Stories 2016 | Project Life July


Finally! I made some time to put together July 2016 Project Life pages. It's a smattering of photos because this year just hasn't been about taking many photos, yet we've had some interesting months - including July.

I rambled on with the long story on the left side of the page and told the smaller, quicker stories on the right side and on the third page (below). Super comfortable with how these pages turned out. They are Project Life, after all, and one cannot go wrong with Project Life. 

However, I did use a mix of digital products by Ali Edwards from her Wild and Tough Story kits, plus One Little Bird's Nosh kit - because the page below is all about food. And eating. And food.

In no particular order July was:

Celebrating 19th birthdays

Date nights

Leopold's for ice cream

Kidney stones

Moving Joan out of our home and into Savannah Commons

Funnies in the morning.

Lots of reading all of us (which I just realized I didn't include my traditional recap of books that I read this month)

Star Trek Beyond

an un-traditional 4th of July

long work hours

Boys sleeping in tents or hammocks to induce motivation for jobs (with no jobs!)



That's pretty much our July in a nutshell!

Project Life 2016 | June


Such a slower month in June, then May. Design-wise I used repetition. An ampersand on each journal card and underlining my journaling. I'd seen my scrapbooking muse Ali Edwards do the same thing on one of her weekly project life pages and, since I have no feelings of guilt scraplifting, I was inspired to do something similar - only digitally, of course. Plus, I used most of her products for these pages but a couple templates are from Paislee Press and Cathy Zielske.


I did a broad stroke of our month - June 2016. First, using one of my early morning sunrise photos that I am blessed to behold. We grabbed some photos of John leading worship up on stage for the K-5 kids at Savannah Christian Church. We'd received another unsolicited compliment from someone so I wanted to highlight his act of service. We made the big decision - well Jeff made the decision - to have Joan move out of our home and into an independent living community home. We visited a viable options and really liked what it had to offer. She'll be moving out - and in - this week, actually. It was a necessary move.

Jeff and the boys had a couple of Journey build days. The Journey is a Christmas production, interactive and moving that requires 1000+ volunteers to make it happen. Preparations begin early. Jeff is one of the team leads for a new 'part' to the experience. Of course, John and Jarrod spend the day with Jeff and help build a new farm animal barn with stalls and petting zoo. I shared the evening Jeff and I went to the low country boil Journey-build committee meeting in April's project life (the blog post is titled May but I fixed the page before printing - duh!) regarding the assignment Jeff and two other guys received as Team leaders of a project.

The boys took some driving lessons through We signed them up for 10 lessons each. It's a sweet little deal: a drivers instructor comes to your house and picks you up in a Cooper Mini at a prescribed time and in two-hour blocks of driving instructions and then returns you to your home. It's pricey but so worth the opportunity of having someone teach my boys how to drive. The first day I got in with John I was very calm and cool and held it together the entire drive with stress-free, yell-free instructions. But, the second time - not so much.

Another big decision for us, after 8 years of wearing these hearing aids we decided it was probably time to upgrade. My new ones are actually cheaper than we originally paid and they're digital. Through an app on my phone I can adjust volume, bass, and treble, plus other handy little actions.

Jeff and I have been watching Castle together this month. We'd never seen it (except the few times I'd seen an episode on the television at work) and I thought it would be a good fit for us. I was right. It is hilarious! It's a great comedy-drama. I've also been watching Bones. I started at Season 4 though because I'd seen Season 1-3 enough I didn't want to rehash those seasons. Enjoying both series'.

I read six books in June. That's about my average this year. 5-6 books each month - or one a week. I don't think I'll have a problem reaching 52 New Books in 2016. My favorite this month was The Daniel Prayer, but I'm loving the Harry Potter series, too. 




John and Jarrod were hired by a landscaping company. Hard, backbreaking work. They worked hard, but we didn't want them working there anymore because it was an unsafe environment. In 98 degree temperatures, John's crew lead left with the worksite with John's lunch and the water cooler for 4 hours. The owner of the company nixed safety (ie. no water/rest breaks) in the scorching heat and humidity. There's some serious issues when workers aren't allowed a few minutes to drink some water and get some shade. Or, even having water available.

We have been going to Savannah Christian Church for almost 17 years now and on Father's Day weekend we made the move into our third worship center with a 2100 seat capacity. It was/is awesome! We are back in the worship center, sitting about 4-5 rows from the stage, worshiping our hearts out. I'm loving every minute of it. Jeff has only dosed once (with a couple of nudges to keep him awake). He's not bored. He loves the service. It's just his body. When he sits for that long his body tells him it's time for a nap because he works, works, works, goes, goes, goes.

And, that was June.

Project Life 2016 | May (Part 6)


Finishing up the last of the pages for Project Life May. Six, count 'em, six two-page spreads highlighting our month of intense activities and events. Pretty darn satisfied with all 12 pages. For these two pages I used Cathy Zielske 12x12 templates and two Paislee Press tiny templates and Ali Edwards journal cards. That's it! I patterned out the pages from the top to the diagonal carried over both pages. I see one pattern mistake but I'm calling it good and leaving it. I'm not sweating the small stuff!


Each photo has a tiny title and tiny journal spot with just some thoughts maybe of the time here or an overall feeling. Lots of photos of grandchildren inter-spaced with big children. My hearts full.


See all Project Life May  | Part 1  | Part 2  | Part 3  | Part 4  | Part 5


Project Life 2016 (Part 5)


On our anniversary weekend we adventured out and wandered to the Poinsett Bridge built in the 1800's. Poinsett is also known for bringing over the first Christmas Poinsetta's to America. We talked with an older gentleman, at least a grandfather himself, who regaled us with the simple exploits of his own grandfather traveling over that very bridge and along the state road between Ashville and Greenville taking produce in a wagon in the early 1900's, recalling he'd learned it would take 3 days wagon ride one way. Amazing what we can learn when we take a moment to stop and listen.


Jeff and I were adventurous as we walked down to the river - ok, the creek - flowing gently through the arched opening where we also traversed over the wet slabs of rocks, carefully. It was beautiful under the lush canopy of trees strategically hiding the sun.


For these pages I used modified Cathy Zielske templates and Paislee Press templates and brushes.

Part 1 | Part 2  | Part 3  | Part 4  |

Project Life 2016 | May (Part 4)


One of the big events for our family in May was our twin boys', John and Jarrod, high school graduation. As homeschoolers we joined a local homeschool organization, Family Education For Christ, who, besides many other school-related events, hosts an official graduation ceremony. It meant Save the Date invites were made and a graduation party to plan. The boys donned a cap and gown and walked across the stage after first giving a little speech. Each graduate spoke for about 1 minute, much different from traditional school graduations. The boys' graduation was in a church. We sang hymns. The kids were prayed over. Each graduate spoke. Photos (15 each) ran of the graduates while each graduates father spoke a minute's worth of love and encouragement.


Christian Jennette Photography visited our home the day of graduation...I know, seriously! Hire a photographer on a day we have everything else going on - but it was actually - perfect! Chrissie grabbed a photo of the 'bros' in their cap and gown. I loved it and knew it would go into this page.


A long but truly wonderful day. EVERYONE pitched in to make John and Jarrod's day fantastic! The grandmothers, the sisters, and the brother-in-law (who by the way was simply AMAZING all weekend) made sure the party was a go, clean house, decorations up (including the giant photos of John and Jarrod covering our living room and dining room wall (the 'this is so cool' photo above is our giant living room wall with the giant black and white engineer print size photos stapled to our wall). They were the talk of the party!

Another memorable moment, literally a moment: If you've seen the movie The Princess Bride, the part towards the end when the priest is marrying Princess Humperdinck and Buttercup and he say's, "Marriage. Marriage is what brings us together today." (You can check it out!) 

Now, replace marriage with graduation.

Graduation. Graduation is what brings us together today.

In that same voice.

Yep, Jarrod said it.

First graduate to give his speech.

And, he nailed it!

The crowd roared, hooted, and hollered with cheers! 

Perfect opening to the graduation of homeschoolers. They are quite the creative bunch!

Just. A. Really. Good. Day.


Project Life 2016 - May  |  Part 1 | Part 2  | Part 3  |  Part 4  | Part 5

Project Life 2016 | May (Part 3)


Project Life 2016. May (Part 3) - These pages are all about our romantic anniversary trip to the Red Horse Inn in Landrum, South Carolina, at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Can I say this? A-MAZING! Blown away, amazing! And, let me say this also - we love the historic district of Charleston, South Carolina, a frequently visited spot, especially as a favorite anniversary or double-birthday trip, but, I do believe The Red Horse Inn will be on our list of possible weekend getaway spots in future plans. Honestly, although the photos on their website were pretty sweet offerings, they just don't do the experience, the view, the cottages, the real-deal, justice. Every inch of this sprawling acreage of rolling, richly green, perfectly manicured hills, tucked out of the way of anything big city, was carefully and brilliantly crafted, curated, and created for their guests pleasure and privacy.

The big house (check-in, conference location, with intimate dining room) sits atop a hill looking down and up again, with a gorgeous view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the pasture views for their horse, Secretary, grandson of Secretariat, and several of their scattered cottages, including The Grainary where we enjoyed peace and tranquility within a luxurious abode. Blooming flowers carefully tendered but unrestrained, graveled roads rutted perfectly allowing raging waters from thunderstorm rains to drain swiftly, the secluded cottages tucked behind beautifully-kept trees and shrubs, and the brilliantly arranged cottages for the best views possible.


We were greeted by a sweet pair of ducks and ducklings swimming in the small pond as we entered the property, up the graveled hill to the big house, perfectly groomed at the highest hill of the sprawling 160 acres of The Red Horse Inn. Although check-in wasn't until 4 pm we stopped by to scope out the area. Mary, the owner and curator of the inn welcomed us excitedly (but, did hold us to their 4 pm check-in - which I thought was brilliant), explained their check-in process, and gave us some tips for exploring the area while we waited for check-in. We took them up on their offer (Project Life 2016 - May (Part 4).

Jeff called Secretary, after hearing about his story, when we headed back outside to take a look and drive, with more leisure, at the views and property.

Our cottage was their top-of-the-line bed and breakfast, exquisitely decorated, spotless from top to bottom (Read: every nook and cranny was clean!) - luxurious, romantic, serene, relaxing, and calming. Rocking chairs on the front porch where we sat and read while gazing across the pastures and hills, or watching thunderstorms come over the mountains. The bedroom was set for romance as we were greeted with rose petals and a note from the curator, beautiful decor and comfortable bed. There were only two negatives about our stay, one of them, while the bed was very comfortable, because of my height it was difficult for me to climb into the very high off the floor bed. I suggested to Mary a footstool tucked under the bed for us short people:)  


We took everything slow this weekend and because the cottage had everything we needed we were so relaxed and refreshed. While it is a bed and breakfast they will offer dinners for two for additional cost which we took them up on one evening when we had a Pizza Party delivered to our cottage. They also have gourmet entrees, too. The first evening we were at The Red Horse Inn we took them up on a recommendation and visited a local Landrum eatery, the Hare and the Hound Pub. Yummy! We had Fried Pickle Chips for an appetizer which were the best pickle chips I've ever had. I had their Tuna Melt and Jeff had the Reuben - both were good. While waiting outside to be called to seat we spotted across the street an Amish Furniture store with a side patio of colored Adirondacks and deck furniture. Ah, yes! Make my heart go pitter-patter, why don't you!

Project Life 2016 May | Part 1 | Part 2  |  Part 3  | Part 4  | Part 5

Project Life 2016 | May (Part 2)


Outdoor adventures. At the beginning of the month and at the end of the month. Again, I used Cathy Zielske templates and a bunch of Ali Edwards brushes, some from her digital collection and some from her Story kit collections which I subscribe to. Besides the photos and the selection of brushes and stamps (digital stamps) I included journaling directly onto the photos with Arial font (K.I.S.S.)


This first page is one of the few photos we have of our white water kayaking trip during our anniversary weekend. The nuts and bolts of the story: I was so excited to go white water rafting. Instead, it was kayaking. Single-man kayaking. While extremely exhausting for me, not for Jeff - in the least, I did enjoy it, especially navigating rapids successfully. But, the unsuccessful navigation that led me to fall into the chilly waters of the Green River - not so much enjoyment. In fact, I cried. My RA ravaged, weakened body state lead to quick exhaustion and when I dumped in the water I couldn't get back in until I was helped to shore by our amazing Green River Adventure guide. Even after it was tough going. But, I got back in the kayak, hit a few more rapids (almost tipped again) and finally spent to the point of tears, I had to pull out of the water early (about a mile from the finish). Disappointing, for sure, but I could not go any farther. I commend my husband for his support and even our river mates who were totally understanding. The Green River Adventure guide (I wish I could remember her name) was the best!


The last Saturday of the month Jeff and I drove out to Tybee Island early in the morning to get in line for the Breakfast Club - one of our favorite places to eat on Tybee. Delicious as usual, but with an hour left on our parking meter ticket we decided to take a walk on the beach. It was a fairly good day pain-wise and it was a nice morning with the wind at our backs and a cool breeze in our hair (until we turned around to walk back to the truck then the brisk wind was, yes blowing our hair, but every step became a struggle for me. But, we had a good laugh about it. And it was a really good morning!

Project Life 2016 May  |  Part 1 |  Part 2  | Part 3  | Part  4  | Part 5

Project Life 2016 | May (Part 1)


Continuing my monthly Project Life project, I have quite a few pages to insert into my 2016 album for the month of May as it was an event-filled month. Lots of pictures, tons of stories that need telling. I'll be sharing two-pages each over the course of a couple days of posts: the stories, the photographs, the present participles, and the products I used.


I love this 'present participle' two-page layout for it's uniformity, it's simplicity (photos+words+zero embellishments), and the stories I've told. Products I used: Ali Edwards brushes, CZ templates, Paislee Press templates, plus, my own brushes.

These pages offer a brush over of our month, some fairly complete stories and some, just pieces of stories which I recant more fully on other pages (to share in other posts).

I'm wearing a new haircut and hair color. We're listening to HIS Radio 91.9, cranking the volume to an eardrum-busting level and rockin' out to the amazing sounds of The River by Jordan Feliz.

We finished Dowton Abbey Season 6 in early May and I purchased the first season of Castle, and now we're watching and are hooked on Castle!

Still reading new books. But, I only read 4 new books this month. I'm not sure why?

That was sarcasm.

I've been a little busy.

Celebrating an anniversary, Mother's Day, and a high school graduation.

Eating new recipes with my 50 States 50 Recipes project and other new fares thrown in to our mix of recipes to try, enjoy, or toss.


Lot's of playing. The graduation party headed outside with some lawn ball (you know, instead of beach ball). Lot's of fun, even if the graduates were still sporting their nice, graduation clothes.

Kayaking was amazing. Jeff and I went white water kayaking. It was hard. I dumped in the water. I got exhausted. I cried. I hit a couple more rapids and almost dumped again. I had enough. I can't wait to go again. Green River Adventures was the rafting company we used out of Saluda, South Carolina. A-MAZING! Our female guide, for the life of me I can't remember her name, was phenomenal. Little thing that she was, she pulled me out of the water, got me to safety, and kept encouraging me through the entire ordeal of dumping in the water.

Received wonderful Mother's Day gifts between the beautiful flowers from Ashley and loving the gorgeous lawn glider and Adirondacks from Jeff and the boys.

Celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary at the Red Horse Inn in Landrum, South Carolina. Awesome!

John and Jarrod with their best friend Kirsten wearing their caps and gowns, relaxing and having fun together before graduation ceremonies. 

Part 1  | Part  2  |  Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5






Project Life May 2016


Month 5 of my Project Life for 2016. Creating a two-page layout of our month is working out swimmingly. Overall, it isn't too taxing on time constraints and I still am able to cover the broad highlights of the month documenting most of the 'big stuff' of life. 


I am still creating simple and fairly clean pages with little embellishments but words on the page. Photos + Words and a touch of cohesiveness through digital products by Paislee Press, One Little Bird, Ali Edwards, and the 12 x 12 templates are Cathy Zielske. 


It was a fairly busy month:

I read 7 new books in the month of April. I am enjoying this endeavor greatly and have found some wonderful reads.

I began my 50 States 50 Recipes project with Alabama White Gold BBQ Sauce with Grilled Chicken. It was delicious.

A Journey Build Low Country Boil. Jeff and I attended a Friday evening Journey Build dinner where all the builders gathered to receive their team assignments and teams. Each team is responsible for project management from start to finish. It is a great way for the Worship Arts ministry to give their Journey Build volunteers ownership of the projects and work that need done. It was a great evening of fellowship, amazing food, delightful table decorations. I got to catch up with a dear sweet was so good...and we had excellent conversation at our dinner table.

One weekend we headed south to my Mom's for our annual Spring clean-up. Mom lives on an acre of land and each year all of us kids, and this year a slew of grandkids showed up, to clean up the property and the house. It was hard work but good camaraderie.

We gifted a neighbor couple a date night (with money envelope) and kid sitting. We gave them 6 hours and Jeff, John, and Jarrod had a ball! It was a great afternoon and evening.

We celebrated Joan's birthday at Red Lobster and she enjoyed receiving her gift.

The boys and I began a new Bible study, Children of the Day by Beth Moore.

Jeff and I, on the last day of the month headed to Landrum, South Carolina and the Red Horse Inn for an early anniversary weekend (separate post soon!). 

Project Life 2016 | March


I am continuing with my monthly Project Life. It is working out really well completing pages monthly rather than weekly. The pages are filled to the brim with stories from the month as we always seem to have enough life stories, adding photos (which unfortunately we haven't taken many over the entire month), adding some journal cards, stamps and chipboard and, seriously, calling it good. I am loving this project this year. As I'm not a scrapbooking design star I am going with what works for me and not sweating over the lack of repetition, color coordination, symmetry, or any other design technique. This is it. 


This month:

1. Read a total of 7 new books, a mix of fiction and non-fiction to take my total this year to 18. I loved the Revenant and the English Assassin by my favorite was definitely Uniquely Human (on autism).

2. Jeff works hard from before sunup to after sundown with Choate Construction. He is an Assistant Superintendent on a half-billion dollar job in South Carolina and handles all of the logistics on the job. On any given day he walks an average of 15,000 steps, can be found working on any number of a piece of equipment, manages laborers and a gazillion other laborious task. He recently had his annual review with his boss (who he loves) and his boss likes what Jeff does because he gave Jeff a raise!

3. On 3/22/2016 I started my 1-mile walk a day challenge. The big challenge will be walking that 1-mile on weekends.

4. John and Jarrod met up with Kirsten, a girl they've known for a couple years from homeschool co-op, with like- interests. I think she's pretty cool too! I had her, along with John and Jarrod in my Meteorology class one year. Anyways, she picked the boys up and they hung out at the mall to play catch up and discuss drawing and have some fun!


5. Mom, Jeff and I voted on Super Tuesday. The boys' registration cards haven't arrived yet.

6. During Passion week, at church, Jeff and Jarrod were Roman Centurions who rolled the stone over Jesus' tomb.

7. Caught a photo of Ears bathing in the sun on the front porch. She was only home for about two days of the month. We think she's found an inside home in the neighborhood where she can come and go. Everyone pretty much misses her.

8. The Saturday before Easter, Jeff and I headed out to Tybee Island, GA early in the morning to get in line at The Breakfast Club which opens at 7am. We love this place and it's such a treat for us to make our way out there, sit at the breakfast counter in front of the short order cooks preparing the food, and dancing and singing to 70's rock music. Such a wonderful time and great food.

9. Jeff and I are still attending some marriage counseling as we are still dealing with the changes in our lives. All good - even though it's been tough and a strain on our marriage.

10. We attended the 1-year old birthday party of the children's pastor's twin boys, who I've been making an 8 x 8 album for. It was a fun time with good munchies and great cake. The twins were a hoot! A couple hours well spent.

11. Jeff is still plowing away at his 30-hour safety course which is taking way longer than 30 hours. Go figure!


Digital Products: Ali Edwards' Story kits.