Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas alive

Christmases have always been special for me; each with it's own general mood and feeling. Some spent close to home and some away visiting my grandparents or other family. But this one was different for me....bigger possibly, yet quieter. Maybe more settled than ever before...more grown up? I am not sure exactly the change but I can say that without a doubt today As we enjoyed our Sunday December 30th together home as a family I was not yet ready for it to end. I think my oldest daughter Emy felt the same as she set up her tiny new precious moments nativity from Memere and Pepere in her room, smiling at the little baby Jesus with his bit of curly hair, she told me decidedly that she wanted it to stay out all year. I chose a favorite Christmas CD to put on for the little girls' bedtime music and read an extra three chapters to Emy tonight, enjoying the freedom of time that comes with holidays home together. I think her and I would have loved simpler days on the prairies, maybe even on this very spot where we live now. We are two of a kind in the way we love life. Simple joys and moments of heart are our greatest riches.

But back to this Christmas; I think that it is quite possible that the true spirit of the season lived in my heart in a bigger way than ever before. It was as if it all came together just right and created a kind of glow, a contented fullness and true joy. I am trying to give words to something that is so hard to describe...easier to feel...almost tangible.

This year was not filled full with all of my usual handmade holiday projects ( a first since...well, as long as I can remember) Our tree was not a wonderful masterpiece by most standards, but a delight to us. It stands here, still spreading its warm glow beside me with funny clusters of carefully placed candy canes, sweet little ornaments that the girls made for us, as well as a very lovely paper chain. There are small teddy bears that have been nestled in the lower branches by chubby little hands, and some Christmas cards have made their way to nest here and there. It was the girl's masterpiece this year and that makes it one very happy tree.

I didn't spend the weeks before Dec.25th in the malls looking for perfect presents. This year instead of Christmas being what I may have thought it should be in the past, I just soaked it all in.

I slowed down to "feel" the true holiday spirit and embrace it. I turned off my computer completely and read 8 great Christmas books that all touched my heart. We took the children to Bethlehem live at a nearby church to take in the sights and sounds of the very first Christmas, and my dear friend Kristie took me to see Steve Bell's Christmas concert with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

This year the impact of baby Jesus was really huge.
Of course we have always known the story; we have grown up making little Christmas crafts in Sunday school, and we can say the lines of the Angel with our eyes closed. But the fact that God came to earth as a tiny baby, just as we all do, and was born in a stable where the animals live. The fact that God came down at Christmas to live among us, well, it is like us going down to live in the mud with the worms, and that is pretty darn cool! I read that comparison in "The Christmas Shoes" as the mother in the story talks to her son about Christmas being a time for Miracles, and I thought it the perfect description.

The significance of that first Christmas seems bigger to me this year than it ever has in the past...more real..more present. And if He could give such a miracle to us, then I felt like maybe we needed to look a little bit farther ourselves, to pass on the love and blessings that we feel all year long. This year we had a special project on our hearts and we did our best as a family to spend the week before Christmas gathering special gifts, baking and preparing everything we would bring to a sweet family in need on Christmas day. I hope they really felt our love.
The girls were just shining as they helped to carry presents and cookies to the door and share their sweet little greetings. I think that was my very favorite '07 Holiday moment. I am feeling like the spirit of this Christmas needs to go on all year, and I think it will. We will eventually take down this adorable tree, and at some point I may not be putting on The Merry tunes for bedtime, but I think that Christmas will live in our hearts every day until next year when hopefully we can experience another season of such beauty and love.

wishes of peace and Joy to you and yours.
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 17, 2007

The time that matters

Just a few thoughts on "time"...

One of the quotes I have written down in my creative notebook as I have been reading through Ali Edwards' new life artist book is "I have the power within myself to stop the stress" Such good good words.

It really is the truth. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to "keep up" depending on what our life holds; to keep up with consistent posts on blog(s), to keep up with the other mom who volunteers 4 times a week and always puts on the coolest parties, to have the kids running to x number of activities like their friends, and be sure to send out the right amount of Christmas cards and complete x number of Christmas projects. This doesn't all apply to me, I have always tried my best to keep in my vision what matters most, but some of it does, and I see it in so many others that I care about.

why do we do this?

For a long time I have kept this quote framed somewhere in my home and held dear these words:
" One Hundred Years From Now
It will not matter what kind of car I drove,
what kind of house I lived in,
How much money I had in my bank account,
Nor what my clothes looked like.
But the world may be a little better
because I was important in the life of a child."

-Forest Witcraft

I love this, it is such a great reminder, because really in a hundred years all of the hustle bustle and keeping up appearances will not matter one bit. It is the love we gave and the time we took to breathe and be centred so that we can offer something great to this world that just might make all of the difference.

peace, and many deep breaths to you dear friends

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

From Paris

This cool red wheel on the Eiffel Tower just made me happy. Came across the photo today when I was looking for another

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

taking a break

It was a crazy year in a lot of ways for us 5 Muckoskys.
My new "career" brought all kinds of fun and new adventures and with it a lot of adjustment for us as a family.
Tiara's struggles and amazing journey through all that she has been dealing with has had a real affect on us all ,
and lots of other life stuff has come our way over the last 12 months or so.

So this fall we took a break from the extra activities to just slow things down for a while. We wanted to just breathe a little bit more, we wanted the time to re-group and help the girls get into the groove of where they are at in life right now.

In the past three weeks or so our family has passed around 3 different flus and a pretty harsh sinus thing, so all of My mama lovin' and pretty much all of my time has been needed around here. Waking up through the night to help with a throw up pail or blow a little nose and rub a little back or taking the time I have needed myself to just sleep and get better when it is my turn. Hopefully this means that when it all subsides we will be immune to every possible bug floating around Winnipeg for the rest of the winter??? ( one can hope!)

I have been creating and I do have all kinds of projects in the works but the pace has been slower the past few weeks ,
it has been necessary.

Am I behind in my work? yes,

My laundry pile sky high? oh yeeeah ( I should take a picture it is fairly ridiculous)

The house?
a mess,
please don't ring my doorbell today, I may not answer... might just hide

But we are good. The kids feel loved and valued more than anything else in the world, my heart feels light and good with the knowledge that my priorities are right- for me, for us.

My heart is here at home first and foremost. It always will be.
My biggest and most precious gifts are right here no matter how busy the world may be, I am refusing to get caught up in the hurry worry.

We needed some extra time and love and rest in the last little bit and that is what we have been taking.

Thanks so much for your patience with me.
And thank-you for all of the wonderful emails that we have received in the past few weeks.

May the Holidays and the next year be filled with time that nurtures your spirit and everything that truly makes your heart happy

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Tia's gift

My little Tiara was so secretive this week as she rustled around with bags, paper and tape in our dining room. I thought it was cute that she would not let me come in, but I had no idea she was working so hard on a Birthday present for me right from her dear little heart.
So so sweet.

A few years ago we gave each of the girls a 100 picture photo album with pictures that we thought would matter to them; with friends, sisters, themselves, adventures...etc.
Tiara calls it her "scrapbook" and carries it around ALL the time telling us about the photos and sharing her little stories,or just re-arranging things and smiling at her own memories.
So when I opened this adorably wrapped little package and found my own personal "scrapbook" made with lots of tape and Ziploc bags, and filled with her most cherished photos taken right out of her book, I knew that she had given me a little piece of her heart, and she was so very pleased at my teary

just wanted to post this while I remember clearly so I can look back and smile all over again :)


I had an amazing Birthday yesterday.

Having a birthday with little children who love you so much is the best feeling on earth. They treated it like a national holiday and made me feel like a Queen....everyone did actually. The people in my life are the greatest gift I could ever ask for, truly.

It started when my good friend Kristie took me out to a lovely little french restaurant for birthday breakfast; the perfect way to start the day. It was nearby Cam's work so he was able to spend that time having fun with the little ones while Kristie and I got to turn off our mommy eyes and ears and just had a lovely time on our own. This year from my grandparents in Ontario I got White Christmas. I grew up watching awesome old musicals with my Gramie and I still just LOVE them to bits! Once I picked up everyone from school the girls and I cuddled up and watched it together. It is so cool to share that with the girls. when Emy asked me "mama who is the bad guy?" and I answered honestly "there is none!" I realised just exactly why I love those old movies. Entertainment sure has changed over the years.
Cam took me out for a wonderful evening while the kids partied it up with his mom and dad ( thanks so much guys!) and we had such a great time. I also have had a couple of really parties this week with both Cam's and my family and they have all made me feel so very special.

Feeling truly thankful this year for such a great group of people who love me and take the time to show it so very well.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Happy days

The girls wanted to look at my old photo albums this past week and I came across this great pic. So many memories held here. Uncle Petie and I shared Birthday parties every December for all of my little years. Then along came little Sarah and she was a part of the party fun too. Thank goodness for Gramie and her Polaroid camera, she made me such a great album of memories, those little old square pictures tell a story that is totally priceless to me.
Sending out a big Happy Birthday to Uncle Pete and Sarah!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

in the light

I just wanted to share a page about my little Kaiella, posted on my CK blog when I was talking about life lessons. It was my take on the challenge to scrap what we learn from the kids. I couldn't get this old DC Talk song out of my head so I used it as a quote. It fits so perfectly for what I learn from her and how I feel.

“I wanna be in the light as you are in the light I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens, O Lord be my light and be my salvation all I want is to be in the light”
-DC Talk

Journaling at the bottom of the page says:
"You live beautifully with all of your little heart. You find joy in creation every day and rejoice in the wonder life holds for you. May you always live in the perfect light of God’s Love baby girl."

The font is my own - called CK Believe
you can see the rest of my supplies Here
She is such a sweetie, mmmmm, how I adore my chubby little brown-eyed toddler!
( most of the time LOL ....she happens to be acting VERY THREE this week- anyone who has ever had a three year old knows what I mean, but this too shall pass won't it?!)

Friday, November 30, 2007


She had an amazing time in Colorado Springs.
Finally loading a few photos. Check out those new teeth!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

reading Season

Winnipeg is covered in a blanket of fresh white snow, with the windchill it is far too cold to frolic outside. But I Love it, this is home! It makes me smile when I step outside and the cold air catches in my lungs the way it did as a kid. It also gets us doing all kinds of indoor family stuff; puzzles galore, games, Hot Chocolate ( the kids have been drinking Ovaltine and think it is just as delightful...I Love that it is super good for them) and of course cuddling up under a blanket for all kinds of reading.

In my own quiet time this past month or so, wonderful holiday reading has re-awakened in me the kind of reading where you just have to keep going and finish the book all in a day or two. The kind where try as you might you cannot put your book down. It had been awhile since I read like till both arms were cramped from holding up the book LOL

Five special stories worth taking time for:

-The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans ( thanks Kristie!)

- The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere

-and The Christmas Shoes by Donna VanLiere such a beautiful story and SUCH a tear jerker....this one I have read for a few years in a row and every time it makes me appreciate my life and all that makes me blessed
- The gift by Richard Paul Evans Incredible, touching and inspirational, WOW...this is my most recent read which has me convinced that he is just a truly gifted writer and makes me want another book of his to read right now!

Oh! and Emy brought home The hundred Dresses by Elanor Estes a short book but so so powerful. We were both in tears as it got to our equally tender hearts.

Now I need a new book to get into....any recommendations today?
Do share!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

GO WINNIPEG BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our Winnipeg Blue Bombers are playing RIGHT NOW in the Grey Cup!

Cam and I were at the eastern semi-final game a couple of weeks ago and had a blast cheering our team on in person. They were down by one point and won with :00 on the clock!!!! whew, I love the close wins... so so exciting! It was extra exciting because it was Cam's first time at a CFL game in real life!!! High school football and Televised games are fine but taking part in the excitement in the air right there air the stadium ........RAWKIN! He loved it:)

The kids around the city all wore blue & gold to school, and Cam ( and plenty of other offices) to work, on Thursday and Friday just to cheer our guys on.

So since no one really cares what I wear to work ( here at home) this is my shout out

GO BOMBERS GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

note: I'll be back here and over at CK blogging again soon, it has been awhile. Tiara and I just got home from a trip out to Colorado Springs and were both hit hard with a wild crazy flu, I am finally starting to feel like myself again today

ETA: congrats to all you SK Rough Riders fans on the Grey Cup win!!! :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

working hard for Cs

I can remember back in school realizing how blessed I was with almost effortless smarts in some areas. I could pick up anything to do with music, English and sciences, and with very little effort I could pull off straight As. Then I had good friends who worked SUPER hard in the same subjects for Cs and for them it was a total accomplishment to pass with that hard earned C.

We all have our areas of strength, it makes life well rounded and beautiful.

I have been getting quite a few emails from gals who are frustrated with themselves creatively and I just thought that you might like to know how it is for me with scrapbooking. Because I always picture my friend Ali puts out like 4 or 5 things on her scrap table and with her easy "embrace imperfection" attitude whips off a new masterpiece in under 5 minutes before settling in for a fresh cup of coffee. LOL! So if anyone out there is looking through a scrap magazine and feeling discouraged at the effort it takes them for what feels like "cs" or thinking that they are the only ones who have to work hard for what they make, think again. I Just thought maybe I should tell you something about me; Art has always been my passion- and the way that I could bring together everything I loved creating made scrapbooking a natural perfect fit for me. But that only means I LOVE everything about it. It doesn't for one second mean that it just falls into place like my effortless As back in school. Or like my vision of Ali's 5 minute masterpieces :) Scrapbooking has always been for me something I work really hard for. It takes a whole bunch of thinking and heart and time to make it all "work" on the page the way I see it in my mind. Of course there are times that things flow easier than others and those good flowing times are a delight. But most often I am working hard for Cs. It's not good, not bad, it is just fine... just who I am. And y'know what? I am good with that.

The thing is, I love details and telling stories and I seriously enjoy the puzzle of making it all work together on a page. I make what I make so that my beautiful girls will have the stories of their lives, so that they will know how special they are and so that in every detail they will always know how very much I love them. That means that it is always worth my time :)

Challenges make us better when we allow them to make us try harder. Be patient with yourself, you are just perfectly you wherever you are at and whatever your strengths are. I hope you can remember why you create and Love yourself for doing something wonderful :)


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A card-a-day {#4}

Here is today's card. I turned this one on it's side and stitched some elastic cord through it so I could tuck the chipboard tag right in there. Through the holes on the tag is some beaded wire and on the back is a family photo that is a magnet. It is stuck on there with removable adhesive so that after Christmas the grandmas can add us to the fridge. I like all of the fun circles on here they made a good home for buttons attached with hemp cord and the red brads that come with the kit.- Mixed in with some nice shiny red puff paint circles. Thanks so much for all of the nice comments you have been leaving on these cards. I have to say I am not usually much of a card maker...not for a long time anyways. I started my scrappy journey as a stampin' up demonstrator so I think now I just rebel against the old days by not making them. But as I have already said these have proven to be so much fun that I will definitely be doing more...just for a small creative something.

note: this family pic is taken by my lovely friend Krista Domres.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


First of all I want to say a big thank-you for all of the good book suggestions and conversation. I can't reply back to comments from this blog but please know that I really appreciate what you say and would respond if I could!

I think we will order a set of the Boxcar children books for Emy for Christmas. For now, Her and I just started Heidi . And her choice from the book order this month was Sarah Plain and Tall ... hopefully it is another good one. I am going to head over to the book exchange later this week and look for a few of the others you guys have suggested for us. THANK-YOU!

We had a great weekend. The time as a family is always precious. We went over to Cam's parents place for supper on Friday and the bigger two girls stayed for a sleepover and some time with Nanny and Gigi. Not for any reason other than that they love it and so do their grandparents :)

Saturday I picked up some goodies from Home Depot and the art store, I am excited to play with it all- some new big sheets of watercolor paper, a pack of cheese cloth, some fresh rolls of duck tape and a new tub of gesso. Also grabbed a can of chalk board paint to paint the back of this big dresser we use as a divider between the family room and playroom. The kids have all been so so much into art these days and chalking on lots of black construction paper so I thought this could be really fun for them. Tiara and I got into the new packs of watercolor paper and painted for awhile today it was so much fun just to create and play together for the fun of enjoying time in the afternoon. My card-a-day will have to wait tomorrow - I am heading out on a field trip with Tia to the Fire Hall. But I will put up another one on Wed.

We baked Cam his favorite apple pie on Friday. It even got a pumpkin face :)
Baking with the kids is THE best. They are so funny...each cup and tsp. is exciting to pour in and mix. I loved it so much as a little girl and I remember clearly how enjoyable those times were. My mom recently brought over my little aprons and I t was really fun to see how well worn they were. Lots of good memories. Now as I get to create those memories with my own girls I understand that it is just as much fun being the big person :)

And it was not only at the stores that I found some treasures check out this trash-to-treasure find!!! A super rad super solid wood desk we found with a Free sign on it at the end of a driveway in the country!!! the drawers are all big enough for 12x12 papers and even has one deep drawer with dividers. I think I Will paint it RED! The desk rawks, I can bang and paint and craft all over it and the price was right...I vote this my happy find of the month!

Monday, October 29, 2007

a card-a-day {#3}

I took a break to enjoy family time this weekend; that is what I love most about the end of a week... but the new week has begun and I am back at it :) Thanks so much for all of the nice comments on my cards so far, Becky's kit makes it easy to come up with cute stuff! I really ventured away from the original design on this card and did a little bit of dissecting LOL . Sometimes I just enjoy cutting stuff up and turning it around to make it into something new. For this one I cut out the word strips to make a "tree". I tore off the end piece for a bit of a layered torn textury end. Then crinkled/folded two of the enclosed blue strips over the one printed on the front of the card and coiled some wire around it. Simple but happy and fun :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A card-a-day {#2}

here is my day #2 card, lots of fun to play with on here. I added brads to the cute strip of circles along the bottom, and silver glitter to the tiny dots on the background. I'm Loving all of the transparent pieces Becky has in this kit, so I painted a red stroke behind this one to make the words pop. And then made it literally "pop" by mounting the buttons holding the square onto some foam squares. A bit of cardboard paper and hand stitching and voila! done.
It is fun and refreshing to do a little something every day that requires less thought and much less time than a whole layout. I can't wait to make some hot chocolate, turn on my Amy Grant Christmas CD and make tomorrow's card :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A card-a-day {#1}

Somehow it is already that time of year- There is a tell tale chill in the air, you can "smell" winter coming, the leaves have let go of their branches and that means it is time to start thinking about Christmas plans, wish lists and Christmas cards! ( already?! I know , I know, I am not quite ready either, but I guess I never really am)

Getting in the mood pretty quickly though thanks to good inspiration! I am really excited to have the chance to play with my friend Becky Higgins' CK Kit of the Month for November; it is an ultra cute Christmas card kit with plenty of extras. An amazing value! check out her details here.

Creating makes me happy and Christmas time makes me even happier so I thought it might be fun to make a card a day for a bit! Here is our Christmas card from last year, and the little ones the kids gave their friends as well as one I made for some good friends of ours. I think this year I will do cards from Becky's kit especially since they come with such adorable envelopes! ( I will show you those another day) I love the colors she chose; adding a touch of pink to Christmas is always a good thing IMO :) The designs are super fun too; finished enough to make these so quick and easy to do and yet plenty of room to have freedom to play. Of course if given the option I always chose to play hee hee- So for this first card I added some finds I had around the house- A torn cardboard paper circle, touches of black pen, stitching, floss knot tree ornaments with a bling star to top it off just right. Some jute twine, and a bit of puff paint and glitter glue.

Hope I've got your creative wheels turning!

See you tomorrow ;)

call me Strawberrry Mirage...

thanks to my friend The red cosmo AKA: rawkin-A.
This made me laugh so hard I had to take a break and play along

1. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
-Shalom Van ( maybe more Jazz singer???)
2.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
-Chocolate Sugar ( pronounced "sugah" ;)
3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) - C- Muc
4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
-Red Cat ( totally)
5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
-Theresa Winnipeg ( I don't think "winnipeg" belongs in any soap opera name LOL)
6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first) -Mucch
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
-The Blue Smoothie ( oh yeeeah cuz I'm so smoooooth! ROFL)
8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
-Renee Clarance
9. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
-Strawberry Mirage (HA!)
10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )
-Loretta Christopher
11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
-Wallace Windsor
12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
-Christmas Daisy
13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
-Pineapple hoodie
14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
-Oatmeal Oak ( ooohh totally organic sounding)
15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)
-The painted rain Tour ( RAWK on!!!)

OK make me laugh ..... copy, paste, and join in the fun !!!! you've got to Throw me a link so that I can enjoy your alter egos :P

Thursday, October 18, 2007

all kinds of book talk

I have totally loved the last three books that Emy and I have read together. She is in grade three but is reading at a grade 5-6 level at least; so she can read for hours on her own and do just fine. But still I really enjoy our time each night reading together. The time with her; the quiet cuddle time with no sisters in sight just us, and truth is I honestly really do enjoy these books myself! Reading out loud making all the different accents and voices, and together looking forward to what will unfold in our adventure tomorrow night. Deeelightful!
We are fairly picky with what goes in for our little people I have to say. You know the saying "garbage in garbage out" so we try to steer pretty clear of garbage and put in lots of good stuff for our girls. Now that her reading has moved beyond the younger stories it is a little bit harder to find good books that will challenge her reading and keep her mind occupied and entertained, while at the same time NOT being too old for her sweet 8 1/2 year old self, or containing "stuff" we wouldn't want her to read right now. Kind of like finding size 12 clothes that are still appropriate and "little girl" enough for an innocent little sweetheart in grade three, a challenge at times too I have to say.
Anyways , I am always up for book recommendations and so I thought some of you out here may be too. I am so so impressed with these three. they were each quite different but all good to the last page.

It is a great story of adventure and self discovery. And since the kids in the story are around her age Emy found it really fun to try and relate to them. As a bonus there is some cool learning about art history hidden in here as these two siblings hide out at the metropolitan museum of art in Manhattan in the 60s.

I never imagined a story about a mouse could be so entertaining ( but then again I was very skeptical of cartoons about Fish and cars LOL and they turned out to be great movies) This book made me excited to read more and want to keep reading even when it was well past bedtime and our time was up. Such adventure and a really cool perspective through the eyes of the different characters who make up the story. A Heartwarming tale about the strength of this little mouse who is too small and his ears are too big and in every way he doesn't fit in. It will give courage to any kid who has ever felt like that little mouse.

and Because of Winn-Dixie also by Kate.DiCamillo ( I really like her books!)
This book just comes alive with all of it's amusing characters. The story is made up of "outsiders" who all have wonderful stories to tell and lessons to teach....we really loved it.
note: I picked up the fairly recent movie because the book was so good, but it just doesn't compare, go for the book instead!

I was going to talk only about Emy's books but since I am talking books tonight, I have to say that the animal ark series has been really perfect for Tiara. We are on our third adventure with Mandy and James who are always saving an animal in trouble and Tiara who is a total animal lover, loves every minute of them. We are using our current "Beagle in a backpack" as a reward for getting dressed in the morning and getting to school smoothly because things were pretty rocky for awhile. She is such a determined little person that having something to work for is always good motivation to push past the troubles that may come for her. So she gets a whole chapter with me at night if all goes well and when things get tough we take away only one page at a time so she still has something to work for through the day. It is really helping. I had read "children are from heaven" by Dr John Grey when Emy was a toddler- and many times since. It is a wonderful book on positive parenting and I would highly recommend it to anyone with kids. He talks about rewarding them for what they do right instead of focusing on punishing what they do wrong, since kids really do want to please their parents. I love the idea of rewarding them with my time it is the most precious thing I can give them.

And since I have covered what the kids are reading I may as well share what I have been getting into lately. This past spring/summer I read The Alchemist three times ( yes liked it that much :) I got something different from it each time too just depending where I was at, The whole sisterhood of the travelling pants series- I had never read these when I was younger and always wanted to, it was fun and entertaining I listened to this one unabridged on audio book while I did the album track for CKU Nashville. It was nice to keep my mind busy for all of those hours, I do that often.
I read the time travellers wife- no comment really, it is what it is. well written and kept me reading but surprising at times and a bit too much for me. Not one I need to read again. I Finished Anne of Green Gables -I was such a fan growing up...still am, but it had been a long time and I wanted to read it again myself before reading it with Emy, just to be sure it was appropriate. mmmmmm that wonderfully imaginative Anne-girl inspires me LOL she reminds me of myself in many ways, needless to say I Loved it all over again! I jut finished a few books by Max Lucado He is such a wonderful writer and I always love his written perspective for both children and adults. It makes me think, makes me smile and makes me breathe a little bit deeper. And that brings us to right now; I have a few of Jeffrey Gittomer's books on the go in the van for school pick up days; He is great and the books are easy to read, I quite enjoy his writing, getting a lot from it. And Last but most definitely not least I am reading Ali's new Life artist far I would say it is a must have for any scrapbooker at any level, her best book so far. She has written all good books but this one just has that extra heart and it strikes a chord with me, inspires me, beyond just scrapbooking.

So that is my book blabber for tonight, happy reading :)

Sunday, October 07, 2007


mmmmm, It is good to be back
I arrived home from France just in time for Turkey dinner with my sweet family.
Happy Thanksgiving to all you Canadians out there!
( and very early wishes to those who are not in Canada and will celebrate later)
I hope you feel that you have plenty to be Thankful for :)
We sure do, more Blessings than We can count.
Not because we never have troubles or challenges but because we choose to see the blessings and beauty that surround us.

I left home on September 27th to teach 4 new classes at the Paper and co show in Versailles France. 2 traditional books, one digi and one hybrid album.

I went armed with a few photos of the "fake" Eiffel tower that I took in Las Vegas and thought I would have the chance to blog on the go and let everyone know where I was off to. Well... Internet ended up being fairly hard to come by, even once my new friend Lydia from Luxembourg lent me her plug adapter. I had bought one that was supposed to be for Europe but it didn't fit the sockets there, and I couldn't even make my phone card work to call home and talk to my little angels LOL! So other than feeling a bit displaced or shall I say "disconnected"; the experience was amazing. My classes were incredible; all of these women in one room from all over ( France, Italy, Norway, Spain, Belgium, Australia, Scotland, Luxembourg, the UK and even more) and we were all connected by something that truly needed no translator. A real love for art and for our memories and our families. I really enjoyed the artsy-ness of this crowd they were not afraid for one second to just go for it and slap that paint on or try new things, and the digi and hybrid classes too were so bold and excited to really go for it and do something new with the computer.

Rawk on my new European friends!!!

I was so so lucky to be able to take this trip with my good friend Krista. She was a fabulous assistant helping me lug that heavy pink suitcase of class supplies along the cobblestone each day, helping IN my classes and packing kits with me behind the scenes. She also took some fun pictures of me like the one up above which was so nice since it is usually me behind the camera.

When the event was over we went on to tour Paris for a few days. It was cool but I enjoyed the colorful Old beauty of Versailles even more. I will get a photo album or a slide show loaded up pretty soon. It was a trip I will never forget. Thank-you PACS and thanks Krista for an amazing super fun adventure!

Friday, September 07, 2007

back to school

I can't believe how fast the summer has gone and here we are already at back to school week. ( well we were when I began writing this post anyways LOL!) Emilea started grade three this year. GRADE THREE!!!! that seems so big, I can't believe how these sweet girls of mine grow. Other than her first wasp sting just as we were going to take the annual backpack pic on the step in the morning, Emilea went back to school like a little pro. Her teacher seems amazing and I am excited to see how the year unfolds. Look at that little giggle of hers, she sure keeps us smiling and being thankful for every day. Seriously; lately I stand back and watch her, she laughs easily and sparkles with such an amazing inner beauty, Sometimes I can't believe that God chose me to have the great privilege of holding her little hand and guiding her as she grows. Being a mama is the most amazing gift I could have ever been given, and not something I take for granted for even one day. Y'know, each of our girls came to us in such different circumstances and each of them has changed our life so much.

girl #2:
Here is one of Tiara's "first day of Kindergarten" photos. She goes to school twice a week ALL day instead of every day-half days, so she has only had 4 classes. It has been.....well, interesting so far. Her first morning was less of a pro experience than Emy's I have to say. Our summer was feeling so good, without the worry of socks and long sleeves and pants to fight with on her little sensitive body, and without the pressure of places to be by 8:20 am, she settled into a very happy space. The whole experience with sensory integration disorder and all of the anxiety that has accompanied that for my little sweetie comes in waves and all we can do is ride it out. Thankful for the good times and ready with extra love for the hard times. I knew in my heart that all of her little issues may creep up in the face of a new school year but I think I was kind of refusing to really deal with that and was half hoping that it could possibly really be smooth sailing. The night before her big day I realized how much worry I actually do have deep down about handing her over. About trusting that these wonderful teachers really will see when she is overwhelmed and that they really will be able to help her cope with such a long day. As soon as those little newly socked feet went into her runners and the socks pulled up against her toes it all got thrown off and she declared that there was NO WAY she was going to school.
OK we can do this......
We worked together drawing a rainbow heart and talking about just going to see what the class was up to. Did this gently until we just had to "get Emy to school" and Tiara came along and ended up having a pretty good day! She was not on time and there was no first morning photo taken like all the other kids, I did not get to help her find her cubby and hover grinning at the door... but she made it. Sweet little jellybean toes bare in her runners and reluctantly ready to TRY.
Ah well, I just keep telling myself that without the struggle a caterpillar wouldn't become a beautiful butterfly. I am sure that all of Tiara's journey will help her grow into a strong, smart and amazing young lady, I just need to keep praying for the tools that I need in order to be there supporting that journey.

girl #3
and of course even though she did not start any kind of school this fall, the littlest sister did a bit of posing as well on that first day :) So proud to be newly three years old, she thinks she can take on the whole word. Power to ya my little Bella, go for it!!!

Happy week to you my friends, here's to the journey!

p.s. check out Tiara's gift for you this week on my CK blog and the new download page that Cam made for us :)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

just a head's up

the challenges are going again on my CK blog, hope you will come over and play. This weekend we are being inspired by the freedom of kid art, and everyone who joins in is entered for a random draw to win a CK book of your choice. I posted a close-up of the journaling from this layout and there is also a little gift I have drawn for you available to download.

Friday, August 31, 2007

a new view

This red fountain at the Opryland hotel reminded me that sometimes we need to remember to change our view. I walked by it from the ground quite few times ( see below) and even almost sat on the edge...until noticing how wet it was! But it wasn't until I saw it from above that I found it to be incredibly beautiful with it's rich red and all of that great texture! This photo has got to be one of my favorites that I captured on my trip to Nashville.
I think this applies not only to photography, but even more to life. It is like this often; we don't always see how incredible things are in our world until we change our view.
Y'know I always say that different is not bad it is just different. There is most often good to be found in any situation, no matter how frustrating it may seem, if we take the time to look at it from a new angle and find that goodness. It makes me smile when this happens, like a treasure was just waiting there for me.
So here's to changing our view and looking at life with fresh eyes!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007


just a quick note with a few online surprises to share! My CK September column is online HERE talking about sharing life lessons. I really enjoyed the journey of writing that one, so it is super nice to see it shared there on the CK site. Also some of my fonts have been put up on scrap'n'fonts as the CK August bundle you can see those HERE A big thank-you to Denise for recognizing Tiara's name in there and pointing them out to me :)
happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

well helooooo!!!!!

This is a double post....same thing over at my CK blog today, but It sure has been awhile since I blogged! I miss it, and am going to make up for it with daily posts on at least one of my blogs for the next bit I think. I have been saving up so much I want to say!

August has been good, really good. And also flown by entirely too fast. Why is it that good always seems to go hand in hand with flying by too fast? I have noticed around here that fall is on it's way; just all of a sudden. The air is cooler and gets downright chilly at night and I can smell that delicious crispness that comes with the fall. I love breathing in the smell of a new season filled with the possibility of new adventures just waiting for me to find them! The birds are beginning to fly south overhead in their pretty formations. And I am here feeling like the month has just begun, like I am still supposed to have half of the summer left, LOL!

We spent the first week of August away camping together as a family and with our super good friends from Saskatchewan; Krista, Braden and little Jake. It was perfect! No computers, no phones, most of the time not even a clock around to remind us what time of day it was. The kids rode bikes and caught frogs, we ate lots of watermelon, built sand castles and just had an amazing time! just a few pics for now...

and Here are some family photos taken by My friend Krista Domres I am so so glad she was willing to do a few for us because it really has been far to long since we had a good photo of the 5 of us all together

We returned home feeling so refreshed and I spent the next week and a half totally immersed in my work for my CKU album track Here is a visual for you of my crazy dining room take over!

I tidied my "creative mess" in between projects so that everything was back in it's buckets but when I got going it was good to just be in a groove and have everything right on hand. This moment is obviously right in the middle of "going!"

I turned off the Internet completely and got really focused, I had to, and it was so very worth it!

You see, I took over Tracy White's Fondest Memories album track for CKU Nashville last week, and decided to make it my own and give it my "C.D. spin". So I did 20 brand new layouts and wrote a new handout to go with them. My wall got plastered with layout after layout until it was covered like wall paper, and I have to say when the last layout was finished and up on the wall that was some pretty rewarding wall paper!

Last week in Nashville and I had the most amazing time teaching. Something I definitely want to do a lot more of ( I will post more photos and stuff from CKU soon)

So now I am peeking up out of my scrap world! And emerging back to real life :) This must be how a bear feels when it comes out of hibernation after the winter. A big stretch and a yawn and a deep breath of fresh air!

I am going to spend this next few weeks having some fun with my playground challenges and topics on the CK blog now that life is back to normal. I am really excited, I feel like the girls must feel when they have been waiting and counting the sleeps till a big play date. I missed you all!!! been counting the sleeps :)
it's good to be back