Friday, March 27, 2009

This week's update





This is such a tiny little home improvement project but it makes such a difference! I have been wanting/needing to replace and update this light fixture over our kitchen dining area for quite some time. A couple weeks ago I finally just had to do it! I knew I didn't want to spend a lot on a new fixture but at the same time I wanted something nice, that I would enjoy looking at for the next 15 years. I actually found it at Costco... yea Costco! I thought I could do this little project all by myself (you know, it is tax season here and my hubby is not available for "honey do" requests) but after I took down the oh-so-outdated brass fixture (that you can still buy at Home Depot for $38) I realized the new fixture was going to be too heavy and awkward for me to handle alone. It sat on the table for several days until my dear, unsuspecting son came to visit one evening. He noticed!!!!! I didn't even have to ask him! It took him all of about 20 minutes and I don't have to worry about it falling down or shorting out. It just makes me smile every time I walk in the kitchen now. Hmmm, what's should I update next?
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy 88th Birthday Mom!


Today is my Mom's 88th birthday -- what a wonderful accomplishment! My mom doesn't like a lot of attention so we purposely kept her celebration very low key. Paul & I took my parents to my mom's favorite restaurant, The Market Street Grill, for lunch and my brother Kent was the only other sibling that was available to join in with us. We had a really enjoyable meal together and mom delighted in just being out of the house for a few hours.

A couple of weeks ago when I went to my parents home to visit them one Saturday afternoon, my mom showed me a scrapbook that she had come across down in her basement. It was in a very sad condition with all sorts of photos and memorabilia jumbled up inside and spilling out of the covers. Mom thought it wasn't worth much any more and thought she'd just throw it away. When I began perusing through the contents of this clutter, I was shocked to discover precious photos and memorabilia from my mom's life beginning back when she was just in grade school and continuing through her junior high, high school and college years. There were reports cards, student body cards, autograph books, newspaper articles, piano recital programs, blue ribbons from county, state and national 4H fairs, wedding photos, graduation photos, diplomas, etc, etc, etc. I was fascinated. I convinced my mom that this was worth saving and asked her to let me take everything and see if I could do something with it all.

When I got home I pulled out a book I have of family records and in it I found an autobiography that my mom had written back in 1976, when she was 55 years old. All of a sudden I had a brainstorm! I decided to combine the scrapbook memorabilia with her autobiography and put it all together in a bound, booklet form and give it to her for her birthday. So last Friday I spent the whole day on the computer and in my scrapbook/sewing room where I was able to put everything together into 40 pages. I took it to Kinkos on Saturday and they copied it and bound it and I ended up with copies for my parents, my siblings and my children.

I was so excited to give this to my mom today and see what her reaction would be. She was thrilled! She just couldn't believe that all that "junk" she had in that jumbled up scrapbook could be put together so meaningfully. The booklet is small, just 40 pages, but it is priceless! I'm excited that my mom can read what she has written many years ago and look at pieces of her life from years ever longer ago and then reminisce about "the good old days" with my dad, her kids and her grandkids. I should probably do something like this with all of my own collection of my life's treasures!


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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2am project


I couldn't get to sleep last night and this is the results of my insomneia. It is very appropriate because I am anxiously awaiting the opportunity to WELCOME HOME the SWAPPS from China! Last Saturday morning, Paul and I were waken up with an early morning phone call from Heidi with such exciting news: "we're coming back home for good!" Now, her home and my home are still 700+ miles away but that is "just next door" considering how far they have been away for the past 18 months! We have been trying to justify another trip to China sometime in May or June but this way we'll be able to fly to Arizona almost 3 times for what it would cost us for just one jaunt over to Beijing -- not to mention the 11 hour jet lag savings. March 31st is their departure day -- and arrival day! I only wish their tickets were for SLC instead of PHX. But they know that they are WELCOME here any time! See you SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Monday, March 16, 2009

Lost voice

Thank goodness for my fingers since I woke up this morning to discover NO VOICE! So quirky! I have been battling a head cold for almost a week now but it hasn't even seemed to be that bad... mostly sniffles and sneezing. I have been semi-enjoying the mild illness as an excuse to not get on the treadmill for my daily workout. Another weird turn of events is that the cold portion - congestion, stuffiness, runny nose - has gone away just leaving behind this brief (hopefully) inconvenience of not being able to vocally communicate. Today has been really quiet. I have only had to answer the phone once and it is so weird to whisper as loud as I can and still hardly get any sound to come out. But here I am able to communicate as loud and clear as always -- thank goodness for my fingers!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My finished project

So here are the results of my messy sewing/scrapbook room from last week. Despite the chaos and clutter I'm really happy with how it all came together. Thought you might like an inside view and thanks to Katie's amazing computer skills we actually ended up with a slide show version this time. I'm excited for my next trip (none in the works right now, however) knowing that I can come home and put together another memory keeper/sharer like this one.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Whew... back to normal

You know the saying, "you don't really appreciate something until you don't have it anymore" -- or something close to that -- well, I am in total agreement! Yesterday morning our internet service went off and it has been a frustrating and annoying 30 or so hours.

Last week I called Qwest, our phone and internet provider, to cancel a service on our phone side that we never use and it costs us $4 a month so I decided if we don't use it I didn't want to pay for it any more. After the Qwest rep took care of that request he informed me that Qwest would like to give us 2 months of free internet service ... because we have been such loyal customers. I immediately was suspicious of what "free" meant so I quizzed him whether or not this would change anything about our service or our commitment. He guaranteed me that No, nothing would change... they just want to "thank" us for our business. So I agreed. (SUCKER!!!!) The next day I got a UPS envelope delivered to my house with a instructional CD and a user manual for upgrading to 20 M internet service! I just kind of set everything aside until yesterday morning when suddenly and unexpectedly our internet shut down. This triggered multiple calls to Qwest where I was traded back and forth between the "business" people and the "technical" people with lengthy "on hold" waits in between. Every time, I was transferred to a different person and I would have to explain the whole situation over and over. Finally, I got a rep who really did represent customer service and she put me on the right path and got the Qwest people lined up correctly too. She has even called 3 times to see if everything is working again.

So long story short... "all's well that ends well" but don't fall for "free" offers. Nothing is ever FREE.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Creating (a mess!)



Since I have had so much fun lately creating some special scrapbookish things, it has inspired me to keep going. While I was on the "scrapbook cruise" with Heidi back in January, I got to take classes from other talented teachers as well. I showed you the project from Teresa Collin's class that I made for Paul for Valentines. Now I am putting together an album book of the cruise experience itself and I am using the project from Margie Romney-Aslett's class. Her class was a riot! She is a riot! One of the funniest, entertainingest, super creative people you will ever meet. I fell in love with her style of collecting memorabilia from her trips and adventures and how she puts EVERYTHING in her memory book. And I mean everything: photos, post cards, room keys, menus, business cards, stamps, receipts, ticket stubs... to her they all spark memories and have their own stories to contibute to the whole, overall experience. I have really enjoyed putting this book together; sifting through all the memorabilia and souvenirs had brought back the feelings of each activity and event for that wonderful week. I'm not quite done... it seems to have taken on a life of it's own. I'll post pics when I get it completed.

My poor sewing room is wondering what has happened inside it. Even the ironing board has a new purpose. I hope Paul doesn't expect anything to get ironed for a while! This illustrates why I don't scrapbook very much because I am the kind of person that need to see every paper or embellishment or option I might have to design my pages. Oh well, the results are worth the process!
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Monday, March 2, 2009

We are Family!


Smile Everyone! or just someone! Seriously, why do we even try? Our little ones never seem to be in the mood for a precious moment captured on film for posterity!

Yesterday was Bryson's baby blessing. That is always such a wonderful event. Katie had invited lots of friends and family and it was a really enjoyable afternoon... until we wanted to take a picture. That was probably our downfall... waiting until the end of the party when the kids were ready for naps and had been over stimulated for a couple of hours.


Oh well, most of the adults look nice and were able to pull out a "happy face" despite the tantrums that were occurring. I know the Swapps were sad that they missed out of this momentous occasion. Just think what the pictures would have looked like with 7 more loved ones! (don't you love Aspen's choice of shoes for the photo shot!)
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