Sunday, August 31, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Acrylic Album Templates - How to Guide for Creating an Album Template. Part 1.

I designed and cut my first shaped album in September of 2007. It was this lovely snowflake album. I've been hooked ever since.

In October 2007, I designed the following house shaped album, decorated it, and sold it on ebay. Approximately one month later another acrylic manufacturer used my design without my permission and began to mass market the album. If you're a scrapbooker it might look familiar.

I was so disappointed! It really challenged my faith in humanity. As it turns out it's going to cost me $THOUSANDS$ to pursue legal action, and while there is no question I would win in a legal dispute it's just not worth my effort or attention.

So instead I'm going the shareware route and I plan to make my Acrylic House Album Template available for free personal use. (I'll post that later.)

The finished album...

For now, I'm going to post detailed step by step instructions for exactly how to cut your own shaped albums with standard garage tools.

Today I'm starting with Designing your template

Update::::  Hi All, I have moved this full tutorial over to

Brave Girl University!

Check it out here. 

Oh Man....

We've got some work to do....

Just to clarify, this is an issue of reading the words, not knowing what color is which. This is also an issue of not caring, and using whichever color you want where ever you want it because you don't want to read the words...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

When We Come Up For Air.

The past couple weeks have been really bad for me. I just got so down. I felt completely worthless, ugly, stupid, fat.... you name it, if it's a negative emotion I was feeling it.

I'm still hurting so much inside. It feels like the rest of the world is moving on anyway, and I'm stock in some kind of personal vortex. Have you ever seen a child going down a slide, and the poor kid is screaming the death cry the whole way down? That's about how I've felt. Like a screaming child going down the worlds longest corkscrew slide. Down, down, down. You want to get off, but you can't. The people who love you want to help you off, but can't. And so you're stuck. Going down, but not enjoying the ride.

I've questioned everything. Not just about why this happened, but everything I've ever been taught. I've been in a very unhappy place. I did not want to listen to the Lord and I stopped praying. There just didn't seem to be a point in it.

And then the most amazing things started to happen. First I was prompted to do something that turned out to be extremely helpful to someone I love very much. I didn't recognize it as a prompting, until after it happened. It touched me very much that the Lord would allow me to be an instrument in his hands to help someone I love so much when I had turned my back on him. Then yesterday a couple women from church stopped by to visit me and shared the most amazing message with me. They helped to clarify the atonement in a way I had never considered and that my Heavenly Father does suffered the pains of the world. He suffered and shared my pain, every bit of it, and more. I've heard this for a long time, and thought I believed it, but I didn't truly know it in my heart till now. It just didn't seem to apply to me. There have been other things that happened that I don't feel comfortable sharing here, but every time one of these things happened I would get this feeling in my heart that this was my Heavenly Father letting me know he does suffer with me, and has suffered more than me, even over the loss of my little Vincent. He loves me very much, and desires for me to know my worth, and feel joy in it.

I think Heavenly Father allowed me to hit rock bottom just so he could show me how much he loves me and that he really is aware of my pain and loss. So I could really understand it. You never can understand how good water is until you've been without it for days. So it was with me and my Father in Heaven's love.

I didn't realize that when Vincent died it was like a small crack in the windshield. Since his death the crack has been creeping and spreading and growing larger everyday. Some days it slows to a stop and some days it streaks quickly in all directions, but it never recedes. Cracks don't heal themselves. Heat and fire is needed to reform the glass.

Windsheild glass is actually made up of 2 pieces of glass with a heavy duty piece of plastic sandwitched between the two. Because of this the glass must be carefully recycled.

With effective processing, there is no need for windshield glass to be a solid waste.
Once damaged the glass will never be the same again. But it can be recylced into something new, and beautiful, and useful.

This is were I am. In the process of changing permanently into something new. Still useful, still whole, still complete, but different.

I'm not there, but at least now I can understand where I'm at and what's happeneing.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ahhh... My little offender in training!

So shortly after The kids left for school, and I finished my last post, I look outside and this is what I see.

My very own little peeping tom in training. This is such a proud moment.

He says he saw a bird...

The happiest day of the year.

Yes, I am so over being one of those moms who cries on the first day of school.

Sure I will miss Noah and Jennica while they are gone, but they were definitely ready to go back, and I was more that ready to send them back. It's been a very long summer what with everything... Our days lacked structure because I never did keep my act together for more than just a couple weeks at a time.

I just feel back for Aaron. With his late birthday he doesn't start kindergarten till 2010, and he is SOOOO ready right now. He was looking for his backpack this morning so he could go to school too.
Noah and Jennica were so excited we had to leave for the bus stop 10 minutes early... Why? So we could stand around an extra 10 minutes and wait for the bus or course!

With the kids good friend and neighbor who starts kindergarten this year. He's been looking forward to this day for years. It just killed him to see Jennica and Noah leave for school the past couple years without him.

It's going to be a great year. I can feel it!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Eagle Island State Park

Today I was outside weeding my garden when I suddenly thought about Eagle Island State park, and that I really wanted to take the kids and go- right now. This is so out of character for me. I just don't act on a whim like this. Ever.

So anyway, I when right inside and called my sis to see if she wanted to go too. She had some important things she couldn't put off, so I offered to just pick up her kids and take them with me.

I am so glad we went. It was a beautiful day. The weather was perfect. When we first arrived, there were quite a few people there at the beach, but within an hour and and 15 minutes almost everyone left and we practically had the entire place to ourselves. (Hope we didn't run them off!)

Aaron eating grapes.

The water in the beach area is pretty shallow and nice and warm. All the kids were playing together, and since most of the kids are older I didn't need to worry about them to much. I was able to lay in the shade under this large tree and enjoy the perfect weather.

Jennica and Emily were busy digging a murky water hole (they called it a pool) for Jennica to sit in, and Noah and Ethan were building a plastic cup sand castle village or something.

While Noah and Ethan were digging they found a "real live worm!" Noah had to have a picture of it.

It was such a nice day. It never would have been so nice if I had planned it ahead of time.

Tomorrow is the official last day of summer vacation. This was a really nice end to summer. I have to say, I haven't been the best mom since April... but the last 3 weeks have been just awful. I've been horribly depressed about Vincent and not pleasant at all to be around. My poor kids haven't been able to do very much because I've been so upset and anti social. No playgroups, no trips to the library, or the park... just hanging around the house or playing with the neighbors.

I thought maybe once I got passed the due date things would get better, but now all I can think about is how he would be here now, and he's not. It's like loosing him and missing him all over again. I keep thinking about how old he would be, and what I would, and would not be doing if I had a newborn infant to care for. I'd still be depressed because I always get post pardum depression... so I guess I have that. My baby would be about four weeks old now.

I wonder how long I will stay in this funk? I don't have a whole lot of desire to get out of it. That's probably bad, but I just don't really care.


Tonight I was making macaroni and cheese from the box for my kids for dinner. Andy had Noah, and Jennica at the elementary school for meet the teacher night, so it was just Aaron and I.

He was asking me what I was doing when I poured in the milk, added the butter, and powdered cheese. I told him we just had to stir it up and it would make cheese sauce.

He says to me, "But mom, I don't want to turn into a Pizza." (yeah, what??? I don't know either.)

I told him he would be a yummy pizza....

He told me, "but mom, pizza is not made out of people."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back to Boulder Lake

Last week my parents and sister and I decided we would head back up to Boulder lake for one last summer trip. Usually we don't do a lot of camping without bathrooms or running water, but since this was last minute we didn't have a lot of options. Everything else was booked out.

I am so glad it worked out that way. I was expecting the area to be packed with only one week to go before school starts back up, but it was pretty empty. We pretty much had the entire camping area at the base of the reservoir to ourselves.

There were tons of ripe huckleberries all over the area. They were so good. I wanted to pick enough that I could bring some home, but we couldn't stop eating them all.

My dad is just an amazing guy to have out camping. Not only did he wire the entire camp with lights using bulbs from vehicle tail lights and a computer UPS, but he build tripods to cook with and for the baby jumper. On Sunday morning I woke up to the sound of a blower. It was my mom blow drying her hair. Keep in mind there is no running water, bathrooms, or power available in this area.

Here's breakfast the first morning. sausage, hashbrowns, fried eggs, english muffins, juice and of course huckleberries.

The camp are was very nice and level, but the dirt was very dirty dirt. If that makes any sense at all... The kids were always filthy.

On Saturday we decided to all head out and finally find Louie Lake, now that we know where it is. The hike was much easier without our packs, but a bit tough for the kids, especially Aaron. Andy and I were excited to try some fishing. As soon as we reach the lake there is a sign that says no live bait, and catch and release under 20 inches. The fish were jumping like crazy, but we didn't get so much as a nibble. We had worms and wanted to use them so bad.

Pete was driving up from Boise to meet us Saturday afternoon, so my parents, and Jill, and all the younger kids, decided to head back down to camp to meet up with him. Andy and I stayed at the lake with my nieces Sariah and Emily. When we get back to camp we find out that mom and dad, and Jill and all the kids missed a turn off in the trail and hiked quite a ways out of the way. Poor Aaron was so worn out and tired that every time they stopped to rest he would say, "You go on... just leave me here" They laid down a mat and he rested for about 5 minutes then he was good to go again.

On Sunday we tried fishing at the reservoir. There was one older gal there fishing about 50 feet from us. She was pulling the fish out of the lake like a mad women. While we sat there... not catching a thing. Her husband was down on the other side of us, and he was doing pretty well too. Finally they left and we moved to where the husband had been fishing and finally had some luck. We caught six trout in about an hour right at the end of the day. Dinner was already finished so we took the trout home and we'll have them for dinner real soon. Pan fried with butter and fresh herbs from my garden. YUM.

On Sunday night for dinner we had barbecued ribs, corn on the cob, sweet potatoes, salad, and wild huckleberry cobbler. It was fantastic.

This is how you eat corn on the cob when you have 2 missing teeth and two more loose ones.

After dinner we packed up and heading back to Boise. Jennica was stuck in the middle seat and was so tired. She wanted to lay down and so Aaron said to her, "You can lay on me Jennica." I love it when they're sweet to each other.

I love the Boulder Lake area. Can't wait to go back.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

All is right in the world.

From my BFF who is way cooler than me... Just wanna make a permanent record.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My new Tag

I have finally decided today to leave by eBay scrapbooking design team.

*sniff* *sniff*

I'll miss the girls of PFOP very much, but I'm a bit of a flake right now and I am not all that interested in selling premades or paper piecings.

So anyway, My signature on discussion boards has always been a PFOP tag such as this:

But now that I'm leaving I need to come up with my own tag. I took some pictures yesterday of a beautiful gerber daisy my friend gave me. And I thought I would try using it.

So here's the picture:

Crop Crop...

Photoshop Colored pencil effect... that's pretty cool, but not what I want...
Ah perfect! When I use it to sign my posts it automatically creates a link back to my blog.

I like how it looks right now, but I'm so picky it will probably get on my nerves. And then I'll have to change it again to something a little more mellow, and a little less yellow.

What do you think? I'd love to know if you got to my blog by using my new tag....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Girls 3T clothes for sale!

First off, thank you so much for all of your kind, loving comments, personal emails, and phone calls. I am feeling so much better and hopeful, and most of all.... loved. You guys are so awesome!

I have been sorting Jennica's old clothes and preparing listings for eBay. I finally got the first lot up. It's been thought provoking. Jennica told me she didn't want me to sell her old clothes... she wants to just keep them so she can look at them. How cute. Mostly I kept thinking while I was cleaning and pressing the clothes that I thought I was never going to have to iron this shirt, or pair of pants again...

Now it's all ready and the listing is up! Here's some of my fav's, but you can click here to go to eBay to see the whole auction.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fat, short, old and dumber than a pile of rocks.

My good old self esteem has been taking a lot of hits lately. I'm dealing with a lot right now that has me pretty down. On top of that, I can't seem to catch a break or win at anything right now. I've been a pretty crabby, mean mom and just haven't really been enjoying life very much at all the past couple weeks.

I've been trying so hard to loose the last 15 lbs of post stillborn baby weight. I don't know anyone who likes their body after having a baby (besides the people who leave the hospital in their prepreg jeans... and we won't talk about those people...) but usually having that sweet little newborn baby justifies the sacrifice. Now I just feel fat. It's not like when I go out to run errands people see a women who is a bit heavy, but carrying a little baby. I just feel like everyone's looking at me like I'm an unattractive women who is clearly unhappy, short tempered, and must be a bit lazy.

I don't get why I haven't been able to loose weight. I eat very carefully, with just a little bit of cheating, but not enough that it would effect my ability to loose weight. I also jog about 1.5 miles almost every evening. It's evident I have made some progress, but no where near where I should be for as hard as I've been working on it.

I took this picture back in May. It's my starting point. About a month after I lost the baby.

I took this picture in mid July. There is a noticeable difference, but not much of one.

Especially considering this picture was taken last September, just 2 months before I got pregnant.

It's almost my birthday. I'm feeling older than I should. I don't feel like I'm part of the young generation anymore and that just means one thing, I'm part of the old generation. If I went to one of those carnival exhibits were they try to guess your age, I bet they would guess older. I hate that, but I don't know what to do to change it.

Today I was on facebook and came across an application to testing your IQ. I really needed a pick me up, and figured I would probably be able to score well on that. I've always thought of myself as slightly above average in the intelligence department... especially since I'm considering the illiteracy rate in my personal assessment. I needed this test to prove it. I answered all the questions and really felt like I had done well. So much so, that at the end of the quiz you're required to do some surveys in order to get your results (I HATE that.) I was so desperate for some reassurance that I'm really doing alright, that I actually did the surveys. Here's the results I got.

I was so depressed, and upset. It seriously got me down. I've been wanting to go back to college and work towards a nursing degree, and I've been thinking maybe I'm not smart enough to be able to do it. I mean, this certified intelligence test says I show signs of being dumb... And I KNOW you've probably noticed at least 2 typo's or grammatical errors in this one post alone.

What If I try to go back and can't pass the entry level classes? I think that might leave me more depressed than not even trying. I'm not giving up the idea yet, I'm just seriously doubting my abilities to even be able to do it.

After all this I was feeling pretty useless and worthless this afternoon and evening. Then Aaron out of nowhere comes up and gives me a big kiss. I realized, it really doesn't matter if I'm not the smartest rock in the bucket, that I'm getting gray hair, or that I'm a little heavier than I want to be. There are so many people who love me, and show that love on a daily basis through their actions. If people, and God, love me then I must be worth something.

I have a lot to be grateful for and I need to just get over myself. I'm not there yet, but I'm working on it.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Jennica!

I can't believe my little girl is 6 years old today! Not that the time hasn't flown by, but she seems so much older than 6 to me.

Here are some early pictures.

Jennica and Noah at on the Boise Temple grounds. Jennica is about 2 years, Noah about 4 years.

Jennica at 3 years old...

Jennica, shortly before her 4th birthday.

Jennica on Noah's first day of Kindergarten. A little over 4 years old.

And Jennica at about 5 years old. She's wearing those Billy Bob Halloween teeth. (Jennica actually came over while I was cropping this pictures and she asked about the picture. I told her this was what she looked like before she started to brush her teeth. She had this awful look on her face because she thought I was serious.)

And the birthday party!

(You can only get away with jumping on the couch in front of your mom during your birthday party..)

Opening presents with friends, Brooklyn Smith and Sydney Leister.

Wearing some new presents..

This year Jennica decided to have a small birthday party and go to Chuck E. Cheese with her friends.

Andy was at the salad bar and I looked over. I for a split second I wasn't sure which one was my husband.

$10 bucks if you guess right. Well, not really. but you'll have the satisfaction of guessing correct, and THAT is just about priceless.

It was a lovely day.

Jennica is such a beautiful, energetic little girl. I am so happy to be her mom. I can't wait to see her grow up. She is so tall for age and I bet she's going to surpass me by quite a bit. She brings so much enthusiasm and energy to our family. I love her so much!

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!