the drainage trench at the side of the house to reduce water pooling in front of our house under the not-yet-built porch. Jeff also finished my shelves but they haven't been hung yet. They're beautifully stained and will sure look pretty when they eventually get put up.

Digitally: Used Paislee Press templates, One Little Bird Design journal cards and embellishments, Ali Edwards brushes and journal card

Project Life 2017 | Week 3


Continuing with Project Life 2017, a weekly scrapbooking endeavor using the pocket scrapbooking technique made famous by Becky Higgins Project Life. I am finding I am cozying up to this project more each day. A project that I used to do but took a lengthy break from and now have returned.

This year will be a mix of 1-page and 2-page spreads I think. It'll depend if I can get my but in gear and take pictures. The more pictures generally means more stories to tell. 

This week is kind of an overview week of what's going on versus specific things that happened, events that happened this week. I imagine this will be a regular occurrence, telling our right now's, and loving these days, or currently, or I want to remember; those journal prompts I so love to do. 

Digitally speaking: One thing I love about Project Life is design. It's basically done for you. Pockets already in place for photos plus journaling. You can't go wrong. I used Paislee Press templates, Ali Edwards brushes, and Becky Higgins Project Life journal cards, and Sahlin Studio overlays.

And that die for!

Project Life 2017 | Week 2


Proceeding slowly into Project Life 2017. Those weekly pages of our life. I desperately need to become more purposeful about taking photos but life right now, for the most part, is work, eat, hang, sleep, repeat. I need to figure out another way. I have some ideas and just need to make them happen. Maybe, some around here, or around the house pages. Some currently pages. Collections: mugs, books, reading...

Today I'm sharing week two of 2017. New do! New ministry to support. Date night. New lamp. And, the Martian (a really good movie and book).

I used a Paislee Press template which I then almost completely modified by overlaying with more Paislee Press templates. Noticeably, and not surprisingly (I crack myself up!), I used Ali Edwards SURPRISE Story kit and OLD and NEW Story kit plus photos and that is as clean and simple as you can get.

Stories 2017 | Looking Ahead


I decided to continue gifting scrapbook pages to our dear friends, The Trumps. Jessie and Jordan make it super easy: they take tons of pictures and they write stuff, journaling. For this page I used all Jessie's words, a review of their 2016, and looking ahead to 2017 expectantly for God to move. I even used the photo Jessie used for the journaling, although I've saved many family photos that would have worked just as well. This is one of their most recent. Those kids - all adopted, one family of kids - all theirs.

Digitally, I used Ali Edwards' REVIEW Story Kit as part of my scrapbooking goal to use my story kits that I've garnered over these past couple years. Photo, story, and a few carefully placed embellishments. I think I used the rule of thirds correctly and placed my embellishments within a visual triangle for more aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Because the photo was black and white I could have gone with any color so I kept most of the embellishments their decided, purchased, colors. But, I love the freedom digital scrapbooking affords me in being able to easily change the color of .png files, but sometimes time-consuming.