Saturday, December 11, 2010

Reverb10: Things

What are 11 things your life doesn’t need in 2011? How will you go about eliminating them? How will getting rid of these 11 things change your life? (Author: Sam Davidson)

1. Junk - I'll be weeding through several boxes of junk in December and January. If it doesn't have a place or a purpose, it will be going in the garbage or giveaway piles. My life will be changed by not having all this stuff cluttering up my apartment.

2. Clothes that are too small and shoes I don't wear - I'll be trying on a lot of things. What doesn't fit doesn't stay in my closet or dresser. It will go into three piles, based on condition: garbage, giveaway, or consignment. This will change my life by giving me a neater, roomier closet and less guilt each time I see clothes I can't fit into any longer.

3. Extra craft supplies - I'll be assessing everything and asking myself, "Do I still enjoy this hobby? If so, do I still enjoy this item?" If the answer to either is no, it's getting listed on ebay or etsy, given away, or tossed. My life will be changed by not having the stuff around, so it will easier to find what I do love and enjoy my hobby more.

4. Old magazines - Anything more than 6 months old will be going in the garbage. My apartment will be less cluttered, and I'll be happier.

5. Books I'll never read again - Our bookshelves are simply past capacity. An apartment can't hold many bookshelves, so I'll be picking through the collection and either donating books to Goodwill or selling them on The resulting life change will be less stuff and room for more books that I'll be more likely to read again.

6. Printed versions of some teaching materials - I have all these worksheets and lesson plans I wrote while I was teaching full-time or while in college to satisfy course requirements. Some of these materials are now five years old, and unused since that time. I would like to use them someday, however, so I'll be transferring any and all non-copyrighted works into Google documents for storage. The results will be a couple less heavy boxes of stuff, and a lot of freed up binders and folders.

7. Unused school supplies - It's been a year and a half since I taught, and I have a couple years' worth of school supplies stashed away. I don't need them, and they are cheap. The whole lot is going to the Goodwill store so someone who can't afford notebooks and folders can use them. I'll have another empty box, and be satisfied with knowing I provided a child with school supplies.

8. The considerable amounts of pasta in my pantry - I'll be using it up by making yummy food, and my pantry will be less full. I'll be able to find what I want to cook more easily, and it will make cooking dinner go more quickly.

9. Volunteer work that doesn't feel fulfilling - Volunteering should never feel like a burden. It should make you happy to help others. I volunteer in a couple different capacities right now, and one of them simply isn't fulfilling my few requirements for a good volunteer opportunity in that it doesn't help the less fortunate, it doesn't give me a sense of pride in my work or in helping others, and it interferes with other daily activities. It, in fact, actually helps people who are in pretty good condition, financially-speaking. Cutting this activity will free up time to do other volunteer work that is more fulfilling, and will make me happy.

10. Partially-used bath and body products I don't like but feel guilty throwing away - I'm coming to terms with the fact that just because I paid for it doesn't mean I have to like it or use it all up. Anything that doesn't do its job or doesn't make me happy will go in the garbage. I'll have less stuff and be happy about that.

11. Cable television - Cancel the cable after the college hockey season is done. We've got a Roku with Netflix and Hulu Plus, so we'll be able to watch what we want when we want. The resulting life change will be not being tied down to the TV schedule and not having to watch TV shows on our laptops.

A lot of it simply boils down to extra stuff. I feel weighed down by it all. I've spent a good portion of the morning looking for my library card in a sea of junk. It's just time to get past all the junk in my life and stop feeling like each box of stuff is tied around my ankle, keeping me back from enjoying my life at home.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Reverb10: Wisdom

What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

I took a part-time seasonal job in November, but at the same time,I received approval for our county school's substitute teacher list. I'd waited 13 months for the approval to come. My husband urged me to do both, and I found that the other job (which I totally loved) really interfered with me picking up substitute teaching jobs. I had to quit last week. It wasn't the easiest decision, but it was certainly the wisest. The difference in pay is huge - two days of substitute teaching pays more than two weeks of retail work would have, and this job actually furthers my career goals rather than simply giving me a paycheck and a nice discount.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Reverb10: Party

What social gathering rocked your socks off in 2010? Describe the people, music, food, drink, clothes, shenanigans. (Author: Shauna Reid)

2010 was a quiet year for us, party-wise. Our friends are scattered throughout the metro area, and Trevor has a different work schedule than most of his friends, so it's tough to get together with people. I think the best party I went to this year, though, was my sister's college graduation party. It was the first time my whole family was together in nearly a year, and the only time I've seen some of my family members since my wedding in 2009. The food was simple, Midwestern party food - sandwiches, salads, and desserts. My mom ordered the same cheesecakes we'd had for our rehearsal dinner, and they were amazing! I think we all had the leftovers for breakfast the next day.

It wasn't a raucous bash. No one was really dressed up. There wasn't any booze served or any shenanigans, but it was my favorite party this year because we were all there together.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Reverb10: Beautifully Different

Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

Maybe I should have titled this "A Beautiful Mind." You see, one of the qualities that makes me different is that I have a very, very good memory for people. Ask me where my keys are, and I'll probably tell you five wrong answers before I hit on the right spot, but ask me about the girl I met at the party Saturday night and talked to for five minutes, and I could tell you everything I learned about her. Ask me again in a year, and I'll probably still remember everything.

Where this talent really shines is at our church's preschool check-in, where I volunteer on Sunday mornings. People are genuinely touched when I remember them or their children's names, especially if I say something like "I always remember Kelsea because she always has such cute dresses." Of course, it's not the dresses that make me remember these kids, but I love to throw in the extra compliment. I know these parents probably had a hectic morning getting their kids ready for church, doing their hair just right, and maybe even ironing the little pleats in the tiny dresses, so someone simply must acknowledge their work, right? ;)

When I make them smile, I smile, and that's what makes me feel beautiful.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reverb10: Community

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

This prompt has sat in an open browser tab all day. It's hard for me to even begin to explain all the places I've found a sense of community this year, both online and in the real world. I began 2010 as a newlywed, in a new place, knowing no one except my husband and the apartment complex management staff. It was in 2010 when I started to try to find opportunities for us to meet people.

The first and most significant place with within the church we attend. We started going there in January, though it was March before Trevor began holding weekends off to join me at services regularly. We were immediately welcomed, and I got involved in a women's bible study group. I started to meet people, both from my group and from other groups. I started making connections, and eventually got involved with a scrapbook group at the church (my second one in this area -- another one invited me in October 2009).

The other significant places where I've found community have been online. The creative avenues are the most obvious ones, though -- blogs,, and even Split Coast Stampers have provided me with creative community. I've also used Twitter and Facebook to foster community with the people I left behind when I moved to Georgia. I've been in touch with so many people I never would have been able to keep up with otherwise.

Perhaps the most important place I've found community this year is among other pilot wives -- through online forums like JetGirls and Pilot Wives Club, and in person through meeting Trevor's former college friends and current coworkers (several of these people fit both categories). Knowing others who deal with this unpredictable and frustrating lifestyle helps to deal with it just a little bit better. It can be heartbreaking, like when we learn about marriages that can't withstand this career, or it can be uplifting, like when we hear about couples getting away somewhere exotic thanks to the benefits of this career. I would honestly say that this community is the one I'd like to more deeply connect with in 2011. I know there are a lot of connections to be made within the pilot wife community, and I'm eager to make them.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Reverb10: Make

What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

The last thing I made was a half dozen baby cards for my mother-in-law. Ever since I made the first batch of cards for her two years ago, she has been in love with my handmade cards. These were a special request because Trevor's cousins are all having babies (and a few of his close friends are adding to their families, too).

I finished the cards about ten minutes ago. My materials were rub-ons from Making Memories and American Crafts, Nana's Nursery paper line from DCWV, cardstock from Bazzill, Click 'n Stick Mounting Squares, Making Memories buttons, and thread.

The thing I would most like to make right now is my wedding scrapbook. It's been a year and a half since our wedding, and I really haven't started working on it. It is an intimidating task. Not only do I need to clear the time, but I have to clear perfectionism from my mind as well. I know that if I focus too much on making it perfect, I'll never be happy with it, and I'll never complete it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Reverb10: Let Go

What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

My skinny jeans. Unused school supplies. Fear. Facebook "friends" I never speak to in real life. The pursuit of perfectionism. Guilt.

It was just time to unclutter my life.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Reverb10: Wonder

How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

There were two activities I participated in over this past year that cultivated a sense of wonder in my life: travel and working with children.

As I traveled around the US this year, I was constantly marveling over how airports are all different, but all feel the same. I felt as though keeping my mind open and imagination alive in the airports and airplanes kept me from becoming a jaded, female version of George Clooney's character in Up in the Air. Of course, there were also the wonderful sites I visited, too. Standing at the summit of Mauna Kea. Kayaking across Kealakekua Bay. Snorkeling with yellow and blue fish. Floating in the Pacific Ocean, holding hands with my husband. Sinking into powdery soft sand on Oahu. Staring into a mummy's empty eye sockets at the Field Museum in Chicago. Looking up at the teeth of a fossilized t-rex. Considering the concept that the learning doesn't end when your formal education does as I watched my sister and her boyfriend receive their degrees this spring. It is impossible to see these things and not be filled with wonder.

In July, I started a volunteer role at my church, assisting in the preschool Sunday school class. Working with the children fills me with a sense of wonder. I'm constantly wondering how much of the lesson they are absorbing, why they think they are in Sunday School, and what they are really thinking about. I love to see how they are full of wonder. Their lessons are presented in a theatrical format, with a low stage, sound effects, lighting, and sometimes, we have puppets. Though the effects are very minimal and easy to do, it seems like the children don't know that it isn't magic. Their reactions are a mix of wonder and excitement. Seeing my 30+ children (I'm just one of 10 adults in the room with them) is one of the highlights of my week. I like to think that they are helping me keep a sense of childlike wonder as I help them learn to be good citizens and disciples.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Reverb10: Moment

Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

The water was cold as it lapped up into the kayak. It was 7 a.m., and we were behind Dave and Erin's kayak by quite a bit. The four of us were crossing Kealakekua Bay to see Captain Cook's monument, which is only accessible by boat or hiking trails. As we approached the monument, I started to see little yellow things int the water. I thought they were dead leaves from the tree above.

When we reached the shore, my arms were killing me, and I was certain I had burned a bit, too. I reapplied the greasy, spray on sunscreen for the second time that day before putting on my snorkel gear and jumping in the water. I was startled to find that the yellow things were not leaves -- they were fish! Hundreds of yellow fish about the size of my hands were in the water, along with larger fish in all sorts of colors: brilliant blue, black, purple, the whole rainbow, it seemed! The coral was also brilliantly colored, completely unlike what we had seen off the coast of Jamaica the previous summer. I floated in the water, thanks to the smelly rented life jacket that came with our snorkel gear and kayaks. I could have spent all day watching the fish flitting about under the water, but soon, catamarans carrying hundreds of tourists began coming in, and it was time to leave the bay.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reverb10: Writing

What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

Playing all those silly Facebook games. Watching TV with Trevor. Twitter.

I'm pretty sure most of this can be eliminated, though watching TV together actually helps us connect after the busy days when he is home and after the trips he must go on for work.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Reverb10: One Word

Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

Traveler. I've been very fortunate to be able to travel over the past year and a half, thanks to the flight benefits I receive through my husband's job. I have joined him on the spur of the moment when his work trips took him to Kileen, Omaha, Houston, and Tallahassee, as well as lesser known places like Columbus, Georgia and Dothan, Alabama. Our personal travel has taken us home to see our families and friends in Minnesota and North Dakota. We have also been able to visit friends in Chicago and Detroit, sneak off to Savannah for a one year anniversary trip, and spend 10 days in Hawaii with our Chicago friends. I've also been able to see the Atlanta area through new eyes as my parents visited us this fall and saw the big attractions we just don't make the time to see as we go about our day to day lives.

My One Little Word for 2010 was not Traveler. It was Organize. I feel like I have made huge strides in that aspect, though. Decluttering has become a huge priority. As I look back on the move to Atlanta and look forward towards the possibility of future moves across town, across the country, or even across this apartment complex, I have a strong desire to cut down on the amount of unnecessary, unloved items in our home.

I'm still mulling some words for 2011. A part of me wants to continue Organize into 2011 because there is still some work to do, but I feel like that would be cheating. One word I'm considering might be a "secret word," like Ali Edwards had this year with Athlete. The word relates to a goal I'm not quite ready to share with the world just yet, though my closest family and friends know about it (no, we're NOT having a baby, just to put that to rest right away). Over the rest of December, I'll be looking for words others are choosing for their One Little Word and considering them, as well as flipping through the dictionary to see if something really stands out to me. I'll be asking myself what my goals are for 2011, what passions I'd love to see take a firmer hold on my life, and what habits need to be built or broken.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Cards!

Last Christmas, I made my first ever photo card for Christmas. I was kind of hesitant to do this, even though I was using a wedding photo. I had resisted doing it until I helped my mom make her holiday cards, using Shutterfly to place a family photo, a photo of my sister and me, a photo of my parents, and a photo of my husband and me on the card (this was our answer to the fact that our wedding photographer didn't take a single photo of all five of us!). Mom's cards were beautiful, professional, and easy to put together. I hadn't even seen them in person when I decided I would definitely be making my own.

And then I stumbled upon it. It was the perfect design. It was a cardstock, 5x7 card featuring a black and white damask design, just like we used at our wedding. It was a perfect complement to our wedding photos, it still said holiday, and it was incredibly sophisticated. I ordered the cards around Thanksgiving, and they arrived during the first week of December.

This year, with no weddings or special events, I was doubtful we would have photos I'd want to use for a card again. However, our trip to Hawaii in October changed that. We came home with a few photos that would be great on a card, so I started searching. I checked Snapfish and a few other sites, and I even looked into creating my own design. I just didn't know where I was going to find a holiday card design that wouldn't look silly with our photos of palm trees and sunsets on Waikiki Beach.

I should have known. Shutterfly had the perfect design again this year! Once again, it's a 5x7 card printed on cardstock, but this year, it's a muted, tropical blue with a brown sketch of palm trees and a greeting beside the photo. Once again, it's a sophisticated design that works with my photos, doesn't shout HOLIDAY, but still gives off the proper mood. I think the chances are very good that I will be sticking with Shutterfly for my holiday cards in the future.

Here's this year's card design. Unfortunately, it looks like the design I used last year has been discontinued, but there are several really cute damask designs for this year, too.

Disclaimer: Though I love Shutterfly a lot and post about my love for Shutterfly often on, there was a motivation behind this post. Shutterfly is currently doing a promotion for bloggers offering 50 free cards for writing about your experience with their holiday cards. If you're interested in joining in, check out the Shutterfly blog.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A small favor from my readers...if they exist ;)

I've noticed a pattern in my blogging. I read a lot, but I don't comment often. A lot of it stems from viewing in Google Reader rather than on the actual site, but some of it stems from not having much to say.

It occurred to me today that there might be many others like me who are reading but not commenting. So, since I've noticed that I do have some viewers/readers (at least, according to Blogger's statistics tools), I'd like to ask a small favor.

A very small favor.

Could you please just leave a little comment on this post letting me know if you're reading my blog? "Reading" is all you've got to type. I'd just like to a read on what sort of readership numbers I might have.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Nov. 4: Thankful Thursdays

A weekly gathering of people, things, and concepts I'm thankful for as we lead up to Thanksgiving Day.

Summit Urgent Care: I had to make my first ever trip to an urgent care facility yesterday after a horrible headache would not go away. I learned there that I had signs of infection in my ear and throat. I was in and out in under 10 minutes, which was stunning to me, considering that my experiences with primary care physicians in the area usually meant I'd be on hold for 10 minutes before learning they weren't accepting new patients or were booked for the next two weeks.

Friends: Upon learning I was suffering, Rachel offered either herself or Jake to fly down to be with me until Trevor came home. Though I'm fine with staying home until I'm off the Vicodin (yes, it was bad enough to get Vicodin from my doctor), I was touched that they would be willing to come stay with me until the infection and headache clears up.

Trevor: For calling repeatedly to check on me yesterday and today while I was feeling sick. I'm a lucky, lucky woman to have a man like that.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010



...I am tackling two weeks of laundry.

...I am looking at flights to Houston for tomorrow night and return flights to Atlanta on Friday morning.

...I am excited for my friends Kitty and Blaise, who are halfway towards meeting baby number three.

...I am hoping to upload and start the process to edit 500+ photos from our time in Michigan and Hawaii over the past few weeks.

...I am wearing purple in support of a group of teens who face struggles above and beyond those of the typical teens. I am wearing purple to support those who choose to be themselves in a world where they may not be accepted for doing so.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

365 Cards #45: Ann's Birthday

About the card:

Inspired by a recent Make a Card Monday video from Kristina Werner, though I'm not so sure this looks a lot like her card now that it's completed. I didn't do buttons or hand stitching, my sentiment placement is different, and my background stamp is different, but it was still inspired by her. I LOVED the ribbon scraps hearts! I also loved that I used a lot of my "cheap stuff" on this card -- random ribbons from bargain bins at Target and Michael's, Hobby Lobby kraft cardstock, a Hobby Lobby background stamp, HL ink pads, a dollar bin stamp from Michael's, and half pearls I know I got half off at (you guessed it) Hobby Lobby.

I did the diecutting for these cards in a huge batch at a crop, and I was reminded how amazing the Cuttlebug is when my friend's almost five year old daughter asked what I was doing. I offered to let her try, and she not only was able to do it, but she loved it!

About Ann:

Ann is cousin #3 of four girls. She is the younger of Claire, mentioned in my last post, and older sister of Jill, who also has a birthday this month, but I forgot to scan the card I sent her. It's okay, though, because it was a variation of the Cards for Kids I made for their blog hop earlier this summer. Ann turned 13 this year, and on her 13th birthday, she won a Junior Varsity cross country meet. It was her second first place finish in her first cross country season. Later this fall, she will run varsity on a high school team. In addition to being a great runner, she's a great basketball player, volleyball player, and gives a whole new meaning to "throws a football like a girl." Needless to say, she's a very busy and talented girl!

Friday, September 10, 2010

365 Cards #44: Claire's Birthday

{Supplies: Card - Archivers, Papers - American Crafts, Cardstock and ink - paper studio, Stamps - Studio G, ribbon - unknown}

Miss Claire is turning 14 today. She is my second oldest cousin (her older sister Erin turned 17 in June). I was just a few days shy of 12 when Claire was born. I barely remember visiting her when she was born, though I do recall declaring that we would spend my birthday visiting their family in Carrington. We actually went the day before, and it was a gorgeous day. My dad had already seen baby Claire because he and my grandfather had stopped at the hospital after their trip to the Big Iron Show in Valley City that year. My dad made a crack about how it worked out so well, he'd see my aunt same time, same place the next year. My cousin Ann was born one year and eight days later. We missed Ann's baptism, and my dad made a crack about how we'd catch the next one. Two years and 11 days later, my cousin Jill was born and my dad was forbidden from making any cracks about the family growing.

I was able to catch up with my aunt earlier this week, and she mentioned that her girls are starting to scrapbook. I am so excited about that, and I hope they'll bring their scrapbooks for me to see when they come to visit my family next weekend. I know my influence on them was indirect, at best. I started scrapbooking, then my sister started. She moved close to them about a year ago, so they've been exposed to her scrapbooking over that time, and that probably got them started. Regardless of why they started scrapbooking, I'm glad to see them doing it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Organize Your Stuff Challenge: Week 1: Space Audit

On the General Scrapping Messageboards, Crisann is hosting a very lengthy challenge designed to get all our scrapbook supplies organized, one step at a time. This is the third round of this challenge, originally begun in 2009 by a member known as wookiemouse. Crisann has since been the host of round two and is beginning round three this week.

I've decided to blog about my progress on Thursdays as we go through this challenge. It's 29 weeks, though not every topic will apply to me. For example, I don't keep die cut pieces around, so the die cut week won't really apply to me.

The first week is the "space audit," and I've been tasked with auditing my scrap space for convenience. Here's what I found:

1. My cardstock is very easy to reach.
2. My patterned papers are a little more difficult to reach, but still easy to get to.
3. My punches are within reach.
4. My stamps are decently within reach, though I have to roll and turn my chair to reach some of them.
5. My stickers are easy to reach.
6. My ribbon set-up is excellent for ease of use, but I don't use ribbon that much, anyway.
7. Most of my tools are easily within reach.
8. My desk is generally covered with stuff because this apartment doesn't lend itself to storage very easily.
9. Photos are scattered throughout this room because I've never come up with a good system for storing them.
10. My Slice machine is not in a good location right now. On the desk was convenient, but it took up space. Now it's on a shelf, but I can't have it charging or use it while it's plugged in.
11. My Cuttlebug stuff is really disorganized right now.
12. My embellishments are really spread out.
13. My tools and pens are mixed in the same bucket, making it difficult to find what I want quickly.
14. I simply have too much stuff.
15. Most embarassingly, I need to remember that my futon is NOT extra storage space.

There you have it. My space audit. Next week's challenge is on brainstorming, which is something I'm already working on, and will likely have plenty of thoughts to share.

Tomorrow I'll be back with my cousin Claire's birthday card. There will be lots of birthday cards over the next couple months - my cousins Claire, Ann, and Jill were all born in September, just like I was. I also share my birthday with my husband's paternal grandfather, Ed, who will turn 92 this year. October brings my brother-in-law Tyler's birthday, my mother-in-law's birthday, and my grandmother's birthday. All those birthdays together help to make autumn my favorite season. :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

my latest project

Today, I began an ambitious project.

I am analyzing all of my scrapbook layouts for colors, patterns, embellishments, and themes in a spreadsheet. So far, I've gone through three albums containing about 90 layouts. Patterns are definitely emerging, as well as memories that have fallen to the wayside as I move through my life. I found a layout containing a photo I downloaded from a friend's Livejournal in 2004, before we had Facebook to share photos and ideas.

It's interesting to see who is in my scrapbooks compared to who I still talk to regularly now. There were no painful falling outs, just slow drifting aparts, caused by all of us moving around the country over the past six years. Those of us who were in the 2004-2005 scrapbooks now live in Canada, Nebraska, Texas, California, Michigan, and Georgia. None of us were originally from those places, and I doubt any of us could have imagined at that time that we would end up living where we are now. Thanks to the ever-volatile airline industry and the economy, I'm not sure any of us imagined we'd be working where we are right now. I never thought it would be difficult to find a teaching job.

It's almost as though this project is as much about analyzing how I've come along as a person as it is about how I've come along as a scrapbooker. I was surprised to see layouts using my wedding colors in the 2004 and 2005 scrapbooks, and to realize my love of American Crafts letter stickers began long before Thickers were introduced. Does anyone remember the loopy Sarah Script? The chunky, serifed letters? I hope I still have some in my stash. My love for them has been renewed after beginning this project.

What amazes me most is what I did with a limited set of supplies, limited space, and low tech tools. It seems like I've lost a little creativity with each new, more advanced tool I've added to my scrapbook stash. I was unconcerned about having layouts using the same papers touching each other in my albums, probably because those were the only papers I had on hand at that time. I know I wasn't measuring precise placements with my rulers, and I didn't have to pull up and re-place a sticker time after time until it looked just perfect (but didn't really stick any longer, anyway).

I've definitely evolved as a scrapbooker, but I'm wondering if maybe it isn't time to devolve a little?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

School Lunches

What is school lunch like at your school or your child’s school?

I was inspired by the "Fed Up With School Lunch" to deviate a little from my normal scrapping or cardmaking posts today because this is something I feel passionately about. Illnesses related to how we eat are simply unnecessary, and school lunches can do a lot to prevent these illnesses from happening. As a product of the public school system who went on to become a teacher, I've had plenty of experiences with school lunches.

As a child, I rarely ate any of my lunch other than my dessert or the fruit on the side. The entrees were less than appetizing, to say the least. I remember rubbery ham, too-thick chocolate milk, fried chimichangas that only tasted good because I slathered them in sour cream, and angry lunch room staff who didn't understand why I wasn't eating the food.

Middle school and high school brought slightly more flavorful, though less healthy, lunches. Super nachos were the favorite meal at our school - tortilla chips slathered in taco meat and that awful, processed cheese topping. We also had a lot of pizza that felt like wet cardboard with cheese and pepperoni on top. We made it palatable by dipping it in ranch dressing. We also had an option to order a salad, but only 30 students and staff could order a salad each day. The problem was, it alternated between chef salad and taco salad, and you could never, ever request "no meat" or a meat alternative. This was a problem during Lent, when most of us were Catholics and couldn't eat meat on Fridays.

In college, I was stunned by the choices, especially the salad bar. The food was amazing, and the salad bar made a great addition to every meal. I did gain weight, mostly from the desserts and the Coca-Cola I was drinking in college. Switching to Diet Coke did a lot to help me lose some of that weight, though. I think my college did an excellent job of providing healthy, vegetable-based options for students.

When I student taught, the school lunches were delicious, but terribly unhealthy. There were nearly as many choices as in my college cafeteria, but no salad bar. The lunches were often pasta, pizza, or burgers, and often, we would have several variations upon these themes within a week. The carbs alone would have made me gain weight, but add on the cheese, oils, and everything else, and the weight gain would have been immense had I eaten lunch at school every day that semester. However, I had a huge issue with the beverages. There was a requirement that I drink milk or juice for lunch -- water was not accepted. I had a tough time with that because sugary drinks, even juice, cause weight gain for me, and I'm lactose intolerant. More than once, I threw away my drink once I got through the line. Eventually, I started bringing in my own salads everyday, which were not filling, but were better than the school lunches were.

In my first year of teaching, the school lunches were probably the worst I experienced anywhere. The usual meal was chicken nuggets with barbecue sauce, butter-laden rolls, and a sugary dessert. We also had baked potatoes covered in chicken tortilla stew, and a lot of "lunch in a bag" -- a sandwich, a juice box, a bag of chips, and a piece of candy for dessert! I had planned to bring my own lunches that year, but eventually, I got lazy and a colleague told me it was poor for my work relationship to always eat lunch in my room. I gained 10 pounds between September and May. My wedding dress I bought in August was tight in the spring, and so I ended up being the bride who was obsessing over what she ate for the time leading up to my wedding.

Subbing this past year at a catered, private school disgusted me. Stevi B's Pizza and Chik-fil-a were brought in on alternating Mondays because the caterers were closed on Mondays. The caterer often brought pasta and hot dogs for the children, which were supplemented by bags of chips, processed puddings, and bottled juices from BJ's Wholesale (like Sam's Club, but on the East Coast). To their credit, the juices were organic, but the portions made me sad. I often ordered a child portion, and ended up tossing half my plate anyway. The kids never finished their meals, often digging right into the cupcakes or pudding, just as I did as a child. What goes around comes around...

I know people say that the reason school lunches are what they are is because children want to eat these things. However, I think if we presented healthy, fresh foods in a way that made them appeal to children, they would eat them and maybe even enjoy them. My mother-in-law works for the school lunch program in Apple Valley, Minnesota, where they are integrating locally grown foods into the menu. As part of this program, they educate students on where the vegetables come from. Some even come from a greenhouse nearby that also supplies vegetables to the area Chipotle restaurants. She said the kids actually get a kick out of eating something locally grown, and they will at least try it, even if they don't think they will like it. The district won an award this spring for the changes they've made to their school lunch menus, and it definitely sounds like they deserved it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

365 Cards: #43 - Trevor's 28th Birthday

{Supplies: American Crafts papers, rub-on, stickers, airplane Thicker, rounded out with some miscellaneous cardstock scraps}

(I counted the four cards I made for Card for Kids in the total, bringing us now to #43).

My wonderful, darling, pilot husband turned 28 today. He's in the middle of work trip tonight, so I hope his crew is kind enough to take him out tonight when they get to the hotel. I had hoped to join him there, but it doesn't look good for coming back tomorrow. :(

Just an FYI: By September 1, I plan to have my Etsy up again, with several "De-stash items" like Studio G glitter glue, ribbons, and possibly some punches and Thickers. Keep an eye out -- I'll post here when I'm ready to go live again.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Lawn Fawn Cards for Kids Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to the Lawn Fawn Hearts Cards for Kids Blog Hop! We have all come together today to make cards for a wonderful cause, Cards for Kids! We hope to encourage you to also make cards for this great cause and have fun along the way, too! So please hop along with us, and make sure to leave comments as there will be prizes for commenters and participants! So let's get going! Also, if you are lost in the hop, you can always start at the beginning at the Lawn Fawn blog. Thank you so much for hopping along with us today!

Here are my cards:

{Supplies: Patterned papers - KI Memories, Cardstock - Recollections (colors) and Wausau Paper (white), Ink - Stampabilities, Embossing Powder - American Crafts, Stamps - Inkadinkado (unicorn) and Studio G (Hello), Dies - Spellbinders, Gems - Studio 18, Marker - Copic Honey Y18}

I started out by choosing my most fun, brightest patterns for these cards - KI Memories Paisley Parade. You can find it at Reverie Creations. I then used my Spellbinders and Cuttlebug to cut the large pieces out. I positioned the smaller nesting die within the larger pieces. Because this is double-sided paper and the dies are symmetrical, I was able to just flip over the piece I cut out to create the contrast in the middle. It saved me a little bit of time, and a little bit of paper. Plus, I always love it when I can use both sides of my double-sided papers!

Next Stop: Ashley's blog, Heart Hugs

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I made this card with the scraps from the one I posted yesterday, sort of. I punched the stars from the white paper, and tried to finish the card with just pieces from my scrap drawer (which is basically overflowing). I think it worked out quite nicely. There's no intended recipient for this card yet, but I like that it could be a birthday card or other achievement, too.

Friday, August 13, 2010

365 Cards: #38 - Welcoming Baby Jenna

I won't even begin to try to explain where all the product came from. It's mostly Autumn Leaves stamps. The argyle paper is from Making Memories, the cardstock is Recollections from Michael's, and the big stamp with the star in the middle of a circle is from Elle's Studio. I was just playing and having fun when I made this card for my friends Carrie and Braden, who had their first daughter, Jenna, back in January. I had intended to visit them in Minnesota over the spring or summer to meet Jenna in person, but alas, our lives have been so busy and our non-revenue benefits so reduced thanks to the Northwest-Delta merger that we haven't been home to either set of parents much at all in 2010.

Friday Fun!

Sharing a few things I'm enjoying right now:

1. The Paperclipping Roundtable - A weekly podcast about scrapbooking, presented by Noell Hyman, her husband Izzy, Nancy Nally, and a panel of guests. I just listened for the first time and found it was far more inspiring than I had expected. It's so interesting to consider what audio podcasts are doing these days, when talk radio is bringing us Dr. Laura's repeated use of the n-word and pundits twisting the facts beyond recognition.

2. The Foolish Adventure - Izzy Hyman recently started a new podcast about going on the foolish adventure of starting your own internet business. I listened to the first podcast shortly after I finished listening to The Paperclipping Roundtable. It was also very inspiring. Something they talked about was the fact that it's not always a bad thing to say that someone is unemployable. It just means their skill set doesn't match the way the job market is going, which is to me a very important attribute of an innovator: possessing different skills that result in a different process and different results than the status quo is producing. It's so interesting to consider the process Izzy Hyman and Tim Conley used to start their respective internet businesses.

3. Jody Wenke's Blog - Jody Wenke has a very clean, beautiful style of scrapbooking that has been inspiring me this week. She doesn't use a ton of product, doesn't cram too many photos on a page, and uses the 8.5x11 size you don't see very much of (though that is my preferred size).

4. Joy Taylor's Blog - An Australian cardmaker who makes adorable cards, often quite simply, with stunning results.

5. This card by Kristina Werner - This card makes me think of some of the clothes I had as a little girl, quilts my mom has made, and some of the first clothes I bought in college, without my mom's approving eye. The nostalgia, I think, is that makes me love this card so much.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Old Product, Old Photos

Supplies: Patterned & colored papers, title card, and journaling card - Wild Asparagus by Mind Mind's Eye; border punch - Fiskars; Chocolate cardstock - Bazzill

About once every two years, I sort through all my scrapbook products and try to whittle my stash down so that it fits into the current containment options (or will require very little investment to make it fit). This year, I'm going a little further and trying to ask myself why I bought these older products, what projects I had planned, and if those photos are still around somewhere.

That's where this layout sprang from. The sweet older couple in the middle of the photo are my grandparents on my father's side of the family. They were celebrating their 50th anniversary in June 2007 when the photo was taken. I'm the one in bright green, my sister is the one in the palest pink top on the other end, and the other four girls are my only biological cousins (I have some step-cousins on my mom's side of the family).

I found these products at the local scrapbook store in Grand Forks shortly after the photo was taken. They were a perfect fit with the photo, like most purchases I made at the LSS tended to be. I loved Scrapbooking 4 Fun and was sad to learn it closed permanently around 2008-2009, after I moved away from Grand Forks. For an independent store, they had a good balance of products, a good assortment, and a fairly quick turnover, too. I could always find what I was looking for, and Carrie, the original owners, was so wonderful and helpful. Being a college student, I couldn't afford to shop there often, but when I did, I loved going in. I could have spent hours there!

The older photos and older product I've been digging out over the past week have really jogged my memory and inspired me to try to scrap some of those older photos before I've forgotten what was happening.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

365 Cards: #37 - Sarah G's 30th Birthday

Paper: Making Memories, Chipboard: Paper Studio, Ink: Target dollar rack, Cardstock: Bazzil

Sarah G was the first native Georgian I met. My husband and her boyfriend lived together when they first got their jobs in Atlanta. They had worked together in Grand Forks previously, so they decided to live together in Atlanta. On my first visit to Atlanta, I ended up spending a night without Trevor at their apartment. It turned out to be one of the most fun nights of the trip because Craig wasn't working, and he had brought Sarah over to hang out. They were so much fun and made me feel at home.

Sarah turned 30 on Saturday, but the real celebration is happening this week, while her pilot friends are home from their trips. So here's the card I made for her. It might be one of the largest cards I've ever made -- it's a full letter size sheet of cardstock, folded in half. I inked the chipboard numbers with cheap green ink I never use to get that fun color. It might get more use for this kind of project now that I know how nice it looks on chipboard.

Quick and simple, but fun. I think I still have a lot of numbers left in the set, so there might be more cards like this in the future.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Reverie Creations Design Team - Part 2

Card One: Celebrate stamp by KI Memories, Dies by Spellbinders, ink by Stampabilities
Card Two: Pink cardstock by Bazzill, Kraft by Paper Studio
Card Three: Thinking of you stamp by Studio G, Ink by Martha Stewart
All other products from American Crafts.

Just a quick post today sharing the last of my Reverie Creations Design Team projects. I really likes this line by AC -- reminded me of jordan almonds or those little wedding mints. The pastel candy colors worked really well with everything I did!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Reverie Creations Design Team

This is the first layout I did for Reverie Creations. All the products are American Crafts except for the pink cardstock (Bazzil), bling (various), and the letter rub-ons (Chatterbox). The yellow pieces are punched or cut from the reverse side of the Botanique line of American Crafts papers I used, and the large roses are cut out of a larger pattern of roses on one of the papers.

I was trying to get a whimsical look from this page because the day felt like a fairy tale. Obviously, there's a Taylor Swift song that would have gone better, but I like this song by Bright Eyes, so that's where the title and journaling came from.

(I'll be posting the matching cards another post because I'm going to talk about them more in depth, too)

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Trevor took the camera on his trip this week, and I hadn't uploaded the photos of my latest creations before he left, so I guess I'll be sharing some scrapbook pages this week instead!

My crop last weekend was so much fun! It's a really good group of ladies that comes to the crops, and I'm actually not the youngest person when I go to these! There is actually a sweet little girl going into 8th grade this fall who comes to these crops! It's so cool to see someone at that age getting into the hobby. :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

3 Day Crop!

Starting tonight, I'm going to be cropping with some wonderful ladies over at Welcome Road Baptist Church in Newnan. This is one of the two groups I crop with in the area -- the other is at Crossroads Church in Newnan/Sharpsburg. After the traveling in May and June and trying to get back into the swing of things after that, this is going to be a welcome chance to get back into my crafts, visit with friends, and enjoy life at my own pace for a few days. I'm going to have a wealth of projects to share after this my completed December Daily album! I have a few other projects I plan to work on, but the December Daily is by far the biggest one I've got to do this weekend. I've definitely waited too long to get it finished. I have 12 days left of the month to do, so I should be able to complete it this weekend.

Happy Scrapping, Everyone!

Friday, July 2, 2010

A whole pile of cards going out this week

Between our friends and family this week, I'm sending out cards celebrating a new baby, thanking a lot of dear friends, celebrating a 25th birthday on Independence Day, and mourning a dear friend's grandmother. A couple of these were store bought cards, but the rest were handmade. I've photographed them to post next week, once the recipients have received them.

I got a Memory Works shipment in this week, so I'm going to be having fun with my new supplies in the coming days, and I'm anticipating another package of goodies in the next few weeks, too! I'm hoping to update my Etsy store soon, too. Photographing the cards has been such a pain up until now. However, I sat at Trevor's desk today and noticed he has a clear corner that only has wall in the background and it gets quite a bit of sunlight, too, so I get an evenly-lit photo when I use the flash. The biggest challenge with photos in this apartment is the lack of overhead lighting -- only the kitchen, bathroom, and dining room have overhead lighting -- the rest of the apartment has outlets wired into the light switches for lamp lighting.

Today's big project is getting all the photos from our mini trips this summer uploaded onto Shutterfly for printing. In between choosing photos for uploading, I'm going to be working on getting my scrapbook room perfect. We've got a lot of visitors coming late this summer and into the fall, so we are finally making the apartment more of a home and less of a temporary dwelling. We hadn't really decorated because we weren't sure how long we were going to stay here, but we renewed our lease through the end of August 2011, so we will definitely be here long enough for it to be worth it to put holes in the wall!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Life Moves Pretty Fast... my favorite film protagonist, Ferris Bueller, once said.

Trevor has been off work since June 19. It has been so nice to be able to spend this time with him. It isn't often that he's home more than four nights in a row! We finished off the entire series of Arrested Development on Netflix Instant Streaming, and watched a few movies - Forgiving the Franklins (awful), Avatar (so overhyped, but okay), and Surrogates (okay, not stellar). We also drove up to Hapeville and ate lunch at Which Wich?? last Tuesday, ran some errands last week, and took care of some of my name-change business that I still haven't really gotten around to, nearly a year after the wedding (to be fair, I didn't decide until last April to even consider changing my name, and I still wasn't sure I wanted to change it after the wedding).

Trevor picked up a day line today, so I'm finally getting a little time to myself. I spent the time after he left this morning working on updates to the church's website (a volunteer task I picked up to help keep me stimulated as I search for a job). It was a little more intensive than I was expecting it to be! However, I accomplished everything by about 1:15, so I've still got the rest of the day to spend working on personal projects, like sending out some thank you notes and working on some new cards.

I hope to be back in full swing around Friday, with regular posts and new projects to share!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Still Alive...

Last Sunday, Trevor and I flew out to Chicago for a couple days to see our friends Dave and Erin. We tried to come home on Wednesday only to find a slim chance of getting out of O'Hare as standbys. Trevor was able to go home positive space on a Delta flight because he had to work the next day, but I spent the night with Dave and Erin. I decided my best bet was to go through Minneapolis, but there was a cancellation headed to Atlanta that day so I ended up going to Grand Forks with Rachel instead. My plane ended up diverting to Fargo because there were tornadoes spotted near the Grand Forks airport. I spent Thursday and Friday night at Kurt and Dani's apartment and hung out with the gang before flying back to Atlanta yesterday. I ended up taking a Grand Forks-Minneapolis-Indianapolis-Atlanta route because once again, something was cancelled in Minneapolis yesterday morning.

I spent today just being happy to be home. :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Lots of Exciting News!

1) Lots of good things coming out of Trevor's airline right now. The furloughed pilots will likely all be coming back within a year thanks to the summer schedule, the 30-40 going to Vietnam, and the general increase that comes from the added United Express routes they picked up this spring. A few captain positions are open in both bases, too.

2) We're sneaking off to Chicago tomorrow for a few days to see our dear friends Dave and Erin! I've only been there once before, for Dave and Erin's wedding, and we really didn't get a chance to see much of the city. However, what happened while I was there made the whole trip worth it: I met Dave and Erin; I celebrated their wedding with them, Trevor, Jeff, and Daina; and on the night after the wedding, Trevor and I went for a drive and found a cute little park where Trevor proposed to me! I don't know if we'll make it back to that spot on this trip, but it would be nice to take some pictures there during daylight. :)

3) I've been chosen to part of the design team at Reverie Creations. It's a wonderful site, which both a message board and a store front. They've got some great specials going on right now. And of course, the part that Trevor likes best is the fact that they are based in West Saint Paul, Minnesota -- close to where he grew up. He's got a special pride in Minnesota and loves businesses that are based there. However, it's pretty easy when the list includes Target and Best Buy!

4) Michael's has the whole Amplified line by American Crafts on clearance right now -- down to as low as 29 cents a sheet. There's even scalloped edge pattern papers with solid reverse sides! I've become a big fan of purple lately, and these papers are helping feed the addiction for a little while!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cards #31-36: Hello

{Supplies: Bo Bunny papers, Bazzil Cardstock, Paper Studio Cardstock, Hero Arts stamps, and Hobby Lobby Ink with American Crafts Zing clear Embossing Powder}

I made six of these just playing around one night. I think I gave them to my mom because I can't find them now. What I can find is a batch of sympathy cards I made from the same papers but hope I'll never have to use. I think they're almost too happy looking, so I'll probably be reserving those for my dear friends who have "fur babies" or "tank babies" when they face the inevitable loss of their pets. Or, we will do as Trevor's friend Saus did for our wedding -- send sympathy cards to the bride or groom mourning the loss of their singledom! ;)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cards #25-30: Thanks

A set of 6 Thank You notes, with the flower on each being just a little different. Everything except the stamp is from the MM Whimsy line, and it all came at a discount from either Target or Tuesday Morning. The stamp is my favorite "Thanks" from Hero Arts. I split this set between my mom and sister for their respective Mother's Day and Graduation gifts.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Cards #19-24: Thanks

{Supplies: Cardstock - various, unknown scraps and Wausau Paper (white), Stamp - Hero Arts (thanks) and Autumn Leaves (flower), markers - Copic, inks - Hobby Lobby (Brown) and Colorbox (black), edge punch - Fiskars (Threading Water), and Cuttlebug embossing folders}

I made 6 of these cards for my mom for Mother's Day. I actually used a couple different embossing folders on the batch, but I only scanned in one card. The paisley folder was my favorite look for this card, probably because it's a busier pattern than the other two I used, so it brings a little more life to the cards as the rest is kind of plain. These were just some quick ands simple cards I made one afternoon when I was a little bored and uninspired, but I loved how they turned out!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cards #7-18: Happy Birthday

{Supplies: Cardstock - Paper Studio, Patterned Paper - KI Memories, Edge Punch - Fiskars Apron Lace, Stamp - Studio G, and Ink - Colorbox Pigment Ink}

I recently made a dozen of these cards, splitting the set between my mom and my mother-in-law. I love the bright, fun papers by KI Memories, but I rarely put them to use because they don't match my clothes/lifestyle/events. So, I use them for a lot of cards like these! It was kind of funny -- they both opened their packages and said "Oh, these are fun!"

(I've got several other large batches of cards I'll be posting like this over the coming weeks. Now that it's summer and life is slowing down a little, I'll be a bit more faithful to the blogosphere!)

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Well, we came to the decision not to go to Vietnam. The extra costs of storing our things, the significantly higher rent in Vietnam, and the travel costs just didn't seem worth it at this point.

I'm still not finding any teaching (or any decent) jobs around Atlanta. I'm thinking it might be time to go back to school, so I've got a couple ideas in mind. I like where we're settled now, though, so it might end up being online course work if I do go back to school.

Trevor's airline is getting new planes and calling back furloughs, so things are looking better for his career! We've been hearing buzz that all the furloughs will be back on the line and they'll be hiring by the end of 2010, but I'm not holding my breath on that one.

We've been traveling a lot lately. I was in ND for a week earlier in May because my sister graduated from UND. Two weeks later, I joined Trevor in Omaha on his two night stay, 32 hour layover. We went to the zoo and had dinner with his crew both nights. Two days after we got back from Omaha, we went to Minnesota to see Trevor's family. We were there from Sunday through Tuesday, spending all day Tuesday trying to get home again. We had a canceled flight in Minneapolis, followed by a long wait, a reroute through Memphis, and a canceled flight in Memphis, resulting in another long wait there, too. I've definitely enjoyed being at home this week!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Memory Works + Vietnam?

Two big news stories in our home today:

1) I registered as a Memory Works consultant. If you're into scrapbooking, Memory Works certainly has something you'd like in their huge line of products! It seems they are always the ones who have the latest and greatest scrapbook supplies right after CHA, and certainly before the big box stores, so it made sense for me to become a consultant -- especially since I found there is only one other consultant in our city!

2) Trevor received an email detailing the hiring procedures for those interested in going to Vietnam to work for his company. We're not even sure he's going to go for an interview, but we are not completely ruling it out at this time, either.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Bridal Shower Invitations

My friend Katherine asked me about creating 50 bridal shower invitations, and this was what I came up with. It was fairly inexpensive, quick to create, and fun to do. This is obviously a sample, with fake names and dates included (bonus points if you recognize the show I'm referencing!).

The dove tags are Martha Stewart, which I found at Big Lots...for a grand total of $2.50! The silver ribbon was included, so that was very handy. I bought the white cardstock in the computer section at Target for $4.17 in a package of 75, and the blue cardstock was part of a bargain priced Bazzill multi-pack, too. The stamp and ink were each about $1 from bargain bins at Joanns, but they are Autumn Leaves, so they are good quality.

Just a quick post before bed...I'm working on a long post about Copic markers too, which I hope to finish by mid-April.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A gajillion cards coming soon...

I've been working on sets of cards for gifting over the past couple of weeks. Once I get a chance to photograph/scan those cards, I'm going to be doing several multi-card posts. I've been playing with Copics the last couple days, too -- I bought four coral/red markers for blending together the other day. I'm definitely having fun with them, but I'm not having much luck with stopping the stamping ink from bleeding. I don't really want to heat emboss it, as that would probably cause some resistance to the Copics. Any ideas?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

365 Cards: #6 Brittany's Birthday Card

Supplies: Paper - KI Memories, Cardstock - Paper Studio, Ribbon - Martha Stewart, Stamps- Studio G, Ink - Stampabilities

Our dear friend Brittany, of the adorably cute couple Michael & Brittany, turned 26 this past Monday. Here's the card I sent to her...a little late!


I realize I'm now 8 cards behind. I've got to remedy this in the coming days! Life got a little busy this past week, with my sister and her friend Erica coming to stay with us! I spent about a week putting away the boxes left from our move last summer, cleaning up my scrap space, and doing laundry. On Saturday night, Nicole and Erica were here and on Sunday, we drove to Tuskegee, Alabama to meet their friends Katie and Jared, who would be hosting them for the rest of spring break. The last couple days have just been unwinding and running errands. Now it's finally back to reality!

I'm also working hard on my December Daily so it will be finished before the Week in the Life next month! Hopefully I can post that soon, too!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Why I Support National Educational Standards

  1. It ensures that every child, everywhere, is learning the same basic ideas to prepare them for life after school.
  2. It ensures that textbook writers and editors are creating material that matches educational standards for everyone (not just Texas, one of the largest textbook buyers in the nation).
  3. It eases the transition for students who move from one school or state to another because the curriculum will not be vastly different.
  4. It helps ensure adequate preparation for college. I had a good education, but professors assumed I'd read books I hadn't -- such To Kill a Mockingbird.
  5. It still leaves room for schools and teachers to go above and beyond, but ensures that students are learning certain basic skills before they enter the world.
  6. It allows for a national standardized test, ensuring that state achievement scores are reported fairly and accurately, as opposed to the current system, where each state has individual tests and individual standards, making comparisons unfair and inaccurate.
  7. It simplifies the process for teachers, allowing them to collaborate with other instructors in their building, district, state, or anywhere in the nation, to find the best practices for teaching the subject matter, and to share ideas and resources with each other -- something that cannot necessarily happen if each state or district has different standards in place.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

365 Cards: #5 "Plane Card"

Supplies: Card - Archiver's, Cardstock - unknown, patterned paper - American Crafts, Embossing folders - Cuttlebug (argyle) and QuicKutz (striped), sticker - American Crafts, Punch - Paper Studio

Sort of busy this week -- having my sister and a friend stay with us Saturday night & I've been busy trying to make my scrapbook room become a guest room. We'd been using the room sort of as a miscellaneous storage space, which isn't exactly ideal or working well for us. I'm trying to do this so it's a permanent fix, not a temporary solution. It's certainly a daunting task, so I'm going to be devoting a lot of time to it this week. It's going to be so nice to finally have it looking perfect!

Monday, March 8, 2010

365 Cards: #4 Thanks

Supplies: Cardstock - Wausau (white) and DCWV (blue), Patterned Paper - DCWV, Stamps - Hampton Arts/Studio G, Embossing folder - Cuttlebug, foam dots - 3M, Slice design cards - Animal Crackers (onesie) and Noteworthy (chevron)

It isn't often I receive one of my own creations returned to me. However, in December, I sent my friend Katherine (mother to baby Emmaleigh, recipient of the Easter card I posted this weekend) a set of 65 handmade notecards as part of her baby shower gift. It was definitely more than she needed, but a number of them are without the sentiment, allowing her to use them for baby cards in the future.


Spending the day catching up on the clutter in my office & prepping the room for my sister's visit in about a week. She and a friend will be staying with us for a night on their trip to Fort Rucker to see a couple friends stationed there. I'm so excited to see the girls -- I haven't seen my sister since January, and it's been nearly a year since I saw her friend Erica. It's going to be their first trip to the South, so we'll be hitting up Chick-fil-a and Sprayberry's BBQ if we've got time.

365 Cards: #3 With Sincere Sympathy

Supplies: Cardstock - DCWV (Blue) and Paper Studio, Ribbon - KI Memories, Embossing Folder - Cuttlebug, Stamps - Studio G, Die - QuicKutz, Stamping Markers - Marvy (Brown) and Crafts! ETC (blue)

A friend's wife just lost her father to a heart attack rather unexpectedly. I had made this card literally two days before I found out about her father. I'm not sure what else to say about it because I hate having to send sympathy cards.

In the technique range, this is probably the first card I've made that I've been happy with the results of hand coloring on the stamp. Just stinks it's a sympathy card. :(

Saturday, March 6, 2010

365 Cards: #2 Thanks So Much

Supplies: Card - Archiver's, Cardstock - Bazzill (yellow) and American Crafts (blue -- reverse of Everyday line's "What's up?" pattern), felt flowers - American Crafts, button - Making Memories, Ribbon - KI Memories, Stamp - American Crafts, Ink - Stampabilities, Embossing Powder - American Crafts,

I made this card earlier this week for my friend Dani, who was gracious enough to drive me around and let me stay at her apartment last month during a visit to Grand Forks. Her roommate, Kristen, will also be getting a similar card, but I had already stamped and sealed Kristen's envelope when I got the idea to scan the cards. ;)

Cool thing about this card: the ribbon cost .25 a roll at Joann's on clearance, and it's adhesive backed, making it super easy to adhere, as well as a super cheap embellishment. It also happens to match my husband's brown fedora, so I'm saving some for a scrapbook page about the fedora.

Friday, March 5, 2010

365 Cards: #1 "Happy Easter"

Supplies: Felt eggs - American Crafts, Cardstock - Paper Studio (yellow), Wausau (white) and American Crafts (blue - reverse of Everyday line's "What's Up?" pattern), Rub-ons - Martha Stewart (Happy) and American Crafts (Easter), Embossing Folder - Cuttlebug "Swiss Dots", Edger Punch - Fiskars "Threading Water"

Earlier this year, I resolved to make and send a card a day this year. I haven't been so successful so far, despite a good effort. So, I decided to make myself accountable by posting the cards here.

So, here's the first one. I made it from things lying on my desk, for the most part. I did have to dig for the rub-ons, but the felt eggs were on my desk already. The blue one began as a raindrop, but I traced an egg on it and cut it out to create a blue egg.

This card will be mailed to my goddaughter, Emmaleigh, in celebration of her first Easter. It's going to arrive with a Benjamin Bunny book, a Peter Rabbit book, and two Precious Moments books I found at Target, all for $1 a piece! Her mom and I are both avid readers, so I feel obligated, as her godmother, to help make her love books as much as Katherine and I already do. :)

PS: Apologies for the ugly scan. I didn't realize that using foam dots would cast such a yucky shadow when I put it on the scanner bed. Hopefully I'll be photographing those sorts of cards from here on out!