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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Another Travel Journal

Here's one more travel journal before we head out on vacation. This time, it is for Dan. Thanks to Jana and the travel journal she made for her nephew last summer, this one was really easy to make. I downloaded the pages she created, adjusted them a little bit to fit our trip, and put it all together.

I used mat board for the front and back covers and added a few stickers to decorate the pages.

I included an envelope to collect memorabilia from each day and used sticky-back velcro for the closures, since that is easier to manipulate than the strings I used in my own travel book. (here is a sampling of a few of the pages)

I plan to package it in a gallon zip-lock bag, along with a pen to record his memories.

If you want to make one for yourself, you can download her pages at this link.

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Friday, June 24, 2011


Early in the week, I caught this picture at the grocery store. I'm sure this is nothing new, but I'd never seen this brand of water bottles before---they would have been perfect for celebrating her recent birthday!

At work on Thursday, one of the teachers handed me a bag on the way out of school---3 beautiful, ripe, home-grown tomatoes! YUMMY!!!

Yesterday, I rode down to Houston with several friends from church to visit several different social service agencies for inspiration. Arriving just in time for dinner last night, we had an AMAZINGLY wonderful meal at Guadalahara del Centro, located in the Houston Pavilions. I loved these umbrellas decorating the pavilion space.

Here are the great ladies I traveled with (not sure about that face you're making, Erin):

We got lots of inspiration for improving the services we are already providing to needy families in our community. This picture was from an awesome food pantry at an agency called WHAM.

Do you have any smart phone picture to share? Head over to Life Rearranged to link up.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bad Hair

Bad hair day, perhaps?

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Heat Wave

My mom had such a green thumb---plants thrived in her care and it all seemed to come so easy to her. Unfortunately, I did not inherit that gift. I think I've mentioned that plants need to be very hardy to live at my house. So far, it's only the middle of June it's like 104 degrees outside during the day! I have brand new landscaping in my backyard. That means massive amounts of watering just to keep everything alive. After dinner, I've been turning on the sprinkler in the front yard. Knowing that I'll forget that it's even on, I set the microwave timer for 20 minutes and settle in to surf the web or catch up on work. The timer goes off and I go outside to move the sprinkler. Back inside, I get busy again. Then, suddenly, an hour later, I remember that I forgot to set the timer and race outside to turn it off and move it to yet another spot . . . and so on until they've all been watered (and sometimes I have water running down the driveway). Rewind and then repeat---each evening.

Only to remember----oops! I totally forgot the herbs that were planted in the backyard. :-( Sorry Basil and replanted Rosemary!

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Tough Love

Early Sunday evening, I went out to investigate what Emmi was marking at so incessantly in the backyard. Being a bird lover, I was so sad to see that she had found a tiny baby bird that had inadvertently hopped into our backyard in the process of learning to fly. Emmi was terrified by this little creature and had tried to pick it up, which was a fatal move for the baby. So sad.

After scooping up Emmi, I followed the tiniest of sounds to discover another baby cardinal hopping about by my neighbor's house. Mom and dad were watching from inside a nearby row of shrubs, so I was careful not to get too close. This baby was so tiny---no more than 3 inches at most.

After making it under the gate,

mama flew down to provide a little encouragement. While she kept her distance, it was also clear that she was keeping a watchful eye so that this baby didn't meet the same fate as his sibling.

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Scrapbook On The Road

When I was a little girl, we went on a vacation every summer. Some years, we would take off the last few days of school and other times they were scheduled a little later in June, but my parents made our vacation a priority. Our vacations weren't extravagant---we usually camped somewhere for a week or two---but we had the opportunity to visit far away relatives, spend time outdoors, fish, swim, and see sights that we never would otherwise seen.

My earliest vacation memories involve a pop-up camper and big, thick sleeping bags. As the years progressed, we upgraded to a mobile trailer and finally to a Winnebago motor home. With 4 children, I imagine that packing for these trips must have been a challenge for my mother. But, I remember each of us getting a brown paper bag with our name written on it with a magic marker to pack the clothes that we needed for the trip. (I don't think any of us had any luggage until we graduated from high school)

In addition, we each got a composition notebook in which we were to write each day's events in each evening.

There were times that this seemed like homework to me and I didn't want to do it, but I see now that my mother was encouraging us to document our lives in ways that would be meaningful. (I'm pretty sure that I didn't see a bunny or even a rainbow on this tip to California, but when you're 4 years old . . . Callie I think I see where you got your amazing art abilities.)

All along the trip, we would save memorabilia to paste in our books--postcards, a straw paper from that yummy milk shake or the paper place mat used at a diner. (remember when Holiday Inns looked like this?)

I've never been a journal/diary keeper, but I now find myself wanting to record more than just a photo or two. Though I usually try to assemble a photo album once I return from vacation, this year I'm trying something new. A few months ago, I signed up for Ali Edwards' Scrapbook On The Road class . This was a great class for a very reasonable price and I finished totally inspired to make one for my upcoming vacation to Yosemite. This weekend, I completed my album, so here some photos of how it looks before the vacation begins.

I used a variety of pieces from my "stash" that I don't have the source for, but here are the things that I can credit:

Bobunny timepiece Die cut

Hambly Screen Prints overlays

Tim Holtz ideo-ology collection

Teresa Collins travel ledger

Rebeccas Sower Nostalgiques stickers

Jenni Bowlin Studio papers

(****I'm linking up to Sandy's Challenge #4 ****)

This was so fun! I can't wait to make one for Dan and to begin recording my adventure!

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Friday, June 17, 2011


It's Insta-Friday again and here are a few shots from my week (I'm linking up to Life Rearranged):

Aren't these the cutest decorations for VBS? The theme is "God's Big Backyard" and the stage in our Worship Center was transformed into the best backyard every--complete with a hammock!

Last night, Callie and I attended the dedication of the Hope's Haven, the new patio dining area at Hope House. Hope House provides facilities and case management to the homeless in our area with the hopes of everyone one day having their own "home". Various churches provide dinner 5 nights a week and with the addition of this new patio, we now have a dignified place to share dinner together.

Emmi took Callie and I Callie and I took Emmi for a walk yesterday evening.

Magnolia seed pod, after the bloom. (this is actually the fruit of the tree)

And, since I had the day off (mostly), I decided to begin working on my Scrapbook On the Road for our trip to Yosemite! I might even have some photos to post a little later this weekend showing what I put together.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Room With A View

When I met with the landscaper a month or so ago, I had only three requests---

1) Low Maintenance---Though I love flowers and gardens, I'm not very good at taking care of them. I tend to get busy with other things and forget to give them the loving care they need. (plants need to be pretty hardy to make it at my house)

2) Keep one plant, if possible---The only plant I was attached to was the peppermint azalea that Jim gave me years ago. It was one of those tiny plants you pick up at the grocery store floral section and I planted it in the front flowerbed, totally unaware that they are greenhouse plants and not meant for flowerbeds. Now, years later, that plant has grown to be about 4 feet high and even larger in diameter. In the spring, it is totally covered in the most beautiful pink and white striped blooms!

3) A place to watch birds---My kitchen window is the only one in the house that gives a really nice view outside and while I always have hummingbird feeders, there really has never been anything else to look at---just grass and a driveway. I had a bird bath that a family friend gave me in memory of my mother that needed a home, too.

Randy did a great job. He planted good, hardy plants, relocated my peppermint azalea to my gate area . . .

From Mommy's Treasures

And improved the view from my kitchen window considerably. I don't really have any "before" photos because there was nothing to take a picture of. However, it now looks like this (excuse the mess---I was busy watering when I took this photo).

And my very favorite part? . . . . Off and on, throughout the afternoon today, the view looked like this (a little blurry since they were taken through my window):

I love my new landscaping!!

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

While I Was Gone

While I was gone, I had a few transformations taking place at my house, too. I came home last night to find this pile of debris out at the curb.

In place of the overgrown shrubs and weeds that were in my flowerbeds, my new front landscaping was in place!

I asked to be able to watch the birds from my kitchen window and Randy made a spot for my bird bath and bird feeders. Azaleas, camelias, plum delight and lots of pine straw---I love it!

Here's a quick "before" shot taken right after the sidewalk was completed a few weeks ago.

Here's the new "after"----a much needed improvement!

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