Monday, February 28, 2011

Layout Complete

Here's my latest layout:
Had fun stitching with MS red and white Baker's twine.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Layout in Progress

It's not quite finished, but almost. Here's a sneak:

 (This layout I created just for fun. (Who am I kidding? It's all for fun! LOL) What I mean is it's not a part of my Freehand Scraps March kit submissions. However, the "full reveal" for that is quickly approaching-March 1st, I believe. Stay tuned on that.

I so want to post more pics from this weekend, as it was quite event-FULL and J.O.Y.-ful. I think that's going to have to wait until tomorrow as it's getting late.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Best News Possible

...other than my sister NOT having leukemia at all.
The genetic test results came back today (early or late depending on which back post of mine you may have read). My sister Linda does not have the bad Philadelphia chromosomal abnormality nor the Burkitt type, so her prognosis just got much better, and they also said she would NOT need a bone marrow transplant. Thank you God. Prayers are being answered. Thanks to all of my friends out there in Blogland that have been with my family on this crazy ride. Thank you (to infinity and beyond) for your continued prayers, positive thoughts, and support.

I'll try to post some pics tomorrow, since I realize most of my posts of late have been heavy on the verbiage.

Strength in Numbers

as in...the number of times my sister walked with her forced pal, "Herbert" (her walking tower of medicine/IV bag) around her hospital floor. One day it was eleven times. Yesterday she reported she was still feeling great and that she worked out on the elliptical and lifted weights! HUH? Didn't she just finish her first round of chemo on Saturday? Um...yep... That's my sister. Short (as in like 5 feet tall) and stronger  than most people twice her size!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Saying Goodnight...

...tonight with the boys proved a bit comical. I said "Goodnight," to my oldest, and he replied back,
"Goodnight Mom, I'll see you on Thursday morning."

"Really buddy? Not Friday morning?"
"Ok buddy. Thursday morning it is."

I love messing with him when he's sleep talking. Hee hee!

The Joy of Being Vertically Challenged

So, on Monday, a new piece of furniture was delivered. A new place to eat, to drink, to play cards, to play board games, to chat and to do schoolwork. A new place to connect. A new addition to the "hub" of our home. We finally got a new kitchen table and chairs and we are really excited about the extra surface area and the sturdy chairs. (I did joke to Mick though, that my feet don't even touch the floor when I sit in a chair, BUT, I no longer have to sit ON my feet to be at a high enough level to eat properly. The JOY of being vertically challenged! :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

It's Up @FreeHand Scraps

Hi All!
Just wanted to let those of you know who are interested that my March Sneak Peeks are up over on the blog At FreeHand Scraps blog. Just click here:  

If you like what you see, you can become a fan over on Facebook and share in the scrapping love!
Thanks for stopping by...

...Catch ya on the flip side! (Old School!LOL)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award-Whaaaa-attt?

So, last night I checked my blog and saw that my Cyberspace friend, Sally, had nominated me the Stylish Blogger Award. I hadn't heard of this award before, and I don't consider my blog stylish in any way...but what a thoughtful, J.O.Y.-ful thing for her to do for me! It really made my day.
So...thank much Sal!!! :)

Now, part of this award evidently involves (and most certainly should) thanking the person who has nominated you. Hence, the comment above and the comment on her blog as well.

Then, one is to list 7 things I think some of you may not know about me. Hmm...

1. I am a truly blessed Child of God and I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
2. I am a little OCD (LOL)-I have to make the gas pump evenly on a $ or else I pump up to the next dollar.
3. I have a very soft heart for animals, especially dogs, cats and horses. Strays always seem to find their way into my yard or walking in front of my path. (We do live on the edge of town so I think that may have something to do with it!)
4. I am married to the man God meant for me to be married to. Truly. He is the calm to my storm. The balance to my imbalance. The patience to my impatience. I could go on but you get the picture.
5. I once was president of a university for a day. (I won a drawing where a student would exchange roles with the new president of the university).
6. I have a scar on my right wrist from being super competitive and running right through a glass storm door with my hands. It was the "base" for the game "Moonlight-Starlight." Needless to say, I remember that day well. So does my wrist! :)
7. I love scrapbooking, photography, tennis, reading, and spending time with my family and friends at the lake, at the beach, or skiing down the Rockies. (Oh wait, you probably already know that!)

The next step is to nominate 15 other blogs. Wow. That's difficult. So many wonderful blogs out there in cyberspace. Each unique because each blogger has their own unique story to tell. Some are full of visual eye candy, others are filled with literary sweets. All bring us a little closer to one another. As Martha says, "It's a good thing."

So here is my list below. In no particular order as they are all fab!
 {And as Sally wrote: "Please pay them a visit! Make a new friend. Share the love."}


Chemo is Completed

Got a hold of my mom at the hospital today with my sister. They were hunkering down for an expected 12 more inches of snow!!!
My mom said my sis finished her chemo last night and was still in pretty good spirits, but thought the chemo was starting to take effect as Linda was more tired. She said my sister should probably start losing her hair on Tues. Crazy stuff! However, my aunt's sister's husband has Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and he never lost his hair after chemo. So, one can always hope, right? However, I'm sure my sis will happily lose her hair if it meant NOT losing her fight with this beast.

Then, my sis got on the phone briefly and we talked about her boyfriend, and how sweet he was taking care of her while he was there. She said he treated her like a princess. Be still my happy heart. Love that for her! She was worried about him driving home in the snowstorm. He had about a 4-5 hour drive home. (Actually probably longer due to the bad weather conditions). Good guy. Definitely want to keep the friends that are walking in when everyone else is walking out, KWIM?
(Not to say that has happened to my sis in this situation-her friends have been awesome! That is just my point-she has great friends who are very supportive and true blue.)

Hope your weekend was full of some joy and laughter. Looking forward to a quiet evening at home with my boys.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Reasons to Be Joyful

  • listening to my sweet hubby playing Faithfully by Journey on the piano
  • sun is shining
  • my sister is in good spirits despite being diagnosed with leukemia and undergoing chemotherapy
  • my boys are healthy
  • my hubby is employed
  • i love my home, my community, my neighbors and my friends (both near and far and in cyberspace!)
  • my animals are playing as i type this; cat and dog in harmony
  • God is good, He knows my needs, He knows my sister's needs and He will carry us when we are not able
What are you J.O.Y.-ful for today?
My sister, Linda and her daughter, Shelby. Picture taken Dec. 26.2010

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Just came across this quote. Seems totally fitting given what my sis is going through right now. 

The Latest on Linda

I spoke directly with my sister Linda today. She actually started chemo today and not yesterday as I had previously stated. She will be receiving it every twelve hours for 4 days. All of her major organs are in great shape as well as her lymph nodes-which is all good news.

I have been thinking about what things I could do to help her. I feel so limited living so far away. I do plan to visit her, but it will have to wait until our spring break. I do have a surprise that my mom is in on though. Think she is really going to like it. Like really. I do think it will help her bide her time and the hours/minutes where she may find herself alone and in need of a distraction. Any guesses what it is? Please, please, don't let her know if you do because we really want it to be a surprise!
{Feel free to leave a comment with your guesses. It will be interesting to see what y'all think it is}.

In other news, my aunt's mother and two other grand parents in the family are in their last few days of life. All in their nineties. All dying from congestive heart failure. Despite the fact that all three have been blessed with very full lives, they are still going to be leaving loved ones who will miss them greatly. Please say an extra little prayer for them and for another little guy we love who is ill with a complete bowel obstruction. We all appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Sorry I've been heavy on the prayer requests lately, but that is just how life goes sometimes...

Thanks so much!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Diagnosis for my Sister

ALL...Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.

Talked with my sis briefly this evening before her oncologist beeped in and she had to of course take his call. She was in pretty good spirits given her situation. Was telling me how her friend brought her McDonald's french fries and Jelly Bellys after she had completed the barrage of tests. Happy that she was able to eat what she wanted and enjoy a very small part of her day.

They have already put ports in and started chemo today according to my mom. We'll probably get more of the "game plan" tomorrow. I do know that her doctors have been in consultation with doctors at Mayo clinic and other reputable hospitals across the country.
Oh, and her lymph nodes weren't affected. Another positive. Got my running list of questions to get answered, but for those of you interested in learning more, I've been reading this: It answers a lot of questions some of you might have.
Thanks again for your continued prayers of support.

Update on My Sister Linda

The doctors are 99% sure my sister has leukemia. She underwent a MUGA heart scan today to determine how strong her heart is so they know what amount of chemotherapy she can tolerate. She will begin chemo today. Crazy how life changes on a dime. No word on specific diagnosis or prognosis yet, however, I've done my share of reading...please continue to pray for her and for her kiddos. Thank you. So much...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sometimes Life Throws Us Curveballs...

...of the worst kind.
Just received a phone call from my dad this afternoon. He never calls in the middle of the day during the week. New the minute I saw the call something was wrong.

My sister, Linda, (the middle of us three sisters) was admitted to the hospital today. She is undergoing a bone marrow biopsy as I type this, to rule out or to confirm leukemia. She is not quite 49 years old, a single mom, with two precious kiddos; ages 16 and 11. Please pray for her and for her kiddos during this uncertain time. Pray for the bone marrow biopsy to be as painfree as possible. Pray for the best possible prognosis and diagnosis. Or just pray for God's will to be done. Thanks so very much!

The Joy in Loving

Last night I came home to a house stirring with a "Secret Project." I was instructed not to go into the "Everything Room" (also known as the classroom, the computer room, the guest bedroom, my scrapbook room-hence the name). Since,  I had just completed 6 tennis matches over the course of the weekend, three of which went to tiebreakers, I was perfectly content to shower up and rest my weary bod on the couch. Yes, that's right, I couch potatoed it. And it felt...good!
I am looking forward to finding out what this so called "Secret Project" is. I have a feeling it has something to do with love, 3 Blue-Eyed Boyz and a lot of joy.

Here's hoping you find a little love and a lot of J.O.Y. in your day! Happy Valentine's Day.
Thanks for stopping by...
Suz :)

Friday, February 11, 2011


Sunshine...warmer day...brought many more smiles and joy to our day today. Not to mention "a little j.o.y. came in the mail today as well.

It came wrapped in this fun tissue paper and simple box:

 This is what the little box contained:
My One Little Word for 2011: J.O.Y. (Jesus, Others, Yourself). I'm hoping that this little necklace will be a constant reminder of how to prioritize my life each and every day.
I purchased this little charming necklace at Lisa Leonard Designs. She makes adorable customized jewelry and premade, handmade jewelry. I order this on Feb. 2 and already have it here with me on the 11th! Pretty awesome customer service if you ask me! Custom made and delivered despite the horrible weather conditions we have experienced across the US in  the past nine days. Awesome! (Kudos to the USPS as well in getting it here in a timely manner).

Gearing up for a tennis tourney this weekend and hopefully some scrapping, some family time, and some church time. Hoping my worlds don't coincide and I can get my tennis playing in and get to hear my Mick play at church on Sunday.

Have a J.O.Y.-filled weekend everyone! Catch up with you later! :)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Finding JOY in my "Inbox" -Again

I was mindlessly checking my emails and deleted junk when I came across one today that, on second glance, made my heart skip a beat...or two.

The email was a request for publication of a card I had created recently! It is to be in the July 2011 Issue of Scrapbook Trends magazine. I was so completely shocked and excited all wrapped up into one little mound of JOY. Serious happy. Serious joy. Come to find out, my dear and uber-talented friend, Lexi, is also going to be published in that issue as well!

In other less exciting news, we had yet another snow day and have a "late start" tomorrow. So ready for winter to be over. I'm sure I am not the only one across this great nation of ours that thinks this, no?

This morning, despite school being canceled, I went over to what used to be Ethan's school and helped set up the book fair. Only the two chairpersons showed up. I guess people figured no school in session, no set up. I can understand that, but no matter what the fair is open tomorrow, so it needed to get done and since I've been the chariperson there for several years now, I figured I go help out.
I came home and baked Valentine's funfetti cupcakes and made red beans + rice with sausage for lunch. Strange combo I know, but all of my boys loved it.
Came down with a massive headache but managed to work some more on the curtains I have been sewing for our basement anyways. They are nearly done. I just need to buy more grommets for the second panel and have my sweet "Tall Boy" Mick help me hang the rods and then I'll post some pics.
Crossing my fingers that they lay correctly and the patterns match up! Had a lot of helpful phone conversations with my awesome MIL regarding the construction of the curtains, so feeling pretty positive!

Gotta get the boys to bed...more later friends!
Stay warm!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Ali's Post

Ali E's post today got me thinking about report card day here in our household. Ian brought home his tentative report card yesterday. It was all A's. One would think that a momma like me would be thrilled to have him bring this card home. And, please, stay with me here...I am happy he's is doing so well. But, the truth is...that even though he's in every honors class available--he's not being challenged. Most of his classes he's at 100%. While I don't expect him to be perfect, I do expect him to always do his best. But what really is HIS BEST? If a child is never challenged to find his ceiling, will he/she ever really know what he/she is capable of? What would our world be missing out on? What great invention? Great leader? Great teacher? Great physicist, engineer, you name it.

A woman, named Nancy, posted, these remarks on Ali's  blog today, and it resonated with me:

Sometimes “handicaps” are actually just the opposite. There may be a “standard” to which one is expected to adhere too. I wish more of education was targeted toward helping an individual be challenged at their level.
Think of the child who easily gets all A’s… it is easlily; check, check, check… and it’s all good. All the while failing to actually see the child.
I have children on both ends of the spectrum. One of my boys could read when he was 4… anything you put in front of him. Everything was easy for him on “grade” level. Children get little notice or challenge to be the best they can personally be, in a way very overlooked.
It may seem strange to be saying this, lucky kid, How dare one “complain”. However my heart aches for this boy. It was all just so easy for him. “HE” was seriously lost in it all. No, "work on this, strive for this..." etc. It took little effort and felt so meaningless to him.

Self esteem comes from being the best self YOU can be, not from some standard.
He has never found this.
I wonder what he could do if he had found that challenge. The “person” is developed in striving to be the best you can be. True self esteem. It is only when you have to apply yourself to acheive something that it strengthens you and helps you grow. Every child should have this in the education system, regardless of where they fall in the spectrum!

Here here, Ms. Nancy! Thanks for writing it for all of us out there struggling with "Standards."

Monday, February 07, 2011

Me | At The Moment

listening: to my boys doodling on the piano
eating: Pringles - left over from last night's Superbowl festivities --WAY to GO PACK!)
drinking: Diet Pepsi...of course!
wearing: orange Hollister hoodie and black Nike warm up pants
feeling: crafty ;-)
weather: overcast and blustery
wanting: my Studio Calico order to arrive on my doorstep!
needing: more time in my days to get everything accomplished that I want to get accomplished
thinking: I hope I sleep better tonight
enjoying: listening to my youngest singing "You're Cooler than Me"
wondering: if we will have yet another Snow Day this week! (I hope not!)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

More Blizzard Pics-After the Storm

 First pic was taken through my laundry room window. Despite the drive being plowed the night before the drifting overnight bottomed out my 4WD 4-runner anyways. Thankfully, neighbors came by with a 4x4 mule and pulled us out!
 The dogs watching...and wishing...they could get just a little bit closer to the snow fort action!!

 Clues of boys at play:

 Love the tunnel! Great job Ty!

 Oh how I love my Lily girl! Such a sentinel and keeper of the grounds she is!

 And, good ole Rudy, actually got in a little of his ole Tigger his bouncing self action again! Good to see him feeling in better spirits!

Jason and Ian made their fort at the base of our next-door neighbors yard. All 4 boys said they were playing "Capture the Flag." Some things never change.

Sunshine and Warmer Temps-finally!

So yesterday it was forecasted that we were to receive 1-2 inches of more snow. It ended up being more like 4-5! But with warmer temps and sunshine today, none of us really minded! :-)

I was wearing my slippers so I didn't get closer shots today. Maybe tomorrow I'll actually gear up and put boots on!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Been Scrappin' Through the Snow Days

For those of you affected by the blizzard (since it affected more than 2,000 miles of the US), what have you been doing to bide the time?

I've been working on my Guest Designer Kit from FreeHand Scraps. Wish I could give you sneaks now, (but I can't-sorry! I promise you though, it will most definitely be worth the wait. The kit is awesome!) but in the meantime, head on over to the FreeHand Scraps website and see what the other Design Team gals have created with February's lovely kit.
Here's a few pics taken from various windows in our house:

Time elapses of snowfall after a night of ice pellets laying a wonderful foundation (insert sarcasm here).

 Bella checking it all out:

Then along comes Hugsley; Curious Cat:

 {" that what all the fuss is about? That white stuff? I thought she saw a bird!
Can't believe I strolled over from my nest on the couch for that!"}

More from the Blizzard of 2010 later. Got some laundry to fold and lunch to make.