Wednesday, December 14, 2011

She Waved!

This morning something happened that I have been waiting to see for years. My daughter waved good-bye to me. Now I realize that to most parents this will not seem like a big deal, but for me it brought tears to my eyes.

Everyday, I drive my children to school and drop them off near the door. My son will often get to the door and then turn around and look back at me and wave good bye. When my daughter gets to the school, she silently opens the car door, shuts it (with her back turned to the door), walks up to the building, opens the door, and goes inside. SHE NEVER LOOKS BACK!

I have always believed this behavior is due to her attachment disorder issues.  Because of her history of broken attachments, she tends to perceive separations as abandonment. Her primary coping mechanisms for handling this anxiety is, dissociation from all feeling states or full out rages. Usually on the way to school she will start disassociating, but I have noticed that lately she has started talking a little in the car. I have been thrilled with that because it means that she is starting to feel a bit more comfortable, and safer than she used to going to school.  

I thought today seemed like every other morning... We drove to school and talked a little. We listened to the radio.  She looked straight ahead.    Nothing out of the ordinary.    We pulled up to the side walk and I said "Have a good day. I love you."  She silently got out of the car,  walked to the door,  opened it,  and  then stopped.  She turned around,  looked me IN THE EYES, and waved good-bye. 

I know that wave was just a baby step in the right direction, but it was a step!  Over the years I have come to be grateful for those moments that remind you that there is hope and that there can be healing.  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

New Advent Calendar

For Christian believers, Christmas is one of the greatest events of the year. Centuries ago, the importance of this event caused many Christians to feel that it was not enough to merely to mark off only one day on the calendar for celebrating this incredible event so believers started marking the days on their doors with chalk starting on the first of December. Then in Germany in the late 19th century a mother of a young son invented the first advent calender.

Today there are so many options and takes on this idea. I personally love to use a calender that lets me include a small gift for my children. It adds to the excitement of the holiday and gives me another opportunity each day in December to talk about the importance of the December 25. I have been searching the net and here are a few calenders that I would like to make for our home.

I think that I could make this one by myself and it would look really cute in my kitchen.

Pinned Image
This one would let me use up some of my old scrapbook paper.

I wish that I knitted because I love this one!

Pinned Image
I already own a large jar so this may be the calendar I go with.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Got Acne? Try Rooibos.

I have a teenage son, and like a lot of teenagers (and adults) he has acne. His acne wasn't severe, but it definitely was very noticeable. I could tell that he was self conscious about it and so we decided to try a popular acne treatment that is advertised on TV. He tried it for 2 months and although it helped a really wasn't worth the cost.  SO... I started searching the web, and found somewhere that Rooibos (ROY-Boss) tea can help clear up acne. I'm a huge believer in natural/alternative healing and treatments, but even I was a little skeptical. I figured what did we have to lose so I headed to the store and bought the tea you see in the picture below. 
Well the taste of the tea took a little getting used to for my son. He is not an herbal tea drinker! I didn't mind it. The tea has a kind of a nutty slightly bitter taste. It does go down smoothly though and doesn't leave any unpleasant aftertaste. He hung in there though and has now been drinking the tea for a little over a month. The difference in his complexion is AMAZING! His acne is nearly gone and all that remains are a few darker areas on his skin where the pimples used to be. Honestly this tea works wonders. I even tried it myself. About once a month I get a small break out and so when I felt the beginning of a breakout I decided to drink a cup of tea that morning and one that night. Well....I am happy to say that my breakout never occurred. I'll post some before and after pics of my son as soon as I get a new photo of him. Just so you can appreciate how amazing this tea works!

Rooibos tea is is full of antioxidants and is also said to:
Act as an antioxidant and increase SOD levels
Suppress fasting glucose levels
Act as a bronchodilator and antispasmodic
Help provide cardiovascular protection through ACE inhibition
Improve glucose uptake and insulin secretion after a meal
Aid in liver tissue regeneration
Lower blood pressure
Help prevent DNA damage
Inhibit lipid peroxidation and brain aging

*Alternative medicine herbs have been around since the beginning of human life and hold a strong and extensive history. It's about embracing the union that occurs when ancient wisdom and modern science meet.There are plenty of studies to support the use of herbs and supplements for a variety of medical conditions. The University of Maryland, one of the leading pioneers in the study of complementary alternative medicine, notes that, "used correctly, many herbs are considered safer than conventional medications." You can find them on PubMed. Here is a link to some more info on the healing benefits of Rooiboss:
Here is another link:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wishing you a restful day

that brings a peaceful heart,

a contented soul that leads

to a genuine happiness, and

countless quiet moments of


Enjoy Your Holiday

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Clean and Simple Challenge

Hi everyone, I am very happy to announce that I'm the new host for the Clean and Simple Challenge over at I just wanted to take a minute, and encourage all of you to join me for this fun challenge. At the end of the month, there will be voting and the winner will recive a small RAK.  I personally love scrapbook pages that are not overly fussy. I believe that a minimal design often makes your  photo the true focal point of your LO.

If you want to submit a page, the rules are very easy.
1. Make a new LO as of November 1, 2011 and submit it over at
2. LO must have clean lines and be simple in nature.
3. Paper or digi is ok.
4.You don´t have to sign up, you can enter a LO anytime during the month, but let me know if you want to    play along.
5. LO's need to be posted by November 30, 2011
6. If you receive love, please leave love.
7. Please allow public embedding.

VOTING-Once I close the challenge, participants can PM me their top 3 votes. Please tell me the number of the LO's you are voting for and which number your LO is. You don´t need to vote for yourself, you get an extra vote just for voting.

The Twist- This month the twist is to use a very large title on your LO. When posting your LO, please be sure to let me know you have "twisted" your layout.You will receive 1 extra vote!

If you want to join me here is the link to the challenge:

Here are a couple of example LO's
Credits for my LO's can be found at my gallery here:

Hope to see  you there.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Bridge....

Today I decided to participate in a Weekly Blogging Challenge over at The whole point of the challenge is to inspire us to write. Well, I really need some help in that area because I am much more of a visual person and have always had trouble putting my feelings into words. We were given 3 choices to use as inspiration and here is the one I chose.  An awesome, almost mystical photo of a bridge.

So here goes...  This photo inspires me because when I look at it I think of my faith. At heart, I am an optimist (or maybe it's just that I am not a quitter.)  I don't know, but like this photo I always belive that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Something good will come from heartache. So even when things are darkest and I find myself wanting to quit,  I can't. Something in my heart whispers "keep will get there". It took years, but I have finally come to terms with the fact that there are times I may never really understand the "WHYS". That's ok...I don't need to.  I have faith that it will all turn out for the best. 

One of my favorite songs is from Josh Wilson and it's called Before the Morning.  I listen to it everytime I am down.  Here are the lyrics.

Do you wonder why you have to
Feel the things that hurt you?
If there's a God who loves you
Where is He now?
Or maybe there are things you can't see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending
Someday, somehow you'll see, you'll see
Would you dare, would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing?
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It can't compare to the joy that's coming
So hold on, you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It's just the dark before the morning
My friend, you know how this all ends
And you know where you're going
You just don't know how you'll get there
So say a prayer
And hold on
'Cause there's good for those who love God
But life is not a snapshot
It might take a little time, but you'll see the bigger picture

Here is the link to the video:

Friday, October 28, 2011

Bright Fun Freebie

I have been searching the web for some fantastic fall/halloween scrap kits and came across an AWESOME freebie. It's not fallish or Halloween themed, but it was so cute that I had to share it with you. Dani Alencar from Just Because Studio is the featured designer this month at 5stardigitalscrapbooking and she is sharing this kit.  You can check it out here:

I also wanted to share a really cute Halloween kit that I came across. It is from bettylynnsdesigns and will be perfect for all my trick-or-treating LO's. You can find it here:

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Holly River State Park.

This year we took our second trip to beautiful Holly River State Park, in West Virginia. I am not much for camping but this park is amazing. Holly River State Park is located in central W. Va. and is the second largest in the state park system.  It has a total of 8,101 peaceful wooded acres that are located on mountains as tall as 2,800 feet. In case you are looking for more to do, the West Virginia Wildlife Center – WVDNR Wildlife, and  Elk River Public Hunting and Fishing Area are both located closely so you can visit them too during your trip. 

Both times that we have visited we haved stayed  in the cabins. There are 10 cabins availabe for rental during the months of April-November.  They all have bathrooms with showers, open fireplaces, beds with the linens provided, and fully equipped kitchens. The kitchens are so handy and making cooking dinner very easy.  They are very nice, clean, and well kept up.  Cabin number 10 is the largest and most modern, but the other 9 are situated among the lush forest of large trees and offer a more natural setting. The campground features 88 sites with electric hookups. There are 4 bathhouses with toilet facilites for the available for the campers.
cabin # 8

There are many hinking trails ranging in length from .5 miles to 10 miles long. My favorite quick trail is the Nature's Rock Garden.  The trail is right next to the cabins and only takes about 30 minutes to walk- even with my young children.

My daughter loves climbing on the many huge rocks on the trail.

In the Potato Knob section of the park, there are many interesting things to see. We enjoy spending time at the large waterfall called the Upper Falls. 

It was a short hike from there to another stunning place called the shute. Here the creek rushes through a narrow rock fissure and plunges into the water below.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

From a Distance Photo Challange

This weeks I Heart Faces theme is From A Distance. The challenge is a little different from the usual challenges  because the subjects face does not have to be clearly visible! 

I decided to submit a photo taken from my trip to China. I took this pictureof my mother sitting on the steps of he Great Wall of China. I love this photo because it shows how expansive and curvy the wall is. Be sure to check out the other beautiful entries at

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy INSD

Hello everyone. I hope you are as excited as I am about this weekend!! Today is International Scrapbooking Day and Sunday is Mother's Day! For all you digi scrappers, this means loads of freebies!  I know that DSA is having a freebie blog train and don't forget to stop by GDS to pick up your daily download. Here is the link to the GDS page: I'm going to try and get some scrapping done amid all the freebie hunting and downloading.  :0)!

Here are some LO's that I have done recently:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Heart Faces Pet Challenge

This is a photo of Maple, one of our dairy goats.  She is a sweetheart and always very curious to see what's going on around her. Check out the rest of the Pet photos at I Heart Faces for this weeks challenge.

Friday, April 22, 2011

ADSR Challenge 8

For Challenge 8 we supposed to use the title Family= ( insert word of your choice) I came up with many different different titles like Family = Love, or Family = Change, but I decided to go with Family = Destiny.

Family = Destiny

Journaling reads: When I was a teenager I read a biography about Josephine Baker. Josephine adopted many children of different races and called them her rainbow tribe. I thought that was the "coolest thing" and dreamt that someday I would have a rainbow Tribe of my own.  As the years rolled by, I forgot about Josephine and her tribe, but i believe that God quietly planted a seed in my heart for a reason. More than a decade later, I married and assumed that my husband and I would have children like everyone else. I couldn't have been more wrong. i discovered that I suffered from fertility issues and that giving birth to a child was not something that came very easily. I grieved and wondered why. Then one day I saw a TV commercial advertising a documentary featuring Josephine baker. Suddenly it all came back to me and I understood. " I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11   Now I have my own Rainbow Tribe... the family that I was always destined to have.

Here are the credits and requirements for my page:
You may choose TWO out of the FIVE options.

Use at least 2 different alphas for your title - done
Use at least 3 pattern papers
Use at least 3 solid papers
Use at least 2 different fonts in your journaling - done
Make a list of the reasons why you answered with that word (your title)
Title of your layout. "Family = (your answer)" - done
paper by Shabby Princess, flowers by SDS and by me, butterfly by Mye De Leon, Alpha for "destiny" from Kuper Doodles


My partner mommdeb  and I are doing really well in the Amazing Digi Scrap Race.  It has been a lot of fun and I have loved seeing all of the talented creative people out there. Challenge 7 was difficult for me because it was very detailed and forced me to include quite a few elements into my page. Here are the items that we were required to include in our LO. I listed my credits after the requirements.

1 paper for your background, but NOT a scenic paper- pp by Flerggs
2 Different Trees- by PK and Everyday mom ideas
2 Different Types of Leaves- from HK Designs
2 Different Types of Flowers- both from AE
2 Different Rocks- both from The Water LO Project
Fence- from Holly Ann at GDS
Squirrel- extracted by me
Chipmunk- extracted by me
Mushrooms- from JD Skrapz
Grass- from Studio 4 Designworks at GDS
Butterfly- AE
Bird- HK Designs at GDS
Sun- from Erin's Dreams
Add one frame and one photo- frame from SDS
Add a title, quote or journaling- title from Design House Digital
Here is my LO for the race.  I really like how it turned out. 

For challenge 5, we were to scrap about something that we like to do when we are alone. We were given three different "recipes" that we could follow for our page.  I love negative space LO's, so I chose recipe three. I used an eraser brush on the edges of my photo to make it look like it's blending into the background paper. Here is the recipe that I used:

1 Background Paper
1 Photo
Small Amount of Journaling
1Element of your choice (can be any element)
My paper is from Dancing Princess Designs
Here is my LO

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dancing Princess Designs new kit Castles in the Air

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
Henry David Thoreau

Dancing Princess Designs new kit Castles In The Air is a soft and dreamy kit. It is filled with beautiful light pinks and blues.  Perfect for baby, wedding, and all kinds of other LO's. The kit contains 10 12×12 papers created at 300 ppi, 26 unique elements in .png format including four word art, three frames, two buttons, one brad, four flowers, two leaves, six painted rub-ons, two tags, three ribbons, a butterfly, staple, and a journaling matte. You can pick the kit up at:

Here is a LO I made with the kit to give you a little inspiration.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Busy Busy Busy and a Broken New Camera!

I have been very busy (as you can tell by the title of this post).  I have been competing for a spot on the CT for NutHouse Scraps, I'm still on the CT for and I am competing in the Amazing Digi Scrap Race.  That makes a minimum of 6 LO's a week. WOW! I've really gotten a lot quicker at digi scrappin. The only problem is I don't have any new pictures because my new camera, the NEX-3, had to be sent out for repairs!  I had to take it back to the store I bought it from and yell at  politely ask them to fix it!  They said sure and that I should have it back in about 3-4 weeks.  I was not happy!

I am thrilled that I have made it to the final round of competition at NutHouse-Scraps. They have been having the applicants create QP's with kits from the designer's at their site.  Here are a couple of my QP's.

For the Amazing Digi Scrap Race, my partner, mommydeb, and I are both competing for the first time.  Our team is called the Digi Divas and we are team number 98. Come and check out the race here:   Our first challenge was to make a LO about your family that included 6 unique facts about your family.  The Round 2 Challenge was to make a LO about someone that inspires you. Here are my pages:

At GDS, I just finished the Be Inspired Challenge.  We were supposed to use this picture as inspiration for our LO.

Here is my take on the photo. I used all Studio4 Designsworks products for my LO:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Steampunk has really increased in popularity among scrapbookers and I decided to try making a page. One of the things that I like about the steampunk style is that it can have a feminine or a masculine feel to it.  Steampunk Style, to me, is sort of a blending of old and futuristic. It is a mix of gears, cogs, antiques, victorian images, aeronautics, etc. Just think H. G. Wells style!

I based my page on a great quote from the Dalai Lama.

I picked up some great free Steampunk brushes over at daviantart from Hogret:
I also got the Victorain Clover lady at Graphics Fairy. For a list of the rest of the products I used, see here:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

March Collab Kit at GDS

Doodly Spring comes to you full of fun and playfulness and happy thoughts of Spring! The kit is filled with soft purples and pretty greens. It's the perfect page kit to scrap all those fun times with the kids!  Love wordart? Lot's of those in Doodly Spring too! From flowers to ribbons and buttons... You'll love creating wonderful keepsakes with Doodly Spring!

•63 papers
•102 elements
•1 Full Alphabet
•6 Coordinating Word Art

The best part is that you can pick it up this kit for free after you spend  $10.00 in the store this month. You can find it here:

Here are a couple of LO's I made with the kit.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Some Days Are Hard

When I started this blog, I decided that I was not going to post about anything too personal, but sometimes a person just needs to vent.  I am a mother through biology and through adoption.  This has been an amazing blessing and has taught me a lot about who I truly am.

It is hard sometimes to remember that my adopted child is not the same as my biological ones.  My bio children have never laid in their crib hungry.  They have never been passed to 5 different homes in 2 years.  They have never had to wonder who their parents are, or why they left them.  They look at me and feel a secure attachment. 

Attachment for an adopted child is not always a simple thing.  For some it comes easily, but for others, it is a fight. Infants who have been abandoned by their birth parents and placed in an orphanage where they receive inconsistent care are especially susceptible to attachment disorder because they never had an opportunity to attach to someone. Children with interrupted attachment have learned to trust only themselves. They believe that adults will not be there to take care of them. They have built defensive walls.  It seems like there is a constant tug-of war going on inside of them.  As much as they might want to engage in reciprocal relationships, they can't.  I have to remind myself of this last sentence at least once or twice every week.  You see... I forget about that sometimes. I forget, not because I don't love her, but rather because I do. I know the way I feel. I know my love is forever. I know that I will keep doing what I need to do to help her grow up to feel secure but some days are hard!   I hope in time it will get easier for her, but for now, running away barefoot in the snow is easier than trusting in my love.   

Thursday, February 24, 2011

February Collab Kit at GDS

"Timeless" is a love themed kit created in the soft colors of romance and sweet love! So versatile, this huge collab kit can be used to scrap any type of memory you can think of. Includes coordinating styles from Tricia Designs and Davis Chronicles as well as (5) themed wordart pieces from our very talented Jab Designs. Your first $10+ order .(excluding coupons and gift certificates) qualifies you for this month's collab

Here is a LO I made using this beautiful kit.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


It's been awhile since my last post, but I have a really good reason.  I was on a romantic get-away with my darling husband.  On the spur of the moment, we decided to take a cruise to the Bahamas.  It was  a wonderful way to celebrate our anniversary.

Our cruise was on the ship Fascination from the Carnival Cruise line.  The Fascination is part of the Fantasy-class for Carnival. It has 10 decks, is 855 feet long and has a passenger capacity of 2,052.  The ship departed from Jacksonville Florida.

Here is our first view of the ship.  It was taken from inside the Carnival transport bus we took from the airport.

It was very easy to board the ship. The staff was friendly, and checked documentation quickly.  I had never been on a cruise before, and have heard stories of how small the staterooms can be.  I was pleasantly surprised at the size.  It was larger and nicer than I had expected.  We had an ocean view room on the Empress deck. Inside the cabin room, there was a TV, safe, phone, private bathroom, and desk and a large closet. The bathroom was stocked with soap, shampoo and a sample size of lotion.

inside our cabin

There was wide assortment of food on the ship.  Most of it was good, but not fantastic.  There was, however always plenty to eat.  YOU WILL NOT LEAVE HUNGRY!!! Coconut Grove Bar and Grill serves all three meals in a casual, buffet style.  The two dining rooms, Imagination and Sensation, offer traditional dining with two seating times. We got to choose between the 6:00 p.m. seating and 8:00 p.m. There was a formal night in the dining room on the second night of the cruise.  Other option include: a sushi bar, a 24 hour pizza place and ice cream. For beverages, they offered coffee, tea, water, lemonade and iced tea, at all times.  Pop and alcohol must be purchased separately.  For $6.00 a day, you can buy a stamp that lets you have unlimited soda.

 There was quite a bit of entertainment on board. For us, this was a very good thing beacuse it was very cold and rainy during our trip. There were 2 major dance and singing production shows, a tribute to 80's music and one for Latin music. Having grown up in the 80's, I prefered the 80's show! Nothing like hearing Thriller, Like a Vigin, and Money for Nothing all in the same show.   The Fascination also hosts kareoke everyday. Other things to do inculded an onboard casino, a night club, and a comedy club.

Overall, I would highly recommend this ship!  It was very clean, the staff was always courteous and friendly, and I think it was a great trip for the money.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Kits from Studio4 Designs

Studio4 Designs kit "School Daze" is perfect for all those class pictures of your children.  It has all the bold primary colors you think of for children and lots of cute school themed embellies.

Here is a LO for some inspiration.

 Studio4 Designs has a brand new kit called "Ryan's Ride". It definitely has the "boy" and color theme to it, great for scrapping young to older boys photos. The kit contains 19 vividly colored papers and 63 elements. All papers are 12x12" and 300 dpi. All elements are 300 dpi png files.

For inspiration, check out this cute LO of my son.