Friday, December 31, 2010

To Finish Out 2010 . . . (Updated)

I thought I'd leave you with a little smile . . .

A couple of weeks back (December 18th to be precise), I reminded a few of my friends that it was "Wear A Plunger On Your Head Day" (to be fair, I did caution them to use a clean, preferably new one & not the icky thing sitting next to the toilet). Anyhoo . . . "somebody" assured me that when I took a picture of myself with a plunger on my head that she would, too.  It's not the greatest photo of me, but how good can a person look wearing a hat like this?  Oh, K-A-R-E-N - it's your turn . . .

UPDATE: Nobody better ever try to tell me that I don't have THE best friends!  Eventhough she had to make a special trip to the hardware store on the last day of the year, lookie-look what I have . . .   If it isn't my dear cyber-friend, Karen, wearing a hat just like mine :-)  I love you, Karen!
And just in case nobody wants to miss out on any more of these oft-neglected holidays, here are a few January dates that I plan to celebrate & you might want to slap into your calendars:

1st - National Bloody Mary Day (I may start this one early)

5th - National Whipped Cream Day

9th - National Static Electricity Day

11th - National Step in a Puddle & Splash Your Friend Day

18th - National Winnie the Pooh Day

21st - Squirrel Appreciation Day (guess this one's international!)

23rd - Measure Your Feet Day (another international one apparently)

27th - I'm TOTALLY pumped about this one.  It's not only National Chocolate Cake Day but Thomas Crapper Day as well.  I guess if you celebrate the first one too much you might end up celebrating the second one whether you planned to or not.  You might even need to use your "hat" to clean up!

Anyway, regardless of what holidays you plan to celebrate in 2011, I truly hope it's an AWESOME year for you!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Everybody's A Winner Here

Most of us know how wonderful it feels to receive a compliment or how a kind word can brighten someone's day, but I have to admit that I'm guilty of not doing it nearly often enough. Especially when it comes to blogs and online forums, I tend to just "lurk" . . . enjoying the experience but never really saying much even when I think something I've seen is awesome.  Partly that's because I don't think I have anything particularly worthy to say - but, still, we should all do it more often.  Besides making the other person feel good, it's a great feeling to do something nice . . . plus, as I discovered recently, it can even have added benefits!    

Quick background . . .  a couple of the blogs I visit regularly are Gypsy Chick (aka Jodie Patterson) and Pink Paislee.  Both of these sites provide their readers with a steady supply of eye candy, inspiration, and terrific products.  To my delight, they recently joined forces & their first collaboration resulted in a simply yummy line of vintage (Jodie's forte) holiday papers called Father Christmas.  One of the cool things PP did earlier in the month was to sponsor a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway . . . with daily product tips, digital downloads, and lots of opportunities to win some of this scrumptious paper.  

Of course, I downloaded every single digi piece they offered.  And I bookmarked (and/or printed out) almost all the product demos.  I even used one of the items to create a quick layout for the Holiday Bingo contest I've been running at Scrapadilly.  Last, but not least, I was so taken with the line that I actually took the time to tell Jodie on her blog how much I love it.  

No, I wasn't one of winners - exactly.  But Jodie was so appreciative of the positive feedback that she made sure I got a prize anyway :-)  Helloooooooo, people . . . check out what I found on my porch on Christmas Eve:

We're talking the jackpot, folks . . . full sets of 12 x 12 papers AND 6 x 6 papers, plus two gorgeous Petaloo products - flowers from their Chantilly Collection & FloraDoodles Velvet Leaves!!  

I've already told both Jodie and Rebecca at Pink Paislee how totally thrilled I was to receive this most generous package, but I just have to say publicly that Gypsy Chick and Pink Paislee totally and completely ROCK!!

All this simply because I took just a teensy moment of my time to pay someone a compliment.  And I plan to do that more often in the future - not because I received this fantastic gift, but because the experience has reminded me how much it means to people to occasionally hear how wonderful or talented or smart or whatever they are.  Besides that, it doesn't cost you a cent, and it makes YOU feel good - IMHO, it's the quintessential example of how EVERYBODY can be a winner :-)

Now, if somebody out there can just help me find the time to dig my hands into all this yumminess and create something worthy, I will be eternally grateful!

Meanwhile, if I haven't bored you to tears yet & you're still reading this post . . . I've decided to share my bounty. Although you'll probably be able to find some next year, it's next to impossible to find Father Christmas for sale right now - it's been so popular that it's sold out almost everywhere.  Soooooo, anyone who leaves a comment on this post telling me how much they love the Father Christmas line will get their name put into the hat to receive part of my stash.  I'll use Random Generator to select a winner one week from today, January 6th.

And, just in case I don't get another chance to say this - Happy New Year!!  May 2011 bring you and those you love much joy & happiness . . .

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Big Ol' Birthday!

Yes indeed . . . big in both numbers & importance - it's Bill Pounds' 40th!!

I'm not going to write much, because I've said it all in either this layout or in person . . . but I must admit that today is very bittersweet for both Dave & myself.  We're having a difficult time accepting the fact that we're parents of a 40-year-old - particularly since we can't possibly even be that old ourselves. But that shock is more than outweighed by the pure joy of having a son as awesome as Bill Pounds.  (Yes - for those of you who don't know, we generally call him by both names, as odd as that may seem - lol!)

Anyway, without further adieu - Happy Birthday, Bill Pounds!!  I made this little layout in honor of your big day . . .
(for credits, see my Flickr Gallery - link in sidebar)


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I know I won't be blogging tomorrow or the next day, so I'm using this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas.  Once again, I'm more than slightly ashamed of myself for not getting holiday cards sent & am using my blog as a way to reach as many of you as possible to offer my apologies.  Despite the fact that I got so many beautiful cards from you this year, I must admit that I have not reciprocated.  And while I don't generally make New Year's resolutions, I do resolve to be better at "regular" correspondence next year . . . meanwhile, this will have to suffice as my holiday greeting to you.

I actually stole the idea for this prayer directly from another scrapping site (Little Blue House) - but I thought it was appropriate given how muddled the lines between religious Christmas & secular Christmas have become.
Santa's Prayer on
Christmas Eve
By Warren D. Jennings

The sleigh was all packed, the reindeer were fed,
But Santa still knelt by the side of the bed.
"Dear Father," he prayed "Be with me tonight.
There's much work to do and my schedule is tight.
I must jump in my sleigh and streak through the sky,
Knowing full well that a reindeer can't fly.
I will visit each household before the first light,
I'll cover the world and all in one night.
With sleigh bells a-ringing, I'll land on each roof,
Amid the soft clatter of each little hoof.
To get in the house is the difficult part,
So I'll slide down the chimney of each child's heart.
My sack will hold toys to grant all their wishes.
The supply will be endless like the loaves and the fishes.
I will fill all the stockings and not leave a track.
I'll eat every cookie that is left for my snack.
I can do all these things Lord, only through You,
I just need your blessing, then it's easy to do.
All this is to honor the birth of the One,
That was sent to redeem us, Your most Holy Son.
So to all of my friends, lest Your glory I rob,
Please Lord, remind them who gave me this job."

Happy Festivus & Other Celebrations!

I just know I'm not alone in waiting all year for this very special holiday - I hope you ALL have a wonderful Festivus :-)

Meanwhile, I need to shout out some belated birthday greetings to this "little" guy (slightly older & a bit larger now, since this pic was taken in 1992).   Happy Birthday two days late, Josh!!

Also, 38 years ago today, Dave was commissioned into the Army . . . I can't even imagine how different our lives would have been had that not happened. Despite a few lows (very few), we had an amazing & wonderful twenty years in the military - we met so many lifelong friends and got to travel to places we'd never have gone otherwise. Thanks for giving us those experiences, Dave - and happy anniversary!

Last but not least, today is also the birthday of an extremely special person in our lives.  John Lynn is many things to many people, but besides being my terrific brother-in-law, I consider him to be the very best:

~ Music Man
~ Margarita Man
~ Move It, Make It, or Modify It (no matter how big or how ridiculous the request) Man
~ Mind Your Own Business and Don't Ask Jann & Dee What They're Up To Now Man
~ My Sweet Sister's Main Man

This is a photo of him from October being the Marek-Taming Papa John Man.

Mostly today, though, he's the Birthday Man.  Hope your day is even half as wonderful as you are, John.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Christmas Story

Received links today from a couple of different folks showing different versions of the Nativity.  Since Christmas is almost here - yikes, only 4 more days, I thought I'd share them . . . they're both from YouTube.

Children's Version of the Christmas Story

A Digital Nativity

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's Crop Time . . .

at Scrapadilly beginning this Friday (the 17th) and running through the 31st.  As usual, Drea has come up with some terrific challenges & we'd love to have you come join us for It's a Dickens of a Christmas.

Here's a layout I did for the last crop but never got a chance to post . . . can you believe how young Dave & I were? Anyway, maybe I can come up with some more funny pictures to scrap about this time around :-)

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Quick Little Visit . . .

Man, the days are just flying by . . . I can't believe Christmas is almost here!  Due to the "current state of our home" Dave & I aren't doing much in the way of decorating or anything - but there are certain traditions that just CAN'T be ignored . . . one of which is delivering goodies to all those precious angels in Wichita Falls . . . and I got a chance to do just that this past weekend!
Not only did I get to spend (a little, but not enough) time with them, but I also got to watch young Emily Jane & her seriously good basketball team play their season opener :-)  Any visit to WF always has the added bonus of getting to see not only Joe & his whole crew, but also John & Liz - so that made the trip even better.  And eventhough it was a whirlwind trip & I contemplated pulling over at Catfish O'Harlie's (yes, that's really the name of the place) on the way home because I was so sleepy, I am sooooo glad I live close enough to do this at least occasionally.  It would only be better if I got to make personal deliveries to Marek, Emma, and Colette as well . . . but last time I checked, you just can't have EVERYTHING!!

Oops, I almost forgot . . . besides all the other wonderful things that happened on my trip, the kids surprised me with a birthday present - an adorable pink polka dotted coffee mug with a flamingo spoon rest. Not to mention, a card signed by each one of them. Hey, you may not be able to have everything - but I sure as heck have most of it!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Very Special Thank You

to my amazing father-in-law, Fay Pounds, who was serving at Kaneohe when Pearl Harbor was attacked 69 years ago today.  Please know how grateful we are for your service to our country, Dad, and how deeply we honor your comrades who sacrificed their lives that fateful day.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Happy (Slightly Early) Thanksgiving!!

Not much to say today, but thought I'd post a few layouts I've done over the past few days while I've been "trapped" in my office.  All the pages were done for challenges from the Sentimental Journey crop going on over at Scrapadillly, and the last one is meant to be a sort of Thanksgiving "greeting card" . . . in lieu of the ones I didn't get sent this year (bad Dee!)  As always, credits are listed in my Flickr gallery & you can just click on an image if you want a closer look.

First is a page I did using some of the cute pics Kelly posted on Facebook of Emma's first trip to the Pumpkin Patch:

Here's one about Janneepoo & her beautiful horse, Baron.  The photos are over a year old, as Jann wasn't up for riding when I visited earlier this fall - but I know she'll be back in the saddle just as soon as she can be, and Baron seems to be quite content with "just" visits in the meantime :-)

Finally, here's a layout I did with every single one of you in mind . . . I've always loved Norman Rockwell's stuff anyway & this is one of my favorites.  Whenever I look at it, I remember of all the wonderful times we've had together in the past - and look forward to the ones yet to come.  HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gloomy Sunday Here . . .

Well, it's pretty gloomy in Flower Mound today . . . no rain, but a heavy cloud cover all day long.  The good news is that it got up to 80 lovely degrees this afternoon, and I am NOT going to complain about temps like that at the end of November :-)  Oh, and it's been soooo nice & QUIET here today - for a real change from the past couple of days!

In our original remodeling plans, Dave & I had every intention of removing all the old tile and laying the new stuff ourselves. Eventhough we knew it wouldn't be easy, Dave is a Tile Layer Extraordinaire (here's a pic of the floor he did in Amanda's bathroom) & we still thought it was doable . . . until we ran into a big problem with somebody's version of thin set.  After several unsuccessful attempts to remove the corrugated concrete from our kitchen floor, a LOT of knee pain for Dave, and the realization that we still had three-fourths of the demo left to go, we finally admitted that we'd have to call in the pros for this part of the job.  

Even with their experience & special equipment,  it took them two whole days just to demo the remaining tile and remove what they said is the thickest thin set they've ever seen.  Their assessment did make Dave feel less like a wimp for not doing it himself - but YIKES, the noise has been deafening, and all this peace and quiet is soooooo refreshing :-)  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Guess Who's Four Years Old!

(I know, months with nothing & then three posts in one day - hey, it's either all or nothing, I guess!)

Well, like I said before (at least a couple of times), I've missed a whole slew of birthdays this year. But I'm only one day late on this one, so I'm taking this opportunity to wish our beautiful Nathalie a very happy, if belated, birthday. Not sure about the rest of you, but it's hard for me to believe that she's already 4 . . . eventhough I can't imagine what life was like before she came along!

I haven't done a layout of her lately, but here's one I did a while back - this series of pics was taken at one of Kayleigh's softball games last year.  Nattie's such a little character, and it's always hard for me to stop taking pictures when I'm around her (and all the other Stone & Muterspaugh kiddos).

Sentimental Journey Crop at Scrapadilly

It's time for another fun-filled crop at Scrapadilly - this month our theme is Sentimental Journey, and we're traveling back to the 1940's with Drea's extra-fantastic challenges & even a jukebox in the sidebar so you can listen to the Big Band sound while you scrap. The crop just started today & runs through the end of the month, so there's plenty of time to complete the challenges - even with Thanksgiving thrown in next week.

I haven't had a chance myself to complete any layouts, but I thought I'd show you a few of the ones I've done over the past several months but haven't had a chance to post yet.  If you want to get a closer look so you can read the journaling or anything, just click on the image.  (Credits for each layout are posted in my Flick'r gallery - link on sidebar.)

First, here's one I did about John & Liz . . . and it's waaaaay overdue.  I never did get around to writing about the phenomenal trip we took with them in May to attend several events honoring John as a distinguished alum of Henderson University. Lots of photos got taken that weekend, but the one I used for my "bad photo" layout last month was probably my favorite. Mind you, I only call the photo "bad" because it wasn't in proper focus - IMHO, it's a wonderful picture of two of the people I love most in this world.

This one about Amanda (and her amazing smile) was done for a Chinese Whispers challenge (one person starts with a sketch, sends their layout - but not the original sketch - to the next person, who sends it to the next person, etc. It's pretty interesting to see at the end how the sketch has morphed after everyone is finished.)

I did this layout for Mary's birthday - way back in June, but never got it posted here on my blog.  Boy, have I missed a ton of birthdays this year . . . I know this isn't the first time I've apologized, but I swear I'll try to do better!

Finally, here are a few from last month's Scrapadilly crop . . . mostly they're about my visit to California, but the crop theme last month was all about disco music & the 70's, so I just had to do a layout using one of the infamous Muterspaugh Kid Pyramid Pictures . . . we were soooooo stylin' back then!

All I Wanted Was A French Door

I know it's been forever since I've posted anything here - eventhough I said months ago that I'd be more regular about it.  But I just seem to manage to stay busy constantly, although I couldn't provide an alibi for most days if my life depended on it!

Mostly what's been taking up my (make that OUR) time & energy lately is that "little" remodeling project we undertook a while back.  It started out small . . . as I mentioned before, I've been wanting a French Door onto the patio ever since we moved into this house nearly 11 years ago, and Dave finally relented.  But, Scope Creep (changes to a project after it has started, causing it to expand from its original purpose, timeline, and BUDGET) overtook us & the project now involves an entire kitchen remodel, replacement of all the tile in roughly half of our house, and an overhaul of our guest bathroom . . . sometimes WE amaze even me!

Anyway, the train had already pulled out of the station before I thought to take "Before" pics, but here's one from a couple of years ago that shows the kitchen pretty much as it used to look:

And here are some "Work In Progress" pictures . . .
Fridge in family room - classy, eh?  (It's now in the living room!)

Kitchen as of last night - tile (and EVERYTHING else) removed.

Family room as of this morning.

Front hallway looking into family room - tonight.

Anyway, I'll undoubtedly be posting plenty more about this mammoth project we've undertaken, but meanwhile - for any of you who has ever wondered if we are totally insane, this should dispel any doubts.  By the way, if you think these rooms look bad, you should see the ones where we crammed everything to clear the demolition areas. I absolutely only wanted a French Door.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Help Is Out There . . .

. . . for those of us who suffer from occasional (or even frequent) feelings of inferiority.

Okay, I'll warn you now that this is a TOTALLY frivolous post, but I was directed today to an internet site that ended up occupying way too much of my time.  You know - that "like watching a fire" thing.  In any case, I came away feeling a whole lot thinner, more attractive, and smarter . . . and I think that's a good thing except for the fact that I also feel like I need a shower.

I'm not including any pictures in this post . . . if you're interested in spending a little time surfing the net in a non-productive way, you'll get plenty of those without help from me.  (Plus, I would never have been able to decide on which one(s) to use - so I'll let you pick your own favorites.)

And, if you don't get your fill here, this site also has plenty of other links so you can visit even more sectors of the Twilight Zone.  Meanwhile, here is a link to illustrate why I don't generally "do" Walmart:  People of Walmart.  You can click your state to see selections from there, or you can sort them randomly, or whatever.  I'm sure that, like me, it won't take long before you resolve to NEVER do Walmart . . . unless, of course, you're a masochist - or are perhaps trying to get your own photo published on the internet.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Who Knew?

Okay, I know I've been on hiatus for way too long now, but I think I'm about ready to begin posting again with a little more regularity.  This summer has been chocked full of all sorts of stuff, some good & some not so much - but I'm pretty sure things are falling into place enough that you'll be seeing a little more of me.

There have been at least a hundred things I've considered blogging about over the past 6 weeks, but I just haven't been able to get up the gumption.  Unfortunately, I've dropped the ball on a host of birthdays, anniversaries, etc. - and to those of you who got skipped, I apologize.  That certainly doesn't mean I love you any less - just that I've been a little extra flaky lately.  Mea culpa . . .

One reason I don't get more accomplished is because I get sidetracked sooooooo easily - I'm forever starting out on one path & finding myself hours later somewhere on a road 5 counties away.  Well, the latest thing I found intrigued me so much that I just had to blog about it.

A quick bit of background . . . Dave & I are in the process of remodeling our kitchen.  Of course, like everything else we do, it's gonna take forever & we'll change the plan a dozen times before we're finished.  It all started out because I thought a French door leading out onto the patio would be cool.  Sounds relatively simple, right? Well, not when it's us - the King & Queen of Scope Creep!  Anyway, right now we're in the demo mode & researching our options for countertops, flooring, and appliances. In our travels through the ninety gazillion things you can find online about kitchen appliances, we made a discovery tonight that prompted this post.

Did you know that they make refrigerators and ovens with a Sabbath Mode?
According to Wikipedia, 

"Sabbath mode . . .  is a feature in many modern home appliances, including ovens and refrigerators which is intended to allow the appliances to be used (subject to various constraints) by Shabbat-observant Jews on the Shabbat and Jewish holidays.  

Jews are forbidden from doing creative work on the Shabbat. Observant Jews interpret this to include doing things such as making a fire, preparing food or even closing a switch or pressing an electronic button." 

(If you're interested in reading more, here's a link:  Wikipedia/Sabbath Mode.)

But the reason I was prompted to write about this is that I'm puzzled.  Mind you, I'm not even remotely anti-Semitic & I certainly don't have a problem at with these features being available - I just don't understand WHY!  It seems to me that if you're that strict in your observance of the Sabbath, you probably don't need an appliance to help you follow the rules.  It's not like if you were Jewish you wouldn't know it was Saturday until you tried to cook something & the oven wouldn't cooperate!

Anyway, I was so fascinated by the whole concept that I just had to mention it.  I'm really interested to find out if other people have heard of this & I've been living on another planet, or if it's news to everybody else too.  At least it wasn't one of those factoids that Dave already knew about but failed to share (he has an amazing inventory of information he keeps stashed away for just the right moment!) But, he had never heard of Sabbath Mode either, so neither one of us understands why you'd need that on your Kitchenaid or why they have Braille on drive-thru ATMs.   (Hey, I'm not prejudiced against blind people either, but I hope there aren't that many people actually driving around who need to read by Braille.  I think the roads are plenty dangerous enough already!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Do you ever find yourself searching for just the right words to describe something but invariably come up blank?  Well, I just happen to be good friends with the QUEEN of this phenomenon, and the scary part is that I always know exactly what she's trying to say!  Even if nobody else has a clue what she's talking about, I know precisely what she means, and vice versa.

I first "met" June several years ago on a scrapbooking message board (before Scrapadilly), and our connection was immediate. We're so much alike it's eerie, so she & I have come to the conclusion that we are actually twins who were separated at birth (or shortly thereafter).  I have this picture of Momma with Andy & Jann where she's holding two little babies - one of them is me, but I never received a satisfactory explanation as to who that other "mystery" kid is, and now I'm convinced it's none other than Junebug!

Somehow she made her way to Ohio, and it took us half a century to hook back up :-)  Meanwhile, her new parents even changed her birthday, because mine is in December & hers is tomorrow!  Since I've been my normal non-productive self and failed to get a card sent, I decided I'd post a couple of layouts to celebrate her big day.

Remember that weekend when it was Dave's & my 40th Anniversary and I abandoned him to go see friends in Oklahoma City?  Well, Junebug was one of the people I was going to meet.  We had such a fantastic time - shopping & eating, napping in the middle of the day, and laughing ourselves silly . . . it was nearly impossible to believe that it was the first time I had ever met her or Drea or Jo in real life!  Unfortunately, hardly any of the pictures we got that weekend turned out well - but I just had to do a layout using them anyway.  Since the quality was so poor, I tweaked the pictures to look kind of like cartoon drawings and made a comic strip out of them.  The reason I titled it "Joe's Gals" is because June hadn't been in town an hour when she was getting kissed by a complete stranger at the sandwich shop where we stopped for lunch, and we named the stranger Joe.
Click to enlarge.  Dialog boxes & alpha by Ana Reis (Two Little Pixels)

And this is the layout I made for June expressly for her birthday . . . the title is pretty indicative of how she communicates when she's at a loss for words.  
Click to enlarge.  For full credits, please see my Flickr Gallery (link in sidebar)


Slumber Party at Scrapadilly

Well, with CIS Summer Program going on, I'm not sure how much time I'll have to dedicate to scrapping, but I'm sure looking forward to the upcoming crop at Scrapadilly.

This month, we're having an 8 day Slumber Party (beginning on Friday - WOO HOO!), and I can't wait to see what challenges Drea comes up with this time around.  She never ceases to amaze me with her creativity, and I invariably have a hard time choosing which ones I'm going to do.  Since I'm such a slow scrapper I never get them all done, but it's always fun trying :-)

Here are a few of the layouts I did last month (Click to enlarge. Credits for all can be found in my Flickr Gallery):

The yummy house where John & Liz & Amanda stayed when we were in Arkansas:

Andy's boundless energy:

Wildflowers along the highway between Oklahoma City & Dallas:

And Marek "driving":

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fire in the Hole!

I never thought of that as a phrase I'd find popping into my mind repeatedly, like some commercial ditty you get stuck in your head & can't get rid of. But that was before Jann got me hooked on the FX series "Justified", which - much to my dismay - ended its first season tonight.

I'm pretty sure I've never been captivated so quickly by a t.v. show before, and I can't really tell you why it grabbed me so fast.  It's actually based on a short story by Elmore Leonard called, appropriately enough, "Fire in the Hole."  The show's pretty dark in many respects, but it's also funny, fast-paced, and extremely well-acted . . . and I am in LOVE with it!  Kind of like I'm in love with U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) and even begrudgingly with white-supremacist-turned-man-of-the-cloth Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins).  They are arch enemies and about as different as can be, yet they have an awful lot in common (most notably their ass-hole fathers), and IMHO the scenes they do together are mesmerizing.

There are plenty of other colorful characters populating the rural Kentucky landscape in this series, but the out-and-out stars of the show are Olyphant & Goggins.  No surprise on the Marshall (although he just keeps getting hotter & hotter each week).  But I doubt anyone suspected early on how compelling a character Boyd would become (for anyone who hasn't seen the show, he just happens to have hollered "Fire In The Hole!" more than once this season and got it stuck firmly in my head.)  I'm certainly no expert on acting, but I absolutely believe that Goggins should win an Emmy for this series.  Actually, there's a whole host of writers and actors who deserve awards for the show, but if Goggins doesn't get one, I think maybe Boyd Crowder should pay a little visit to Hollywood & take his rocket launcher with him!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jay!

Well, I'm running really far behind this morning . . . headed out to the Great American Scrapbook Convention with Milli - to see if I can find another way to spend some of Dave's hard-earned money.

Meanwhile, it's Jay's birthday & I wanted to take just a minute to remind everyone and to post this layout I did for him.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAYBIRD!  Hope you have an absolutely fantastic day . . .

Click to enlarge. (All elements from "Celebrate" by Elise Hansen at The Digichick)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

While most of us are all cozy & warm in our beds this morning, Amanda's friends are in Austin getting ready to start their triathlon.  They've been training for such a long time, and I know they're all excited (and a wee bit anxious) about how they'll do both individually and as a team.  Once again, here's a picture of the team, Good Ass Fried Chicken.  Please don't anybody bother to ask me how they came up with that name, because I do not know!  I can only conjecture that they ate some really good fried chicken one day & decided that would be a good team name.  I truthfully have no idea, but maybe Amanda will fill me in when she gets back in town.  As some of you may recall, she's the team's No. 1 athletic supporter - so she's in Austin as Jockstrap LBS, cheering her team on to victory.  Regardless of how GAFC places in the race, I'm extremely proud of all of them for the time and effort they've put into preparing for this event and helping raise money for the LLS.
As much as I admire them, the REAL reason for this holiday shouldn't be lost on any of us who live in this wonderful country of ours.  It may be flawed here and there, but it's still the greatest nation on earth - and hundreds of thousands have fought and died to keep it that way.  We owe it to them to take at least a few minutes today to pause and think about the sacrifices they made to preserve our freedom.  And while we're at it, I think we should also stop & say a little prayer for all the military personnel who are currently serving in combat.  Even if you disagree with the political reasoning behind their deployment, these men & women are performing their duty - and the very least we can do to repay them is to remember them in prayer.

Dear Heavenly Father, 

Please hold our troops in your loving hands.
Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform in service to our nation. 

In Christ's name we pray.  Amen.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

If You Don't Believe Me . . .

When I was a kid, it seems like the last day of school was nearly always May 27th. I don't remember that as much for the fact that summer was starting as I do because it was Joe's birthday.  It was always a day of celebration, and it's still hard for me to realize sometimes that kids nowadays go to school all the way into June!  A lot of years have passed since I could even remotely be considered a kid, and I have a tendency to forget a lot of things these days.  But I guess May 27th is forever etched on my memory, because I actually remembered a birthday on time for a change!

It's a shame that we can't all be together to celebrate the occasion like we did in the old days - but there's a new generation of Muterspaugh kiddos running around the Wichita Falls area these days who IDOLIZE their DooDad, and I know that he will be treated with the appropriate amount of hoopla.  I was lucky enough to be in town last year for his birthday cookout, and I don't have the words to tell you how heart-warming it was to witness Joe surrounded by his amazingly wonderful family.

I have to admit that there have been times over the years when I could never have envisioned Joe as he is today - most notably, when we lived on Polk & he hung around with Jackie Cameron.  Now, except for Joe and (perhaps) his grandmother, nobody really cared much for Jackie.  In his defense, he had a really crappy home life, but that didn't change the fact that you couldn't believe a single word that came out of his mouth.  Well sure enough, Joe picked up the habit & started coming home with all sorts of wild tales - some were true, of course, but it was difficult to believe him a lot of the time.  If challenged on the "facts", his response was invariably "Well, if you don't believe me, just ask Jackie."  (And of course, we always jumped right on that!)

But time has a way of changing us all, and that was many long years ago.  Who'da  thunk way back then when he was telling us all about quackless ducks (actually true) and other implausible stories, that one day Joe would become the quintessential family patriarch?  Certainly not I, but that's exactly what he is . . . and I guarantee I'm not alone in that opinion.  Heck, if you don't believe me, you could always just ask Jackie!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JOE!!  In honor of your big day, I did a layout about another one of your "eccentricities" when you were a kid.  I love you sooooo much and hope you're having a FANTASTIC birthday . . . xoxoxo

Click to enlarge.  (for credits, please see my Flickr gallery - link in sidebar)

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Have a Confession . . .

I'm a thief.

Even worse, I steal from people I love.

I'm sure there's some fancy-dancy cyber term for what I do, but essentially I'm an internet photo thief. You see, I go to Amie's blog and Kelly's, Amanda's, and Erin's Facebook albums - and I take their pictures! If any of the rest of you had pictures for me to steal, I would probably burglarize you as well.

Sure - occasionally, I acquire my treasures by legitimate means. Stephen and Jann are pretty good about sending me pics of our little miracle baby, like the one in the layout below of Stephen & Marek at the kitchen sink. Then, of course, there are my all-too-infrequent visits where I actually take my own photos (what a concept!). But mostly I just have to rely on my pilfering skills.

A few days ago, Amie posted school pictures of the girls. Besides the fact that they're pics of three of my FAVORITE little girls, they're excellent photos. (I know that most of you don't need me to tell you that they did NOT take school pictures like this back in the day.) In any case, I just couldn't help myself - I took those suckers and turned them into a layout for a challenge at Scrapadilly.

Bottom line, if I know the pictures are out there, I'm gonna grab 'em. So if you don't want me snarfing them up to drool over and use in my scrapping projects, just don't ever tell me where I can access them. It's as simple as that.

(for layout credits, please see my Flickr gallery - link in sidebar)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Believe in Miracles

I pretty much always have, but any doubts that might have lingered have been dispelled by a little guy named Marek Thompson Crane.

When Marek was born last April 28th, he was 3 months premature and weighed only slightly over one-and-a-half pounds. The obstacles he faced just to survive were astronomical, but fortunately he had exceptional medical care - and more people praying for him than you can imagine.

From day one, he was a fighter. Despite so many medical issues and the odds against his making it, Marek was able to come home from the hospital at the beginning of July.  I was lucky enough to be there when he was released and to spend a couple of weeks helping Stephen and Mel feed him and do his exercises and suck the gi-normous boogers out of his nose . . . and generally just being in awe of the miracles God can work.

Today, you'd never know by looking at him that Marek had such a rough start in life.  He is a healthy, happy, and QUITE active little dude - and on April 28th, he and his folks went to Irvine to celebrate his birthday at Papa John & Boujie's house.  Boujie (aka Jann) made him his own little cake, and his response was just as normal as could be . . . he was a little unsure at first, but it didn't take him long to figure out that this was something quite yummy!

I know that despite all the horrible things going on in the world, there are plenty of places to look every day and know that God hasn't yet given up on us.  He's still watching over us and doing His darndest to keep us headed in the right direction.  But if ever I find myself wavering in my belief that He still performs miracles, all I have to do is think about Marek.

(for credits, please see my Flickr gallery - link in sidebar)