Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Retreat (part 3)

These are the last of my retreat layouts!! Yeah! These first two are of a pageant Mallorye was in this past November...Carson (Amy from work's little boy) and Karena (Amy from high school's little girl) were both in it also.

Pictures of the first Welcome Home Banners!! The stars were made using my new Stampin Up star punches in both the large and small size and then layering them.

Blake's school made posters to decorate the armory for when the soldiers came home...this was so sweet and they worked really hard on them.

I hope you've enjoyed the last few days of walking through some of my layouts...hopefully, I will get more consistent with my scrapbooking and have some to post each week. I tend to work in spurts.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Retreat (part 2)...Layouts as Promised

This is an 8x8 album (I don't use this size often)...the River Retreat title was made by using a photo I had taken of a sign that hangs outside the crop lodge and cutting it. I love the way it turned out.

I wanted a page to highlight my "cabin mates"...I have another layout with Doy & Michelle that is pretty much the same sketch.

Just a fun page that highlights the chaos & laughs!

Laurie made this cute basket with ONE piece of 12x12 cardstock!! Isn't that amazing?! She's a Close To My Heart consultant and originally from Wisconsin. Super Fun and very creative!!

A close up view of the basket

My "Guts & Glory" layout highlighting my football star, Blake

This has to be my FAVORITE layout!! I love the layering technique that I used, the colors, and just the way it all came together. And yes, this is my daughter Mallorye...and she's only 15!!

Hope You Enjoyed!!

Monday, February 25, 2008

River Retreat (part 1)

River Retreat began on Thursday when I met up with Michelle at her house...we were supposed to leave at noon...but finally pulled out of town around 1:30pm, in the rain. We took her Tahoe, which I drove, and managed to run over her driveway curb (sorry Michelle...are you sure you want me to drive??) She was sure, so off we set on our weekend adventure. Of course we had to make a little pit stop in Searcy at a new scrapbook store that Kellie had told us about. They had some really cool papers....religious themes, heritage themes, sports of all kinds...I was in scrapper's delight! And, I hadn't even made it to Heber yet!!

We did finally reach Heber and the Lindsey Resort where Kellie already had our cabin waiting on us....cabin #27...3 years in a row! Memories. After a quick update on everyone's life...and I do mean quick...we only see each other a few times a year...we headed to town for supper and to meet up with our 4th and final cabin mate, Doylene, who travels the farthest of the four of us...all the way from the Sooner State...Oklahoma! We had a great first night catching was like a bunch of giddy high school girls at a pajama party. I guess we were all pretty wiped out, or at least I was, because I didn't even hear the hail that accompanied the rain AND snow! No, none of it stuck around, but really, how wild is that??

Friday morning...official retreat opens and we unload all of our supplies and get busy crankin' out those pages. I'm telling is creative chaos at it's best!!

Friday night brought great BBQ and the Dirty Scrap Game! We love this game and this year Jen didn't steal my gift...she promised...although I think she regretted that later! I ended up with a great camping album complete...just add pictures! How great is that?!
Saturday was more scrapping, more food, and less sleep!! We played a really neat game where we were in groups of 6-10. Each person got out a 12x12 piece of cardstock of their choosing and passed it to their left...that person added two 4x6 photo mats and passed it to the next person who added a journal block. It then passed to each person, each adding a different embellishment, until it reached its owner. So much fun! I was a little afraid of the results, but look! They turned out great!!!

Ok...that's enough for one day...I know you're wanting to see layouts, but you'll have to wait till tomorrow. If you just can't wait...check out Lisa's blog...she posted a couple of my layouts from this weekend.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Home Again, Home Again

A picture of my "cabin mates"...(back row) Kellie, Baby, & Michelle..(bottom row) Me & Doylene.

I'm home from my scrapbooking retreat...completely wiped out! I had a blast hanging out with old and new friends, had some great food, got several layouts done, and a ton of laughs. I promise to post pix in the next day or so...complete with a rundown of our fab weekend...but for now...I'm headed to bed!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Update...then break...

It's that time again....the annual "River Retreat" for scrapbook fools such as I! Just finished packing my supplies...waiting on my clothes to dry, but really, who needs clothes. I could just stay in my jammies all weekend and scrapbook with my friends.

The weather is looking a little worrisome. We're due to get hit with ice during the night which will not make traveling much fun!!

Anyway, I have a ton to do tonight and just wanted to let you guys know I'd be out of pocket for a few days, but I'll be back on Monday with a full update of our scrapbooking weekend...complete with pictures!!


Saturday, February 16, 2008

Random Things Meme....whatever a meme is!

I was tagged by Brittany and I’m finally getting around to writing this.

The rules for this meme are:(1) Link to the person that tagged you.(2) List the rules on your blog.(3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.(4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.(5) Let each random person know they have been tagged.

Here we go....

(1) I have an extra bone in the roof of my mouth, called a "torri." It's like a big hill in the roof of my mouth and I totally thought it was normal until I went to get my braces at age 18 and they informed me that it was a genetic thing. My mom has it, my sister has it, and both of my children have it....hubby does not.

(2) I have a piercing and a tattoo. The belly button ring I got on my lunch break several years ago on a complete whim....and no, I don't wear it anymore...way too many belly rolls for that! The tattoo...a bit more permanent! LOL! I got it while Q was deployed to Iraq to mark that particular season in our life. Iraq really healed some stuff for more here.

(3) I'm adopted....sort of. The man I called dad as long as I can remember, adopted me when i was 14. I didn't find out he wasn't my dad until I was 10. So, I've had 3 last names and only been married once!

(4) I have a labelmaker and I know how to use it!! My kids say I'm OCD. I like to think I'm organized. I'm one of those people that empties the sugar and flour into plastic containers and labels it "sugar" and "flour"...I even put chips and Oreos in containers and label them....cereal...yep. EVERYTHING!! And yes, my canned goods are put away in alphabetical order. I know. It's a sickness.

(5) I have a thing for crowns. I was the first 4 year old Little Miss Greene County (78), 1st Runner Up Jr. Miss Paragould (90), Homecoming Queen (91-92) of our high school, Mrs. Northeast Arkansas (99) and Mrs. Tri County (01) ...and I was a runner up to Mrs. Arkansas in 1999. I think my competition days are long gone...or at least hidden under the 40 pounds I've gained...but Mal is closely following in my footsteps. She's looking for scholarship money and she loves dressing up as much as I did!

(6) One of the unique jobs I've had in the past is a pest control technician for Orkin...I killed cockroaches for a living! At the time, I weighed about 115 pounds and I must've looked hilarious walking in in my Orkin suit and can of killer spray, but it paid the bills.

Ok, I'm supposed to tag 6 someones and I hate tagging people. What if they don't want to be tagged?! So, play along if you'd like, but don't feel obligated. You won't hurt my feelings, but it could be lots of fun if you do!!

John & Melissa

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Love, Unconditionally

**disclaimer; no wedding photos :( scanner down, so I had to use what I had in the laptop.
**ok, felt I took a picture of my wedding pictures to put on this blog...they are super poor quality, but maybe you can see how young and naive' we were!! LOL!

Our love story begins nearly 17 years ago....back when it was the "cool" thing to do to cruise town on Friday and Saturday night and burn a tank of gas or two. That's when Quentin first laid eyes on me. I was 17, he was 23. He was cruising town with one of his buds (who I happened to know) and I was walking into Dodge's Chicken Store to get some gum...isn't this romantic?? He told the guy I was pretty and that he was going to marry me someday...his buddy politely informed him that I was a little young. End of story.

Enter his ex-girlfriend's mother. Friend of my family for a long time, but oddly enough, Quentin and I had never met. Our paths had somehow never crossed. She decides to set us up...I'm not sure of her logic, afterall, this was her daughter's former beau. I stood him up 3 times before I finally went out with him. I still can't believe my parents even let me, but they did. He was so nice and polite....I wish I could say that I fell in love then, but I didn't. I did however, fall in lust. Which is how Mallorye came along.

I thought my life had ended, but man oh had really just begun. From the beginning Quentin has loved me. And loved me unconditionally. Even when I didn't love him. Even when I wasn't loveable. Even when I was downright mean. We had Mallorye. Married. And began the trials of marriage. I had alot to learn! I failed on almost every test, but he just kept on loving me. Mallorye may have taught me what love was...but Quentin has taught me HOW to love. He does it so well, that I sometimes take it for granted.

Quentin supports me in everything that I venture out to do....whether it be singing on our Praise Team or competing for Mrs. Arkansas...he's always my #1 fan. He helps me around the house...much more than I give him credit for...but he doesn't mind washing dishes, laundry, or even scrubbing floors. He understand that I need girlfriend time and he makes a way for that to happen. We may not have alot of money, but we are rich in love....all because I have a husband that refused to give up on me. Quentin fought for us, even when he was the only warrior. I'm so thankful!

He's a wonderful father and I love seeing him interact with his kids. That's something I missed dearly while he was in Iraq....having him beside me at the ballgames...cheering the kids on. He has such a playful side with them (and brings that out in me).

On August 8th we'll celebrate 16 years. The first 10 were ....nearly's a wonder any of us made it out alive. The next 3 were hard. The last 2 have been wonderful!! I finally know how to love and can accept the love that Quentin has been trying to show me for so long.

Happy Valentine's baby....I love you to the very depth of my soul!

Check out Andrea's blog for more love stories and while you're there...write your own!

My Little Man

Blake has always been my snuggler. When he was a baby he would nestle into the nook in my, as a 12 year old, he still crawls up in momma's lap and snuggles. We have unique bond. I'm not sure, but it may come from the early years being in and out of the doctor's and hospitals.

Blake is the nurturer in the family (even more than I am) and is extremely tenderhearted. He never wants to hurts someone's feelings, and is very compassionate. He's one of those that doesn't understand when you don't empty your wallet to help someone less fortunate...but don't let that tender exterior fool you.

He is all boy! He loves sports of every, basketball, football, soccer, even racquetball...and he's good at all of them. I've never seen Blake pick up a ball he didn't know what to do with. He's also an avid outdoorsman. Fishing and hunting. This year he killed his first deer and duck.

We're just entering our teen years with Blake and they are proving to be a bit challenging. Just this week we had an incident that landed him in "groundedville." but I seen the repentance in his eyes...that's what I love about him. He does everything wholeheartedly...if he's sorry...he's genuinely sorry. If he's playing basketball...he plays with all heart.

All heart, that's my Blake....and no doubt, he'll break many along the way and comfort twice that much.

Monday, February 11, 2008

I Loved You First

I thought in honor of Valentine's Day, I would post about the people in my life that I dearly love over the next few days. I'm starting with my daughter, Mallorye...the person I loved first.

Mallorye came at a time in my life that was completely unexpected....I had the world by the tail, or so I senior year of high school. I remember holding this tiny little girl with a head full of hair for the first time and wondering what in the world I was doing?? She taught me unconditional love....she gave it to me first...trusting me for everything, loving me in spite of my unloveable ways, smiling at me when I felt like screaming. Then, slowly, I loved her back. The first person that I truly loved without reservation....expecting nothing in return.

I'm so thankful that God chose to turn my mourning into dancing! Mallorye is definitely the music that fills my heart. She has such an exuberance for life and a servant heart. Opinionated. Head strong. Intelligent. Free spirit. There are so many sides to her that I get dizzy just thinking abou it all. She loves her Jesus more than anything. She's not afraid to stand up for her beliefs and to be different. I think she actually likes being different! Her friends are as varied as the colors of the rainbow....she makes no or poor, athletic or nerd...doesn't matter to her. She just loves people. Oh, she can get under my skin and don't even get me started on her housekeeping ability (her room should be declared a health hazard!)...but I can't help but love her. Afterall, Mallorye taught me to love.

She wants to change the world. I know she will! She started long ago when she changed me.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Title 10, Strikes Again

Guess what the bags mean?? Yep. Title 10 orders strike again. Quentin had his first real Guard Drill yesterday (Saturday) and he called me at 9:30 am...."honey, would you mind if I went on orders for 10 days?" Do I have a choice? Because if I do, that would be completely new. This is just part of the military way of life...."when would you leave?" "In the 6 am." Wow, I love being able to prepare for life's little twists and turns. (*note sarcasm)

Bottom line. We spent our Saturday evening packing up the stuff I just got put away and this morning Q is headed to Clinton, AR to help the victims of last week's tornado. I really am ok with it and I know he's doing a great thing helping those people. Some day, it may be us. I told him this's in our blood now, isn't it? We are never going to be able to go back to being regular civilians who play Army once a month. We are military, through and through, who happen to have to live and work in the civilian world.

So, I'm looking at the calendar for the next 2 weeks and trying to figure out what needs juggling. There are a few days that I'm going to have to have some help....I'm leaving to go out of town for a Scrapbook Retreat and can't leave the children home alone. And today I'm hosting a Bridal Shower and Blake has ball practice...will have to find someone to take him. Nothing major. Nothing I can't handle. Just the way it is. Q does his job....serving and protecting our country. I do mine...serving and protecting our home.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fun With Books

Ok, I wasn't actualy tagged, but I found this on Suzie's blog and thought it sounded like fun....especially since I love books!! Feel free to join in on the fun and don't forget to link back to me;)

1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages.)

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

2. Open the book to page 123.


3. Find the fifth sentence.


4. Post the next three sentences.

"Like all great philosophical ideas, this one is simple to understand but virtually impossible to imbibe. OK-so we are all one, and divinity abides within us equally. No problem.

5. Link back to the person who tagged you.

This is one of those books that I really wanted to read, but I have yet to get into it and be able to finish it....quotes like the above and I guess you see why!

Rise & Shine

Angie asked me,

"How I wake up at 5am?"

Well, I'm not really a morning person...or a late night owl...I'm more of a mid-day kinda gal. However, I know that when I have my quiet time I am such a better person to be around. I'm a traditionalist in that I think God desires us to meet with Him before we get wrapped up in our chaos we call "life." So, HOW do I do that? Honestly, there are some mornings that I fail, but overall I make it a priority AND I set TWO cell phone and the clock beside my bed! Also, in case those two things fail me or I hit snooze, I have an awesome friend that text messages me EVERY morning. It's a simple text, "FACE DOWN"...that's my cue to get out of bed and face down before God. I know that sounds crazy, but it works for both of us. She's accountable to get up and text me and I feel accountable to get my lazy hiney out of bed.

This has been tough the last few weeks. I've been sick, the kids have been sick, and I just want to stay in my cozy bed and sleep. So, I hit and miss some. I don't beat myself up about it. I just do better the next day. It's important not to get too legalistic...God wants our heart more than our morning.

There you have it. How I do the 5am thing. Anyone need a morning text??

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Should We Close the City??

I mean honestly, I cannot seem to keep this family well...and I'm not the only one going through this. It seems the flu/strep bug has hit our town hard. The doctor's offices are full of sick people, the schools are sending more and more kids home every day, and this is the 2nd time it has hit our family in less than a I'm thinkin' we probably never got rid of it. Blake was down 3 days last week, Mallorye 5 days, and I've been down since Sunday...feeling better this afternoon...

So since the weather is nice (70 degrees)...I've flung open the windows and got out the bleach and Lysol spray! I've been bleaching door knobs, light switches, anything that I can...vacuuming the couch and chairs...more Lysol spraying...stripped beds. I only have two rooms done because my energy level is still not up to par and I've yet to eat anything ...just drinking! Any suggestions?? We're all taking vitamins and washing our hands, but the germs just keep on coming...I'm getting a bit frustrated. How can I keep my family well when the entire town seems to BE sick or just GETTING OVER IT??!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I've Got Answers...

What a week...I've kinda been off the Blog Bandwagon this week, not posting or reading much...just kinda skimmin' through. I blame it on the weather (Arkansas weather is very fickle) and the fact that both kids have been sick...Mal still is...poor thing. So, to recap a little...then I'll answer a few questions from the 20Q Post.

The weather has been crazy insane this week! Ranging from near 70 to 23 degrees. We even had rain, sleet, snow, and back to rain all in one day! Literally, Thursday I went to the grocery store on my lunch break...the roads were becoming quickly covered with sleet and snow and the sleet was still coming I thought I should get prepared. I was in there less than 20 minutes and when I came out, it was RAINING and the snow/ice was MELTING!! Crazy!!

Both kids, to spite having had the flu shot, have been sick with the flu. Blake is doing much better and has went squirrel hunting with dad this morning. Mal on the other hand, is not faring so well. She woke me up (via text funny is that) at 2am because she was praying to the porcelain god. Poor thing can't hold down water right now.

I had an MRI of my neck Wednesday afternoon to see why I keep having spasms. I'm thinkin' it's a pinched nerve, but they insisted on a picture to verify. No news yet, probably Monday.

Ok, now the answers to your burning questions....Angie asked the following questions;

What does your average day look like?

There is no such thing as average around here! But, I usually wake up around 5am and have my morning quiet time with God...right now I'm reading through the New Testament in a year with our church and going through Beth Moore's Bible Study "Stepping Up." I try to have my shower finished before I wake up the family around 6:15am...we are all out the door by to school, me and hubby to work. I work outside the home, so I spend my days there...fortunately, I have an extremely flexible job and can take off when I need to. I make it home from work around 4:15pm and the chaos begins! We have dinner as soon as I get home because usually someone has a ballgame or practice or something! Right now, Blake is in basketball season, so we're at the gym 2-3 nights a week. Wednesday's and Sunday's are church, and Monday's are my Bible Study night. It's insanely busy, but our family thrives on that, so it works for us. Everyone pitches in with housework, so that doesn't take a lot of time and I'm a little OCD about organization which I believe makes the house run a whole lot better! I really do try to be in bed by 10:30pm and most nights it works.

What was your career before you were a mom?

I've always been a mom. Or at least pretty much. I'm one of the statistics of teenage pregnancy....I became pregnant my senior year of high school, graduated that May, baby in July, married in August, started college in Januuary. I'm not super proud of that time in my life, but I am thrilled that God chose to bless me spite my failures. He has done amazing things with this "Rahab" and strenthened our family in the process. So, as far as a career before motherhood, they've just kinda went hand in hand. I went to college while bringing up babies and somehow learned to juggle it. It didn't always work perfectly, but it did work. Now, I have a nursing degree and I work for a construction company in accounting!! Which is an entirely different blog post!! LOL!

How did you and your husband meet? And how long have you been married?

We've been married over 15 years!! And extremely proud of it!! We were a blind date set up by....his ex-girlfriends mother...LOL! I don't think she intended on us falling in love and getting married, but God does have a sense of humor, doesn't he? I actually stood him up three times because I was scared to go on a blind date. I finally went and the rest is history. We've had major ups and downs...seen it all...birth, death, financial woes, affairs, major illness of everyone in the family, deployment...I sometimes look at what we've endured and I am amazed that we're still together, but God is so faithful! He has given me my soul mate and has shown me how to love him.

Ok, this is extremely long, but hopefully you learned a little more about me (and still like me) and weren't bored to tears with my life. I've always lived life as an open book, so if there are any more burning questions...just throw 'em out there!