Saturday, July 14, 2012

Taipei Taiwan Bound

I must confess that sending your child to the other side of the globe is not the easiest thing a parent ever does.  A study abroad opportunity is such a great thing and a wonderful reward for working hard and diligently studying for many, many years. It is a different act of faith and trust than I have ever encountered. I know that he is prayed for and protected.  Still,  he has a piece of my heart wherever he goes.

This layout was done using "Geek Like Me" from the Daily Digi July download.  It had some great guy things for my senior engineering student on the go. I am still learning the basics of digital scrapping but I am enjoying the simple pages I have been able to make when my time is  limited.  It soothes the creative beast to create something and then I can work on other tasks I must finish. 

Have a good weekend and savor the little gifts in each adventure. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

He Loves Me...

It is here...the month that marks our 25th year of marriage.  What a fun season in life. We married, bought a house and made it a home. We were given to sons that we adore. We have had good time, sad times, challenging times, blissful times and through each season...we have held hands and faced each day as a team.  I love this man!  
As our sons grow older and start to think of the future - I want them to know that a mate is the most important choice you make (second only to choosing Christ) and that choice of a mate will be your greatest gift if you choose wisely. I hope they choose a friend...someone they really like...and can laugh with when life brings bumps.  I pray they choose someone they can worship with - hand in hand- as they seek God's best for their life.  I hope we have been a good enough example...we aren't perfect...I hope they can look past our shortcomings to see what is good... and solid... and loyal...and true. 
If you have been blessed with a good partner - don't forget to tell them they are cherished beyond measure over any earthly treasure.  

Monday, July 9, 2012

Quiet is not always a good sign!

This layout is a fun memory that we had been talking about recently.  Ryan (my best girlfriend's oldest) and my Chase will be will be 22 and 21 soon.

They pulled this stunt twice - once with regular baby powder and once with Gold Bond baby powder that made everything smell like Listerine.  Somebody didn't learn the first time...I am not sure if it was them or us!

The photo is scanned from 1992- so it is not great, but I wanted to capture the story. The Layout is digital in Memory Mixers and exported to PSE9 for finishing touches.  Memory Mixers is faster for me -and does some cool things I have not yet mastered in my PSE9.  For those new to digital - the Memory Mixer software is truly a great introduction.  The "store" if full of fun things and since I have a limited collection, I feel pushed to be more creative. A great feature is the "drop shadow" option.  It creates a sense of depth that leaves me touching the pages to confirm that they are flat. 

These boys...are now men. As I write this - one is working in the family business and the other is in Taiwan for a study abroad experience.  They are still friends...different in so many ways...but so bonded by the rich history they share together.  I hope they never lose touch.  

As you gather your memories...collect a photo that represents an old friendship!  The older I get- the more I savor the sweetness of old friendships. They are priceless and grow sweeter with time. 


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Memories of the 4th...

Another 4th of July celebration has come and gone.  It was a HOT, sweet day.  We enjoyed the Methodist Red White and Boom celebration like we have since Chase, Ryan and Emma were just babies. The Smith and Leander families know it is "what we do". Jill's brother's girls, Emma and Leah have been with us off and on over the years which only adds to the sense of family fun.  It seems the past few years we have been missing someone due to conventions, mission trips, study abroad opportunities and even a death in the family took Randy to Michigan ahead of us when his Dad died on the 4th of July six years ago.

We were all together again - with the girls as a bonus- and even a girlfriend.  It is just about as good as it gets...except the 100+ temperatures. I do not take these times together for granted.  Every day is a gift and every opportunity to just hang out together is savored.  We are so blessed to have a sense of family in this crew. We thank God for them.

Laughter, books, cards, watching the "fashion show", "fair food" from the vendors and the best fireworks show in the state made for a great time.  I caught some fun shots of the fireworks display using my 50mm lens.  

This layout was started in Memory Mixers and finished in PSE9.  Fast and fun.  The sparkle alphabet is from a Christmas Alphabet ant the fireworks are from a New Year's Eve Kit. Don't forget to think outside the box when looking at seasonal kits.  I find that many cross over to other celebrations. No sketch - I started with the photos and played with sizes to get all of these pictures on one page. 14 pictures on a one page layout is just about a record for me!

Stay cool my friends.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!
Let Freedom Ring!  I love this holiday.  It is all about family and fun and remembering that we are so blessed to live in a country with so many freedoms.  I do wonder,  200 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, if we we still hold tightly to the values of  so many of the founding fathers.  Those men had such courage...and in their youth...didn't seem to realize they were taking on Goliath - but they did it and they won! 

Today - I have concerns that the same quest for freedoms that birthed this country- is now somehow a fatal flaw. With great freedom comes great responsibility. Integrity and character are still what will make or break a nation. This is a creative blog and not a political one - so I will leave it at that. I am grateful for those who came to build better a better life- some on the Mayflower and some in my lifetime.  We are all richer for the melting pot that makes America great. 

My layout is not from a 4th of July celebration..maybe that will come later...but this paper seemed so right for the day! Fireworks and Epcot go together! We love the show there.This particular visit to Disney in 2007 is barely scrapped.  I am getting so much done recently with my growing digital skills.  I work on a layout when I need a break from editing photos.  It refreshes me and I can go back to my current photography projects.  

I have Walker's Freshman pages to do in the traditional scrapbooking manner of paper/adhesive/die cuts and more. How fortunate we are to have so many mediums to capture our memories. 

Savor your celebration today - wherever you are!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Laugh Olympics are the best at Lincoln Grade School! Teachers, kids and parent volunteers enjoy the adventure of goofy games and contests.  The photos, from May 2009, sat in a file just waiting to be used.  These papers and establishments from the Daily Digi July download were just the answer.

I cannot believe that this group of kids are soon to be sophomores in high school. The short years between 6th and 9th grades change them so much.  They are still a great group of kids- just older and busier.

Savor the summer.  Try and stay cool - it is HOT, HOT, HOT in Central Illinois.

Monday, July 2, 2012

I Believe...

The prompt...I Believe...from Your Story Matters with Lain Ehmann was fun.  I thought I would do a sentimental reflection on my beliefs and values and perhaps I still will at some point- but as looked through pictures I found this group from our Hero themed VBS in 2010.   

Youth get such a bad wrap when in truth - there are kids out there doing great things and good things.  These 6 kids have been working VBS every year since they graduated from the program. They make it so much fun for me.  I love seeing them as young adults and teens. They aren't little kids anymore.  I love them all. Between them they have worked post Hurricane Katrina in Alabama, inner city Pittsburgh and Eolia, KY in Appalachia. They have worked Mennonite Relief Sales, community events and serve weekly at church. Not a bad resume for  16, 18, 19, two @ 21 and one 22 year old.  

I do believe that youth can change the world. They have the energy and the passion.  If given freedom to try and encouragement through the struggles - they can do just about anything.